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Music Review: Chase Coy – Picturesque

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At nineteen, Chase Coy shows a good deal of potential to one day become a top-notch singer-songwriter. And the fact that he's been working at his craft for only three years is impressive.

On Picturesque, Coy's major label debut, the Greenwood, Indiana native's style harkens back to artists like Dan Fogelburg, Nick Drake, and James Taylor: songwriters whose talent for merging deep thoughts with memorable, gentle melodies is legendary.

Coy has miles to go before he reaches their level of artistry, since his youth is in some ways a detriment. All too often his sentiments sound like those of a lovesick teenager who scribbles his romantic yearnings on the back of a looseleaf binder. This is especially apparent on the title track, where he sings: the sun is pouring in through the window and right onto your skin/and I've never seen a portrait quite so picturesque.

However, there are glimpses throughout the album of the stellar songwriter Coy might one day become: a turn of a phrase or a lyric that reveals a burgeoning maturity. I was young and refused to be wrong ("Who's To Say") is a surprising departure from Coy's all too frequent maudlin meanderings.

Melodically, the songs on Picturesque are pleasant, although a sameness persists throughout. Coy needs to become a more expressive singer if he is to make his listeners feel the depth of emotions he is trying to convey. The production, however, is excellent, which is no surprise as Coy has enlisted veteran engineer Michael Brauer (Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, John Mayer) to help with the recording of the CD. A lovely mix of acoustic guitar, piano, field organ, upright bass, and strings are put to good use on every track.

Coy has already had a taste of success: iTunes recently named him one of the best new singer-songwriters and featured the track "If The Moon Fell Down" on an iTunes Essentials Rising Stars compilation. A version of this track is featured on Picturesque as a duet with Grammy-winner Cobie Caillat.

If you like your music acoustic and pretty and can cut Coy some slack for just being young (and realize the potential he has), you might enjoy Picturesque.

Picturesque will be released on June 1st on Universal Republic Records.

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