The first track on False Faces, Fort Wayne R&B master and certified dreamboat Ty Causey’s seventh full-length album, says it all: “Must Be Magic.” Magic indeed. There’s just something about Causey’s brand of smooth soul that works on your brain and heart and feet like magic. It’s that voice. And those beats. And those hooks. And that voice.
Huh? What was I saying? Where was I?
It’s hypnotizing too. Somehow Causey knows, after years in the biz – first as a backup singer and later as his own boss – just what to do to make you melt, fall in love, dance the night away. “Must Be Magic” starts False Faces off on just the right note with Causey’s sensuous croon and Zedric Teague’s sexy sax. Speaking of sexy, here’s a small sampling of the lyrics, ladies: “You don’t have to be a superstar to be the woman that I need in my life. You don’t have to own a limousine to take me for a joy ride.” Not since Prince’s “Kiss” have I felt so good about my present state of poverty. And, to carry the pop references too far, Ty Causey, you can drive my car.
Next up is the trippy and mesmerizing “Too Much Baggage” which features U-Nam on guitars. This is “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” for the fellas. Have a woman who spends all your money? Who harangues you night and day with emotional outbursts and attitude? Whose hot body is hot but whose heart is cold? This song just might be your anthem and, after enough listens anyway, your ticket to freedom. Print out the lyrics and send them to your personal bridezilla. It should do the trick.
If “Too Much Baggage” is about tainted love, “Tap into This Chemistry” is its antidote. With Mark Maxwell on sax, Causey sings his way through this swoon-worthy wishlist: “I don’t want to be the one who lets you down again. / I don’t want to be the one who loves you now and then. / I don’t want to be the one who breaks your heart in two. / I only want to be the man who makes you brand new.” Uh, twist my arm.
I should confess something right now. I am not a romantic. In fact, you might say I’m knocking on the door to cynical. Bitter, party of one, that’s me. But to listen to False Faces is to have one’s faith in true love and romance restored. Track four and my personal favorite, “I’ll Wait for You,” has me reconsidering the idea that chivalry is dead, that the days of knights in shining armor are far behind us. If a man is willing to wait out one woman’s destructive relationship with Mr. Wrong just so he can have the chance to show her what she’s worth, well okay. I guess love really does conquer all.
There isn’t a single dud in this album’s 12 tracks. “You’ll Never Be Lonely” is pure smooth jazz gold. It begs you to grab your honey and rock her steady. The title track brings the funk with the help of Tracy Naylor on guitar. “Love Call” slows it down and dares you to keep your clothes on. “A Reason Why” soars on wings of sexy. And “Creepin’ (Showdown)” takes a woman to task for sleeping with her man’s best friend. To paraphrase the incomparable Causey, it’s gonna be a showdown as soon as he gets the lowdown. The album ends with three tunes – “Hot Tonight,” “The Limit of Love” (with Lenora Jaye on vocals) and “Bold and Beautiful” that crank up the heat courtesy of Causey’s cool beats and lush arrangements.
Loyal fans have cause to celebrate in False Faces, and new ones have a great reason to spend their hard-earned money. This album is Causey at the top of his game. Many thought it couldn’t get any better than 2010’s Down II Earth or 2009’s True Love in Motion, but here is proof that Ty Causey just can’t take a false step. Go ahead, cynics and lovers alike. Pop in False Faces, let the magic wash over you and get down to it. Dance. (Deborah Kennedy)