Friday, December 11, 2009

Cory Chisel: Suprised, Not Surprised

I know, I know--I should be doing Christmas-y things. But see I have all this music I have been listening to and then College Roomy sent me ten new discs--ten!!! So I am in danger of drowning in new music, which is fine except that what gets lost is any sense of what I wanted to say about different discs/artists, so I have got to get some of it out. So let's talk Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons for a little bit, shall we?

The new album, Death Won't Send a Letter which came out earlier this fall is the band's first major label release which follows the well-received EP release Cabin Ghosts, which we discussed back in The Room. Chisel is new enough on the scene, but I was surprised not to see more reaction, if not attention to this effort--not because it is earth-shattering, but it is a very solid album and Chisel seems like one of those dudes who might just be around a while (although it is hard to see).

However, when I did read through other reviews such as this one over at Consequence of Sound, I wasn't surprised to see discussion of Dylan, Springsteen and Petty--all names that came to mind as I listened to this disc. Not because he is any of one these guys (calm down ya'll), but because the influences seem to resonate through the disc at different moments--and that was, well, a surprise. After Cabin Ghosts, I was expecting a bit more of an acoustic album and here we have more of a rocker album--I'm not talking metallic, but rocking nonetheless (due, in part to some help from various Raconteurs). That isn't to say there aren't some acoustic-oriented or quieter songs--there are. But the album as a whole is really a blues-based rock album with folk and pop tendencies. And Chisel's voice--which really is the highlight--is very well suited.

It isn't beautiful and he isn't showing off some amazing range--but it is sincere and straightforward--gravelly and growly at times, soft and sweet others. I surely said this before but he really reminds me of Marc Cohn vocally. All of which makes me wish that we had caught their show when they were in town this week, but alas, that just was not to be this week.

Okay, so I really have to get back to the holidays, so here are the samples. First up is the video for "Born Again" which opens up the album, followed by two bluesy tunes that appear back to back in the middle of the album--and by the way can I say that I really like discs that have a strong set of songs in the middle of the disc and this one does.

My Heart Would Be There
Curious Thing

And if you are digging it, you should go Buy the Album!

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