Only Half Blue
The Not Quite a Mid-Life Crisis Album
A couple of years ago a close friend got in touch asking if friends of hers in the Americas could send me their latest release for review; of course I agreed and Flower Country by Gabriel Minnikin and Cassie Josephine was a veritable joy to behold; and the review is still on the site somewhere. I urge you to check it out.
Jump forward two years and Cassie recently got in touch again asking if I would listen to her own release……. being the gentleman I am I quickly said ‘yes’.
Unlike the previous album; this hasn’t been as ‘instant’ for me, but I’ve slowly persevered and gradually her songs, written around her 40th Birthday and following a relationship break-up has unfurled like a beautiful rose in the late Spring.
To begin with Come What May, sounds a bit Old-Timey and even a bit ‘Kitty Wellsish’ at first, but it really does develop into a song that seeps into your subconscious and somehow fills you with hope; even though Cassie sounds on the verge of tears during each sad chorus.
Other songs capture your imagination in a similar vein; leaving me picturing the story unwinding in a video kind of way; especially the ragged velvety tones of Jackpot with it’s maudlin violin and intricately picked guitar; and later Dear Cassie will just break your heart into a thousand pieces as the narrator attempts to change her life in mid-stream. I imagine a sepia tinge to this particular video btw.
Cassie Josephine has a sweetly distinctive vocal style, slightly reminiscent of a young Nanci Griffith, if I’m not mistaken and another couple of songs, One Beautiful Song and the deeply gorgeous and eloquent title track Only Half Blue may even be written and sung in a similar style to the Grande Dame of Alt. Country Music too.
As I say, it took a while for me to get my head around this album, but now I have one song in particular eventually took me not just by surprise, but also took my breath away……and I love it when that happens!
Hot Pink Lipstick is a very feminine song at heart; but one even I as a man of advanced years can actually relate too.
For a simple acoustic album; there’s a whole lot going on in Cassie’s narratives and exceptional story telling and her voice will melt even the coldest of hearts as she considers her first 40 years and looks forward to whatever life is going to throw at her in the next 40…….and she sounds like she might even be looking forward to those challenges too.
Released October 3rd 2018