Elle Casazza – You
Elle Casazza’s second single from her album Proof, “You”, is a robust example of the skills she brings to the table. Few performers of any age are so talented with mixing a variety of styles like Casazza is – and she brings about this synthesis without ever betraying a single misstep or hesitation. This sort of certainty isn’t common in any recording artist, but it’s especially rare in performers as young as Casazza. The Chicago native, however, deftly navigates the emotional and musical weather of this tune with style that belies her young years. This is the album’s second single, but it has all the impact of the first insofar as it displays another side of Caszza’s musical personality. There are the ingredients for the kind of careers that last decades and we’re lucky to get in on the ground floor of what’s sure to be quite a memorable trip.
The second single from Proof begins with stripped-down theatricality certain to lure listeners into Casazza’s musical world. It’s just lightly evocative production, her voice, and musically sharp piano with just enough lyricism to hook our ears. Rather than attempting to outright lead the way with her voice, Casazza shows great instincts for wanting to make the overall song better and goes to great lengths to encourage a sense of uniformity between the backing track and her singing. The effect is memorable. Each disparate part of the track moves with the other and the sense of unity created early on in this performance makes it all the more memorable for those familiar and new to her work. She navigates the lyrical and musical changes alike in a way nothing like the typical young performer; instead, she shows a steady veteran hand for knowing exactly what she needs to do to help realize the track’s potential.
The musically emphatic second part of the song is a full on band performance and finds its mark, particularly on the choruses. The drumming is worth noting above all else. It’s never overplayed and mixed exceptionally well with the other players, but the playing is such that it helps set a dramatic tone for the song that no other instrument in play could have supplied. As she does during different sections of the track, Casazza clearly listens to the track with a focused ear and weaves her vocal passages in response to what the musicians are doing. “You” is a greatly enriched performance in light of such decisions. Love ballads are often guilty of revisiting sickly sweet clichés readily found in dozens of other songs, but Casazza ‘s contribution to the tradition isn’t guilty of that at all. Instead, she makes an intensely personal statement with “You” that she makes sure the audience will find relatable and succeeds wildly. This could have easily been the album’s first single and, for those yet to hear Proof in its entirety, is a fantastic advertisement of sorts for the album’s overall quality.