Todd Carey | Watching Waiting (Inspiration Factory)

Carey's radio-ready persona projects more than just a voice that could melt Antarctica; his boy-next-door baby face will surely win the hearts of a captivated audience in this eye-candy infatuated musical era.

 

Back off, baby
Get out of my face
Please just give me some space
You never did nothing
But leave a bad taste

Speaking of leaving a bitter taste: these are not exactly the type of lyrics that typically charm me into submission. Wouldn't anyone who has been the recipient of these sentiments feel similarly? As my taste buds recovered, I realized that what I had just bitten into was more than the typical bread-and-butter of the music industry—it was something with a kick. Despite the harsh rejection portrayed in "Back Off Baby," Todd Carey's Watching, Waiting left me a little more hot and bothered after each listen. I suspect that this beau will have a similar effect on much of the rest of Generation Y's female population.

Carey's radio-ready persona projects more than just a voice that could melt Antarctica; his boy-next-door baby face will surely win the hearts of a captivated audience in this eye-candy infatuated musical era. Delectable similarities to artists like Nick Lachey, Ryan Cabrera, the Fray, and Daniel Powter can be detected in sweet melodies like "Ain't Got Love," and "Watching, Waiting," the album's namesake. Carey's upbeat melody and delicious vocals fall neatly into the prepackaged pop-rock category of "the '80s, '90s, and today." Additionally, Carey's voice has been compared to other favored artists such as John Mayer and Gavin DeGraw—an undeniable compliment to his musical capabilities. Carey's vocal similarities to the aforementioned artists could arguably be just the stimulant that this charming young musician's career necessitates.

That being said, with commercial compatibility comes commonality. Carey's music is faced with the challenge of setting itself apart from the confines of a generic pop-rock identity. In addressing the complications of melodic commonality, this musician solicits an inflection of vocals and instrumentals. This unique sound surfaces in multiple tracks on the album, delivering an almost question-like quality to the lyrics. While at first this intonation is slightly annoying, it rapidly warms its way into your brain and gives Carey's sound an identity unique from the artists to whom his music is otherwise comparable. The result is a well-orchestrated contemporary pop album, complimented by funky acoustic and vocal texture, while still managing to maintain the identity of the pop-rock genre.

Perhaps more importantly, Carey emanates a down-to-earth attitude about the importance of identifying with his music. This perspective helps him keep his focus away from manufacturing melodies. Carey compares his passion for music to an analogy in the recently released movie, Music & Lyrics: "Melody is like sex. But then as you get to know the person, that's the lyrics. Their story. Who they are underneath." Knowing someone underneath—knowing Carey underneath—means the ability to identify with the lyrics. His lyrical mastery in Watching, Waiting makes doing so an effortless feat. "Back Off Baby" evokes strong feelings of rejection and humility, making Carey the kind of guy that every good girl hates out loud, but secretly keeps a picture of tucked away under her mattress. "Elaine" and "Watching Waiting" elicit sentiments bordering on obsession and the nagging desire associated with passionate pursuit. "Goodbye to Another One" mourns the shameful reluctance to connect in a transcendent manner with a lover who "could've been the one."

There is one thing for certain that can be deduced from Carey's album: it isn't merely melody—it's lyrics. A- | Amanda Pelle

RIYL: Howie Day, The Fray, Daniel Powter

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply