Where do I start with Elle Casazza, I can’t help but say that the music on her latest album, ‘Proof’ is evidence of a great release. These are all up-scale cuts with a lot of fantastic musicianship behind them. It should not go faceless in a world missing this quality of pop singing/songwriting, combined with traditional jazz singing, doo-wop and Motown influences. A vocalist with an ensemble of killer musicians to bring out the best in her vocal chops. ‘Proof’ has enough variety and musical components in each song to keep you entertained throughout the entire album.
“Hey” revs the party up with Casazza’s power-packed voice, being the first thing to note. She seems to contain the vernacular between the high and low registry, and it doesn’t hurt with the spot-on backing vocals. But if you listen closely you can hear a hint of Madonna on this great opener. It even has the pop sensibilities of the 80’s in general, perhaps updated with a magnified swing. You can dance to this kind of pop, that’s for sure but it’s a lot more mature than the likes of Madonna when she initially came onto the scene. And that’s not to compare her to anyone, but some of her influences can be spotted nonetheless. It has a chic-music sense to it, but it’s more serious altogether, even if “Save Me” can deceive a little in that area. It either wins or loses with the rest, depending on your style of music. But within its pop structure it offers much more than the average pop star. It almost ears a rock tag more than pop, but even that seems a take way to describe it. There is also no doubt that this is funk in every way. It keeps an edge that pop has a hard time getting away with. This isn’t the best track on ‘Proof,’ but it’s a good follow-up to an opener that definitely doesn’t let you down.
“Too bad” is a fine track as well, but where the album merits the least. This could be saved by some groovy keyboards. The subject matter is at its darkest here concerning the socio-political content yet, it is still playful. The production level and sonic delivery are still second to none, letting it belong with the rest. This is rectified on “Cooking” with its more sultry-jazz vocal which builds up to bursts in all the right places. I’ll take it over the former, by a margin anyway. It’s about giving things time to cool, and that fits the bill with perfection. It’s hot, let it burn, as it sizzles your ears with a soul-filling sensation.
This smoky effect stays the course with “The Body Knows” taking the mesmerizing approach of singers like Toni Braxton. If this isn’t slinky, nothing is. Like a soulful blast from the past, this slices through the speakers with a nice piano solo and some of the most amazing vocal work on the album. And if you boil it all down, the track “You” is surrounded by everything it takes to showcase it as the hot song it should be. Falling for these songs is an easy feat, so don’t fail to reach for them. She’s a fine singer with amazing chops. You’ll be hard pressed not to be impressed by it all, including the mix/production values.