The Austin Chronicle

Review: Caleb De Casper

Femme Boy (Chicken Ranch)

By Kevin Curtin, March 11, 2022, Music

Blowing open doors with gale-force sexuality, Caleb De Casper struts through a 12-track wardrobe of songs portraying himself as a powerful object of desire, making men go crazy and kneel down to kiss his high heels. It's an in-your-face allure, sometimes manifesting in ribald terms: "I can be your real girl/ Eat my pussy boy," the Austin-based "glamour boy" intones.

It's a theme that works throughout the single-oriented artist's debut LP – a collection of omnivorous pop that at times sounds like Eurovision fodder ("Do You Feel," "Unicorn"), shoulder-shaking club thumpers ("Do It Baby"), musical Hedwig-ery ("You Fell"), and uproarious New Wave-isms ("Danny You're a F*ckboy"). While the compositions and, even more so, variant singing voices arrive in diverse expressions, Casper's lane as an entertainer's already clear: an alternative diva crowds want to rally behind.

In one particularly stirring moment, the pianist and songwriter gets tender on an extraordinarily written second-person, lost soul ballad called "Never Home." Casper himself, however, finds additional epic moments with the help of A-list Austin friends. The bilingual "La Isla Jotita," featuring p1nkstar and Y2K, stamps passports for a delightful all-are-welcome getaway, while A Giant Dog/Sweet Spirit's Sabrina Ellis assists on "Dreamer," a song nurturing that universal hope: Outcasts will find themselves and their people.


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