Cory Marks - Who I Am
After a couple of single releases, Cory Marks is going for the next step: the Canadian released his first album Who I Am on 7th August 2020. Here are my thoughts.
Cory Marks – About The Artist
Cory Marks grew up in North Bay, Ontario. He is doing a mixture of country and rock – for his most successful track so far, Outlaws & Outsiders, he was supported by Ivan Moody (Five Finger Death Punch) and Mick Mars (Mötley Crüe) and placed in the US Rock Single charts. Having collaborations like that already shows his big talent. If you wonder why his discography is that short: He originally performed under his birth name, Cory Marquardt. Thus, naming this album a “debut” is not correct – it is only a debut under his new artist name. One of the most successful tracks of that era is 21.
Cory Marks – Who I Am – Track By Track
The album has 13 tracks and lasts 44 minutes.
1. Devil’s Grin
Yeehaw! The album starts with power. Devil’s Grin is definitely having quite a big country music touch, but it is rocking hard as well. Cool music!
2. Outlaws & Outsiders feat. Travis Tritt, Ivan Moody & Mick Mars
7.8 million streams on Spotify (9m views on YouTube) only at the time of writing – this track is definitely exceptional on this album – hard to find artists who have stats like this on an album they sell as a “debut”. Outlaws & Outsiders is definitely more on the rock side, but you still feel a good bit of country touch in it. Should I stomp with my boots or bang my head? Just do both, I suggest!
3. Good To Be Us
It’s good, it’s good, it’s good to be us
In our little corner of the universe
We’re a hot smoke buzz and main street lights
We’re Jack and Diane on a Saturday night
Tonight we’re boys chasin’ girls
Tonight we’re at the top of the world
We’re high beam wild and hell yeah
Holdin’ ’em up, it’s good to be us
The stately rhythm and sound as well as the lyrics move the album back towards country tunes. Very catchy and straight music. Impressive.
4. Blame It On The Double
I am writing this review while sitting in the train. I just cannot control myself. I need to move to the music. Let the people just think I am a madman (they are not that wrong anyway). Another great song on this album. I just have to do what I am doing.
5. Another Night In Jail
Rockers are great in ballads – even if they don’t want to be. Does this also apply for country rockers? This track is a mixture of very soft and intimate moments and these times, where you just have to grab the electric guitar and rock it. I prefer the second part.
6. Who I Am
The thought of you leaving still tears me up inside
You ripped me from my soul and stripped me of my pride
I may be hurt sometimes I cry misery and gin
But I damn sure know who I am
I damn sure know who I am
So, here we are, the title track. It is a cool song, but some of the songs before felt so fantastic, you just tend to underrate Who I Am.
The sound of Drive just feels very close to some of the songs before. It is a solid to good country rock track, but I do not really see where it is adding additional value, character to the album. Kind of sad. Hope that there are some new aspects of his music in the following songs.
8. Better Off
I would not state that Better Off is something like a revolution on the Who I Am album – but the track itself is that strong that it feels like a wake-up call to me… Just when I started to get bored slightly.
9. My Whiskey, Your Wine
You tell me you love me
But where are you now
I wanna believe somehow
Wherever you are
I hope that you’re fine
I’ll be here drinking
My whiskey and your wine
Combines alcohol with a lot of emotions – so it is a typical country song, I guess 🙂 I love to listen to Cory Marks in these softer tunes definitely. Every good musician should do some good ballads, I feel.
10. Keep Doing What I Do
This one has power, it is dark – definitely ingredients for a good song. Cory Marks does a great job here again. Good to see that there are better differences between the songs
11. Out In The Rain feat. Lzzy Hale
Another ballad. The duet with Lzzy Hale is definitely one of the highlights of the album (at least for people like me). The power of Cory Marks perfectly fits to the scratchy sound of Lzzy Hale’s singing. I would definitely love to have more songs of them in the future. Could be cool – also on the country rock side.
12. She’s Hollywood
She’s Hollywood is a great guitar sing-a-long, which may work out during a country as well as a rock festival. That’s just the best about Cory Marks: he not that much country that rock fans will hate him – and he is pushing the guitars not that hard that country fans flee when he is on stage. Well done song.
13. My Whiskey, Your Wine (Acoustic)
After the original track was already quite a soft one, I was quite curious about this final song, the acoustic version of My Whiskey, Your Wine. It works with an acoustic guitar only as well, but I feel, the music and the story / the vocals work much better in track 9. Sorry.
Cory Marks – Who I Am – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to Who I Am:
Cory Marks – Who I Am – My View
Cory Marks is in between the world of country and the world of rock. The album is to me definitely more country than rock – I would rather feel to have some more trips to the harder side of guitar play. Overall, the album is a great statement of the great taletn of the artist. It tends to feel quite monotonous in some parts – luckily, the end of the album, which features very different songs, turns this down a bit. I feel he can do better – maybe even much better. Who I Am is like a second start to him. I am curious how he will develop until the next album.
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