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Album Review

Corey Taylor – ‘CMF2’ [Album Review]

On ‘CMF2,’ Corey Taylor does what he wants, when he wants and how he wants. See what we thought of the end result of the new record here…



Corey Taylor ‘CMF2’ album artwork

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who does not know the name Slipknot, regardless of whether they were a fan of the genre or not. Since they erupted onto the scene with their self-titled record in 1999, the band has gone on to become one of the most influential groups of a generation by pushing the boundaries of their respective style of metal with each subsequent release. Still, Slipknot were grounded in metal, and aside from the occasional digression, this is where they stayed and what the fans wanted.

For a musician as diverse as Corey Taylor, this appeared to be stifling, and he went on to form Stone Sour, a group a little less intense and focused more on rock. It appears, though, that Taylor still found this constraining, and in 2020, he released his debut solo album titled CMFT.

This marked the moment Taylor became unshackled; he could do what he wanted, how he wanted, and he did just that, tapping into genres like punk, glam and even a touch of hip-hop for good measure. You can read my full thoughts on CMFT right here. Whilst this may sound chaotic, it was a masterpiece, lightning in a bottle and was a record that cemented him as one of rock’s all-time greats. Three years later, Taylor has followed up with the aptly titled CMF2, and without beating around the bush too much, he has done it again!

CMF2 kicks off with the slow-paced intro of the record “The Box.” This style of intro is the sort other groups have adopted over the years: a song that frames the record and hints at the themes involved. Taylor himself even directly addresses the listener, stating, “Enjoy the show.” The statement has an air of sincerity to it, as if he genuinely means it. The record then kicks up a gear with “Post Traumatic Blues,” a song that feels designed to draw in the die-hard Slipknot fans. Taylor goes hard and heavy with his vocals whilst being backed up by a heavy rock n’ roll style tune and one hell of an ’80s-inspired guitar riff that ties the whole tune together. The ’80s theme continues with “Talk Sick,” this time Taylor dialling back his roaring Slipknot-style vocals a bit more to something akin to that of Stone Sour. Both tunes are instant crowd-pleasers and really denote Taylor’s influences.

The most unexpected departure from what Taylor is known for comes in the form of “Breath of Fresh Smoke,” a tune that would not be out of place at a country music festival with the strum of an acoustic guitar accompanying Taylor’s more subdued vocals. Pause for thought on this: Taylor Swift started out signing country. Can you imagine the Taylor and Taylor tour? What would fans on both sides of the divide think?

There is a lot of variety on display, ranging from the more intensive tunes such as “All I Want is Hate,” which also incorporates some weirdness for good measure, to the slower-paced acoustic ballads such as “Sorry Me” as well as the good old and ever pleasing heavy rock of “Punchline” that contains hints of metal and ’80s stadium rock.

Honestly, there isn’t actually a bad track on display here, and Taylor clearly has a keen eye for quality control, ensuring that he has, once again, demonstrated his contributions to music is not one note. It is varied, thought-provoking and dares to throw in the unexpected, challenging listeners’ perception of who he is as an artist. Taylor has built a legacy, and if he stays true to his path, he will still be remembered when others have faded to memory.

CMF2 Track Listing:

1. The Box
2. Post Traumatic Blues
3. Talk Sick
4. Breath of Fresh Smoke
5. Beyond
6. We are the Rest
7. Midnight
8. Starmate
9. Sorry Me
10. Punchline
11. Someday I’ll Change Your Mind
12. All I Want is Hate
13. Dead Flies

Run Time: 52:54
Release Date: September 15, 2023
Record Label: BMG