Corey Taylor – “CMF2” [Album Review]

Review: Luke Petty

No matter who you are the name Corey Taylor is known but most. Front man of the legendary band Slipknot and also Stone Sour.  For those who were less than impressed by Corey Taylor’s debut record, it’s time to consider giving him a second chance with “CMF2.” This sophomore effort takes a decidedly heavier and more aggressive approach than its predecessor while retaining an abundance of melodious and engaging singalong tracks. Taylor dials down the hip hop bravado and instead harnesses the power of his twin guitarists, resulting in an album that delivers a head-banging, unforgettable experience.

Starting off with a slower intro track “The Box” and jumping into a much heavier “Post Traumatic Blues” the interest was definitely gained straight away.  Blending an array of sounds into a chaotic fusion that could push one to the brink if endured for too long. Yet, within this sonic maelstrom emerges an invigorating, rapid-fire drumbeat followed by the unmistakable screams of Taylor. The track serves as an unrelenting onslaught of cacophonous elements, featuring hefty riffs and an overflowing reservoir of aggression.

The album maintains its dynamic pace throughout. “Talk Sick” channels a classic Rock band vibe, offering a rockier sound enriched with irresistible hooks that will surely have your head nodding along. Conversely, “Breath of Fresh Smoke” takes a step back, reintroducing the acoustic guitar and leading into a heartfelt ballad.

“Beyond” jolts the album back on course with a gritty and enigmatic guitar introduction that draws the listener into the heart of the song, like a shadowy invitation to delve deeper. “We Are The Rest” injects a dash of punk rock flair into the mix, adding an edgy twist to the album’s sonic journey, while “Midnight” gracefully pivots back to the softer, more introspective side, offering a serene contrast to the surrounding intensity.

“Someday I’ll Change Your Mind” delves into deeply personal territory, where the chorus conjures echoes of “Summer Of ’69.” Yet, intriguingly, this hook is the sole fragment that clings to memory, leaving the rest of the song to unfold in its own unique way. “All I Want Is Hate” channels the influence of Slipknot once more, but with a captivating twist—this one’s an instant earworm, infectious from the very first second to the very last note. As the album culminates with “Dead Flies,” its six-minute runtime proves to be an intense journey. However, one can’t help but wonder if the song, for all its intricacies, truly sustains its impact over such a prolonged duration.

Throughout the album, Taylor skillfully weaves a tapestry of musical surprises, constantly keeping the listener on their toes, never quite sure what twist awaits. The journey is a rollercoaster ride of highs, punctuated by moments of raw, in-your-face angst, and gentle, heartwarming ballads that wrap you in a cozy embrace. While ‘CMFT’ faced its fair share of criticism for straying from fan expectations, expecting a Slipknot redux was always an unrealistic proposition. With ‘CMF2,’ Taylor bridges the gap, offering a musical landscape that finds a harmonious middle ground between his solo debut and the sonic realms of Slipknot. What emerges is nothing short of a remarkable solo album, an expedition that traverses the terrain of tempo, musical diversity, and compelling storytelling. Definitely enjoyed this one for what it was.

CMF2, out Sept 15 via Decibel Cooper / BMG

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