Corey Taylor is a name that needs little to no introduction. After over 20 years of making music he has grown a huge fan base around the world, and you have to believe his name rings a bell with all the Rock fans out there. Now, the lead singer of both Slipknot and Stone Sour, as well as book author, is back with his second solo album. First debuting as a solo artist in 2020 with CMFT, in 2023, he offers the fitting follow up CMF2.
Released on September 15th through Decibel Copper Recordings/BMG and comes with thirteen songs, the new collection lasts a lengthy 53 minutes. A mixture of styles, the album is a reminder of how versatile Taylor truly is. In fact, much of this album reminds us that Taylor is far more diverse than one would think. Sure, we saw a different side of Taylor outside of Slipknot with the mainstream introduction of Stone Sour in 2002, but his sole material is really a whole different animal.
Here on CMF2, as well as on CMFT, Taylor shows those many different faces all mixed together into a very engaging way. Joining him for this new record are Bassist Eliot Lorango, Drummer Dustin Robert, along with Guitarists Zach Throne and Christian Martucci. Together they assemble a more than efficient band for a group of songs co-produced by Taylor and Jay Ruston once again.
This in mind, CMF2 begins in a slow, relatively calm manner with “The Box” before “Post Traumatic Blues” delivers some heaviness. A night and day sort of thing, this pattern continues throughout the entire album; fast and intense songs, hand in hand with softer, extremely emotional ones which go deep under your skin. A true balancing act, the lyrics come across honestly, telling stories that most can relate to in one way or another. In fact, somehow the vibe here is very reminiscent of earlier life; and that is not merely because of the late ’90s/early 2000s Rock sound that some tracks feature, but also because of the words Taylor conveys.
So much to cover, some top moments include “Talk Sick”; one of the rougher of that set that comes complete with a catchy chorus. This is complemented by the absolutely beautiful love song “Breath of Fresh Smoke,” before “Beyond,” which almost feels like it wants to shake off any awkward emotions that might have come up before. Honestly, it might seem silly, and this impression may differ with each individual listener, but there is something deeply rooted within CMF2 that you can feel.
Other than these mentioned songs, “We Are The Rest” is the perfect anthem to shout along with, “Sorry Me” is an extremely thoughtful composition, and this is opposite the pure loudness of “Punchline.” Although, if this was not enough, Taylor leaves you with a great Hard Rock song filled with dark undertones going by the name of “Dead Flies.”
All in all, CMF2 is a timeless piece of work from Corey Taylor. One of those albums that can be played on a never ending loop without ever bothering or getting boring, above all, it sounds extremely personal… and that type of authenticity is commendable. Anyway you cut it, CMF2 is a surefire top Rock album in 2023. That is why Cryptic Rock gives this album a definitive 5 out of 5 stars.