Cas Haley's career has been blessed and cursed by his run on the second season of NBC's America's Got Talent. On top of repeatedly making David Hasselhoff all but crap himself with excitement, the show gave the former Woodbelly singer quite a bit of buzz around here. And Haley's done an impressive job of milking his appearance on the popular TV show. After all, his 2008 self titled album sold an impressive 40,000 copies.
Haley has, however, yet to eclipse his AGT acclaim, and his newest record, Connection, doesn't seem enough to keep him out of the shadows. The record's blend of pop-rock and reggae-lite has the wind-up of a haymaker, but the delivery of a feeble jab. The breezy first single, "Better," like the rest of the record, conjures up visions of sunsets on the beach, and capitalizes on the smooth tone of Haley's voice. Meanwhile, on a cover of Alicia Keys' "No One," the energetic pop song is turned into a chilled-out, ocean-side campfire jam—but it never really lives up to the original.
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Overall, Connection does a good job of transporting us to Jamaica—no doubt Haley's intent. Unfortunately, it never dares to take a step off the Club Med resort.