roll, and Mr. James’ guitar solos are pushed to the background, where they were never meant to be.
The problem isn’t the performer. He sings well, and songs such as “The Good Life” and “Drive” are fine, sturdy country-pop numbers about living life the right way. Mr. James writes most of the songs, too, proof he was always an artist on a show designed for mere singers.
The problem, then, is the packaging. Mr. James is being rebranded as a contemporary country artist, a role he never played during his time on “American Idol,” and you can’t help but wonder if “Casey James” is the product of a major label trying to commercialize a guy whose music might have been too bluesy, too guitar-based for a mainstream market. He deserves better, and so do we.