Album Review :
Corey Crowder - Gold and the Sand

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Artist: Corey Crowder

Album: Gold and the Sand

Label: Tooth and Nail

Release Date: 11/11/2008

Reviewer: Tyler Hess

Track Listing

1. Southern Way

2. Love

3. Look How Far We’ve Come

4. Higher Ground

5. Leaving You

6. Helpless Heart

7. Innocence

8. Changes

9. Devils

10. Slow Down

11. I’ve Become Something

12. Lonesome Road

Circles. Waves. Roller coasters. What do they all have in common with the music industry? They are all constantly changing only to end up pretty much where they were before. Corey Crowder seems to do both for Tooth and Nail, as he showcases the label’s ability to diversify from what was a pop-punk extravaganza to a plethora of bands willing to all go in different directions, yet with a similar purpose in mind. Corey Crowder blends southern acoustic guitar rock with hints of jazz and folk/country music that shows that Ruth’s Anorak last month isn’t a one time deal, but that there are so many types of music out there to enjoy that it is about time some of us give something else a try. This album could have really fit in well about fifteen or twenty years ago, with guys like Tom Petty, Eric Clapton or maybe even the Eagles. That is not a terrible era for music, though I doubt Corey Crowder will be playing the halftime show at the Super Bowl in twenty years, it isn’t bad company to be in.

Gold and the Sand Starts off with two of the better songs, with the catchy melodies of “Southern Way” and “Love”, which brings me to what I like best about the album. The songs are a little bit catchy. What I mean by “a little bit” is that they aren’t the kind of hooks that are going to make them hugely popular, but they also aren’t going to get annoying after a few playbacks either. This album gets better over time simply because they never get sickening to listen to. To put it simply, it grows on you, like that friend who maybe isn’t as popular, isn’t disliked, just kind of around enough that when you get to know them they’re good to have around. When we get to slower songs like “Leaving You”, “Helpless Heart” and “Slow Down” it is a little too easy to get distracted and just not really pay much attention to, but they’re not really bad, they just don’t captivate as well as they should. The only real problems I had with the album are the upbeat ones, surprisingly since I usually like fast and furious, as “Devils” and “Lonesome Road” just seem a bit too square-dance hokey, but maybe it is my bitterness from that third grade play where I had to be a dancer instead of having the cool lines, as we went through the history of Oregon.

Spiritually, the songs tend to be a bit vague, probably going unnoticed by unbelievers and only slightly picked up by the rest of us, but I would point to the song “Innocence” as the highlight of the album both spiritually and musically.

Score: 7.5/10