Casey Crosby is what is called, in my house, a strong flavor. It's a short-hand way of saying "<foo> is an intense version of itself; you will either like it or you won't, a neutral reaction is unlikely." (Think cinnamon, or maybe barbecue sauce.) A composer and performer of solo piano works, Crosby is an intensely emotional performer, and the ideal listener is someone who listens in a similar way. Putting on one of his albums as background music while you go about your day is going to leave you with the impression that he's boring, another producer of massage parlor soundtracks. You've got to want to hear music when you put him on, and nowhere is this more evident than in his latest (as of 2021) album, "Calix Meus Inebrians".

If you do give yourself time to lean into "Calix Meus Inebrians", you're rewarded with 12 compositions that whisper their mood and emotion to you. They languidly unroll themselves before you, inviting you to lie upon them, closing your eyes and experiencing the stories that Crosby is sharing with you. The overall tone of the album is one of positivity and purpose, with standouts like "Honey in the Rock" and "Remember Me" rejuvenating you with energy and with peace, respectively. The title track (translated various ways but by the composer as "My cup is full and overflowing") is almost an anthem of moving forward in your life. While none of these pieces have lyrics, you can practically hear Crosby encouraging you to put the past behind you and get on with better times to come.

As I said, this music is very self-assured and comfortable being what it is and not trying to be anything else. Crosby's music can be streamed in a variety of places and I highly recommend you investigate his work to see if he suits you. If you think he might, I believe you're doing yourself a favor by drinking deeply from "Calix Meus Inebrians."

~review by Patricia Mullen

Artist: Casey Crosby
2021, Sacred River Records
mp3, $9.49