Since releasing his debut Amen (So Be It) way back in 1999, Paddy Casey's output has been worryingly scarce. Some would put it down to the fact that the Irish musical climate has shifted significantly over the past five years or so, eschewing the sombre singer-songwriter clique that Casey was a prime component of in favour of bands with a modicum of originality (i.e. not The Frames). Whatever the reason, it wasn't until 2003 that its follow-up Living was released; and now, another four years on comes his third offering, Addicted To Company Pt. 1. Suffice to say that Casey, perhaps in an effort to shirk the 'troubadour' tag, has made a concerted effort to vary his musical diet, incorporating elements of soul and funk into Addicted To Company - and it's these tracks that painstakingly rescue the album from utter, utter banality. The title track is a lush, string-swathed number that twinkles and glows in equal measures; I Keep's slinky, sumptuous soul riff brings a welcome respite from the humdrum, while Not Out To Get You's sharp piano stomp sees Casey adopt a Duke Special-esque ragtime persona. The detritus is either bog-standard pseudo-folk fare (Tonight, Refugees, Leaving) or dated balladry (Become Apart). If you weren't a fan of Casey's nasal drawl or hollow, rhyming-dictionary lyrics before, don't expect to be converted here; the scant consolation is that if previous form is anything to go by, it'll be another four years before Addicted To Company Pt. 2 is foisted upon us.