casey stratton | DIVIDE

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DIVIDE

by casey stratton

Adult alternative/rock/pop in the vein of Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan and Peter Gabriel.
Genre: Pop: Piano
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Hardest Part
5:30 $0.99
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2. Wild Soul
4:21 $0.99
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3. In Silence
4:15 $0.99
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4. Maybe For a Minute
4:51 $0.99
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5. Sorry I...
5:23 $0.99
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6. Summer
4:58 $0.99
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7. Opaline
4:27 $0.99
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8. When the End Arrives
6:05 $0.99
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9. Coercion
4:05 $0.99
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10. You Move Away
4:23 $0.99
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11. The Wasteland
6:24 $0.99
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12. I Promise Love
7:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
With the upcoming release of Casey Stratton's 6th studio album DIVIDE we find Casey on a new path. There is a new found sense of purpose and focus driving the songs. From the album's opening track "The Hardest Part" to the first single "Opaline" to the closing "I Promise Love" we hear Casey contemplating his usual self explorations and relationships gone wrong. This time, however, Casey also explores the state of the world however chaotic it may be. "It was important to me not to have a soapbox kind of record. I wanted to comment on the conditions we are faced with in this world and how I have been affected being an American in this time, but I didn't want to be preachy. It's not about that. It's just reflection."

Formerly a Sony Music recording artist, Casey left the label in December of 2004 in order to pursue his own label venture. "I just didn't feel I could truly make the records I wanted to make in a major label environment. I wasn't happy there. There were too many compromises I wasn't comfortable making. So many artists claim they want to go indie when really they just got dropped. I wanted out. I couldn't wait. I asked to be let out of class early!" he chuckles. "Now I feel a sense of freedom I have been craving for 11 years." The twelve tracks that form DIVIDE show Casey moving into this new territory.

Casey Stratton has packed a lot of music into a relatively young life. With a father who played in a popular Michigan band, the singer, songwriter and musician remembers begging to sing as a child during the band's rehearsals. Violin lessons began at the age of 8, followed quickly by the cello at 10, the piano at 11, and the guitar at 16. The training was rigorous and disciplined, laying the foundation for a career in classical music. It was through the piano that Stratton discovered a passion writing songs and singing them. After graduating from Michigan's Interlochen Arts Academy, with training in voice and composition, the budding artist left Michigan for Los Angeles. His Sony release Standing at the Edge along with Independent efforts and performances have already resulted in a cult following, and he has received glowing reviews in magazines like People and Billboard to name a few.

Stratton's influences are as diverse as his training. The pop influences register more immediately -- Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Björk, Paula Cole and Joni Mitchell. Musically, though, Stratton also takes inspiration from various forms of the arts. Musically, he finds inspiration in classical composers: notably Debussy, Ravel, Copland and Barber. Lyrics draw on the example of the contemporary singer/songwriter tradition, as well as a wide range of literature, from T. S. Eliot to Joseph Campbell. In fact many of the tracks on DIVIDE were inspired by reading Joseph Campbell's body of work. "I enjoy the idea of myth; that we play these roles in our lives and that those roles and scenarios are engrained in our biology. I also enjoy the idea of the light and the shadow. This symbolism is found in every religion and we all relate and connect to it. As a songwriter I have always tried to connect with what is human, but also what we tend to hide from others. I think many of the people who relate to my music like the fact that I am saying the things you think at 5 am but are afraid to talk about openly. I made a decision way back that I would confront the hard stuff. Over the past few years I have delved into some philosophy and heavier reading, and that has definitely impacted this project." Casey says of DIVIDE.

Casey's live performances leave audiences breathless as they watch his intense emotional outpouring and commanding stage presence. He wasn't always comfortable in the role. "It took me a long time to be comfortable in my own skin when I sang my own songs," Casey Stratton recalls. "When I first started playing them live, my feet would shake on the pedals of the piano. I felt so transparent, like everyone knew what I was thinking and feeling. The courage to take the plunge came from my influences -- Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell. I thought, 'Well, they're doing it.' And the more I did it -- the more I forced myself to explore my own songs before an audience -- the more empowering it became. Between 16 and 20, I think I encountered my highest learning curve. The more I played, the easier it got for me. I discovered that singing my songs, about the things I have experienced, however painful, was healing. It brings me peace."

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Reviews


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Grant

Transcendant.
Stratton is somewhat of a lost artist. After parting ways with Sony and losing the "benefits" of being a singer/songwriter in their stable, he has been put in the place of making his own way a la Ani diFranco and Loreena McKennitt. After hearing Divide, I can only picture him succeeding.

The CD as a whole is captivating; it takes you to another (good) place. Favorite tracks of mine include "The Hardest Part" and "Opaline". I heartily recommend buying the DIVIDE Limited Edition 2-disc set which also includes incredible cuts like "Pretty Horses" and the transcendant "Pray For Rain". As a matter of fact, I love "Pray for Rain" so much I would have paid full price of the double-disc set just for that song alone.
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Melissa

Concise and deep
Casey Stratton has done it again, and DIVIDE is as brilliant as its predicessors. His unique style of orchestral instrumentation combined with an astounding vocal range captivates the emotions on the first notes of "The Hardest Part". The last track, "I Promise Love" speaks volumes about the entire album: despite romantic hardships and political suppression, there is a definite vein of hope running deep through all of us. This collection shines!
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Mason


I recently saw Casey at the Intersection in GR. He was absolultey amazing. I had to buy "Divide" at his show, and like "Standing at..." it did not disapoint. From the opening "The Hardest Part" which left me vulnerable to my emotions, I found myself wanting to hit rewind, but I'm glad I didn't, "Wild Soul" is my favorite, absolutely breathtaking vocals and amazing songwriting. There is no bad track on this album. Casey does what he does best, totally worth every penny!
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Chip Lininger

If I were to buy only one cd this year...this would be it.
This is a rare cd for sure. It is not often a cd is able to take hold and captivate me consistantly from one track to the other the entire way through. This cd does exactly that. From "The Hardest Part" to the ending track "I Promise Love"...this cd will captivate you. I can't rant enough about this disk. Don't pass this one up!!
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kennedy.

Hidden gem.
Pray for rain is an outstanding song and the rest are just as sublime. casey is truly a talented artist and this album is forever. Highly emotive and very meaningful. not a jump up and dance record but one that will stop the time just for a little while and make you CRY. so if you want to cry buy this album. Not cry in a desperate depressing manner, in a good way !!! lyrics are perfect no-one writes lyrics like casey stratton. the music definetly takes a while to latch on to you but once it does, it wont vanish after a day or two. excellent album and beautifully written and peformed from the heart. the fact that its now 6 years old doesn't alter the quality and love and heart-ache in these songs.
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Lee Armstrong

Velvet Ice
Casey Stratton has a beautiful voice with an extensive range that floats effortlessly into the upper registers. Reportedly, he left Sony and released independently on his Sleeping Pill Music label to gain control of his music. Stratton does everything here from vocals, piano, guitars, violin to drum programming. With a voice I describe as velvet ice, he's got two versions of "Divide." This is the one-disc version. Stratton writes all of the tracks. While I tend to gravitate to more uptempo tunes like "House of Jupiter" from his Sony release, many of the songs here are slower such as "Maybe for a Minute" & "Sorry I..." "In Silence" starts with some electric guitars, but then slows down. While slower, the music still works well such as the beautiful "Summer" that recalls more simple happier days, "We were two like the wind, always rolling, never really touching down." Stratton turns up the energy on "Opaline" with guitars like thunder & his voice hitting the high notes effortlessly and then diving down for the grunge in his emotionally complex lyric, "In the depths, a figure was hiding all dressed in black & deciding if she would come to devour our falsified life. You never wanted to be what you claimed to foresee for yourself; so I sat waiting." The CD concludes with Casey's 7-minute track "I Promise Love" that may be the best track on the set. It pumps with his voice urgent, "One world where we all fit together well; It could be, but we make it hard for us; A solace is coming on the summer wind." Stratton's one-man-band approach works fairly well; however, I kind of wish he'd hire a live drummer to spark the percussion. His voice is incredible and the music flows well. Casey Stratton is an artist whose far-reaching talent promises great things. Enjoy!
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Matty S.

A mature and complex work of beauty and courage
This is a must-have album for anyone who loves music. It is a testimony to how rich and unique music can be when an artist makes the space to create their art in the way they see fit. Though it still has plenty of the beautiful vocals and powerful lyrics that fans have come to expect from Casey, the feel of the album as a whole is something altogether new and ultimately more powerful than any of his previous releases. Casey's journey from indie artist to "major-label" and back again seem to have led him to a place of even greater musical maturity and complexity, and this from an artist whose music embodied these traits even in his first recordings.


The first track on the album "The Hardest Part" is a beautifully haunting anthem to change, endings, transition and growth. Though the lyrics may at first stirke one as melancholy, the song actually strikes me as a celebration of the strength it takes to create change in one's own life. I think this is one of the major themes of the album -- change is painful, endings are wrenching, but they are inevitable and we have the power to make our way through them and make something better once we reach the other side.
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Rolando J

Casey Does it Again!!
Casey does it again with his sophomore release. IMO it is a better album, both lyrically and musically, than his first release. Casey's confidence and maturity emerges through every single song, as well as his genuine procupation on actual events. Don't think it twice, buy it now!!
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Erica A. Walker

Yay!
Great CD! I was looking all over for it but eBay didn't have it, Amazon.com didn't have it. I found a liver version of Opaline on YouTube.com and asked where I could get the CD, and the girl that posted the video directed me towards his page and then this place so I could buy the CD! So, THANKS! I love the CD! ^__^
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Audrey

Always superb!
This album is amazing, but do yourself a favor and get the limited edition with the bonus disc. Or do as I did and get both! He's well worth the investment - it's like getting two Casey albums!!!
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