Corey Taylor’s latest album, CMF2, exemplifies his remarkable ability to transcend musical boundaries, firmly establishing himself as a standard-bearer in both hard rock and metal. While his prior solo effort, CMFT, leaned more towards hard rock, CMF2 sees Corey Taylor rekindling his metal roots, delivering an album that meets the expectations of one of metal’s most iconic frontmen.
‘CMF2’ emerges as a significantly weightier release, with a keen focus on crafting polished anthems tailored for arena-sized audiences. The album commences with ‘The Box,’ featuring a surprising country-infused intro that promptly transforms into an adrenaline-charged assault of relentless riffs and anthemic choruses.
‘Post Traumatic Blues’ provides a glimpse of Corey’s ferocious vocals, reminiscent of what fans have come to adore. Christian Martucci and Zach Throne don’t hold back, showcasing blistering guitar work that might leave you pondering, “Is this what Slipknot would sound like with Slash on lead guitar?” For fans of the first record, the subsequent track, ‘Talk Sick,’ has your back with its clap tracks, catchy riffs, and a massive sing-along chorus destined to ignite live performances.
Amidst the exhilarating journey of the first three tracks, the album takes a moment to slow down with the almost bluesy ‘Breath of Fresh Smoke,’ once again highlighting Corey’s ability to adapt seamlessly to different musical styles while maintaining a sense of freshness and authenticity.
Although the album explores various styles, it remains fundamentally a pop-rock album, exemplified by personal favorite, the infectious ‘Beyond.’ This standout track underscores Corey Taylor’s versatility, blending melodic singing with impactful screams, reminiscent of his earlier work with Stone Sour. Meanwhile, ‘We Are The Rest,’ a pop-punk anthem with a hair metal-like guitar solo, adds an unexpected twist.
‘Midnight’ brings things down a notch with a beautiful string arrangement beneath Corey’s haunting vocals, building to an explosive climax with a fantastic guitar solo, making it one of the album’s hidden gems.
‘Starmate’ maintains the energy with a catchy chorus, while ‘Sorry Me’ is a purely acoustic outing that places Corey’s vocals in the spotlight. ‘Punchline’ picks up the pace again, offering a hard rock classic with a touch of Stone Sour vibes and bluesy grooves. ‘Someday I’ll Change Your Mind’ stands out as a feel-good driving track that gradually builds to a spectacular finish, practically begging for a music video.
For those yearning for Corey’s heavier side, ‘All I Want Is Hate’ delivers a treat, starting with unsettling, twisted guitar sounds before Corey plunges you into the heaviest track on the album, complete with vocals more suited for a Slipknot song.
‘Dead Flies,’ a six-minute-plus offering, caters to Stone Sour fans, encapsulating elements from throughout the album and serving as a fitting choice to conclude the record.
‘CMF2’ represents a step in the right direction for Corey, building upon the foundation of its predecessor and refining its core sound into something uniquely forceful and exhilarating. Corey Taylor and his band have delivered a compelling follow-up to ‘CMFT’ that feels fresh while showcasing his ability to explore diverse musical realms, all while remaining true to his rock and metal roots. As for the final verdict: a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
Corey Taylor: Facebook
Release Year: 2023
Label: Decibel Cooper / BMG
Reviewed by Jai ‘Jaimunji’ Setright