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Album Review : Corey Taylor: CMFB-Sides

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Review by Pete Finn for MPM

Corey Taylor co-founded Stone Sour with drummer Joel Ekman in 1992. He joined Slipknot in 1997 to replace their original vocalist and has subsequently released six studio albums with them.

After the first two Slipknot albums went on to reach Platinum status Taylor revived Stone Sour to record an album and tour in 2002, Stone Sour have also released a total of six studio albums.

His debut solo studio album, ‘CMFT’, was released on October 2, 2020, by Roadrunner Records. Taylor mentioned in an October 3, 2020, interview about a follow-up album entitled ‘CMF2’, which would be completed prior to a tour supporting both it and ‘CMFT’.

‘CMF2’ became ‘CMFB-Sides’ and is a continuation of him having a bit of fun with his friends and a release for his vast ranging musical taste.

And some of that taste he doesn’t get to indulge in with either Slipknot or Stone Sour. It has nine tracks and is a compilation of covers, live tracks and songs he just wanted to record. The overall running time is just under 40 minutes.

The opening track is a cover of the classic Metallica anthem ‘Holier Than Thou’ from ‘The Blacklist’, you can tell in his voice Corey Taylor is enjoying singing this. It’s a full-on Heavy Metal cover, sung in his way, but with total respect for the original. It even finishes with a cheeky outro snippet of ‘Whiplash’. A great start.

‘All This And More’, the 1977 Dead Boys cover is the second track. The punk sound is perfectly suited to Taylor’s voice. The band reproduce the sound wonderfully, but give it an up-to-date twist by adding a bit of a Skater vibe to it, along with a more rock solo.

Things slow down for ‘Kansas (Acoustic)’, this is an acoustic version of his own track from the debut album ‘CMFT’. One thing I like about this, is that he has kept the tempo the same between the two styles, the running times are almost identical. This was a popular track on the first album, and won a lot of doubters over. This version will reinforce that sentiment.

‘Shakin’’ is a cover of the Eddie Money track, first released in 1982. This has a heavier fuller sound than the original, and features a real classic rock solo, and riffs. This will be one to look out for in a live set.

‘Home/Zzyzx (Live)’, ‘Home’ is from ‘CMFT’ he introduces it, as being dedicated to his wife Alicia and is all about her. Just a piano and vocal, a love song sung with emotion, passion and care. Fantastic demonstration of an amazing vocal talent, almost impossible to think that’s these soft, tender words and sounds are coming from the same vocalist that fronts Slipknot. Incredible.

As the track moves into the Stone Sour track ‘Zzyzx Rd’ it builds as the rest of the band join in, the tempo increases but the vocal remains thoughtful and considerate as the song seamlessly and cleverly evolves into a power ballad. At the end Corey excitedly cries ‘We did it, we did it”. Brilliant.

Up next is the 1981 Red Rider cover ‘Lunatic Fringe’. The original had an electro/rock vibe to it, in this adaptation it’s Corey and an acoustic guitar, almost a Country and Western sound, complemented with delicate harmonies. Part of the solo is reminiscent of fine Spanish guitar playing.

From KISS’ 1974 album ‘Hotter Than Hell’ Corey covers ‘Got To Choose’, and maybe a respectful nod to the band with the album sleeve design too. He gives it a more traditional Rock sound. Complete with backing harmonies and ‘Oh, Oh’s. It closes out with a more funk sound. Again, a great example of blending different sounds effortlessly.

‘Halfway Down (Acoustic)’ again from ‘CMFT’ although sung with only an acoustic guitar and drum beat for accompaniment, Taylor’s voice has a Seattle Grunge sound, this sound is emphasised even more later in the track as the acoustic guitar develops a harder edge.

The final track is ‘On The Dark Side’ it’s the first single to be released from the album, and a cover of the John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band1983hit from the film ‘Eddie and The Cruisers’. It’s a hard rocking, traditional Rock ‘n’ Roll track, gets you up and out of your seat.

It’s unimaginable that anyone could sit still listening to this. There’s a few not-so-subtle clips of other 80’s tracks in there too, but I’ll won’t spoil the surprise so you can enjoy finding them.

WOW! What an awesome piece of work, from a very talented individual. I think that the album title is unfair, the idea of these being ‘B-sides’ doesn’t replicate the praise they deserve. Maybe ‘CMF All A-sides’ is more justified.

I’ve seen Slipknot and Stone Sour several times, and I would definitely be at the front of the queue to get tickets to see Corey Taylor and his band play these tracks.

RACKLISTING

Holier Than Thou (Metallica cover)
All This And More (Dead Boys cover)
Kansas (Acoustic)
Shakin’ (Eddie Money cover)
Home/Zzyxz Rd (Live)
Lunatic Fringe (Red Rider cover)
Got To Choose (Kiss Cover)
Halfway Down (Acoustic)
On The Dark Side (John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band Cover)

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