Texas singer/songwriter Cory Morrow's fifth album, released on his own Austin-based label, is a diverse package loaded with insightful lyrics and plenty of hooks.

Texas singer/songwriter Cory Morrow's fifth album, released on his own Austin-based label, is a diverse package loaded with insightful lyrics and plenty of hooks. Morrow owns a classic country tenor at times reminiscent of fellow Texan Rodney Crowell. The title cut is a swinging, riff-heavy boogie, but cuts like "(Love Me) Like You Used to Do" and the alternately gentle and edgy "Take Me Away" are more acoustic, understated affairs. "More Than Perfect" is a pleasing Celtic-flavored stomp, and "Straight to Hell" is an aggressive and well-written Americana-styled self-fulfilling prophesy. "Drinkin' Alone" is a shuffling, honest, "what-the-hell" drinker's treatise; "Dance by the Rio Grande" is classic Tex-Mex; and "Misty Shade of Blue" is pure cowboy funk. A cover of the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil" is faithful to the original and a surprisingly nice fit, and "Better Than Being in Love With You" taps into a Willie vibe. The set's closer, "Sunday Driving," is a nifty instrumental with atmospheric steel and punchy fiddles and guitars. Indeed, production and picking are top-notch throughout, and Morrow takes a big step forward as both songwriter and singer. Racked by Southwest Wholesale.—RW

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