Category: Music Reviews

Happy 30th Birthday MTV

Happy 30th Birthday MTV

30 years ago today, on August 1, 1981 – MTV made it’s debut on the country’s cable systems.  It was destined to change the face of popular music.  I was a spry ten years old at the time and had the fortune to spend the entirety of my musically formative years as part of the first MTV generation.  I don’t watch much MTV these days (have segued as so many others into the VH1 and/or CMT generation), but it still holds a special place in my life.  So – to celebrate its 30th birthday (just a month after my 40th), I thought I would take a few moments to look back at a few of my favorite MTV memories.

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Review – “The Broken Record” by Corey Smith

Review – “The Broken Record” by Corey Smith

“The Broken Record” represents the next step in the evolution of Corey Smith that began with “Keeping Up with the Joneses”.  Like all of us, Smith has grown; he’s matured both as a person and as an artist.  Here, through a mix of new songs and reimagined tracks from previous albums, we are invited on a tour of the journey from where he started to where he finds himself today. It’s an arc that will generate knowing nods from anyone grappling with a moment of reflection in their life.  It’s also a damn good record.

 

This album has a different sound from much of what Corey has done in the past.  More robust, more polished, and more lush; it’s a record made with an ear towards a broader audience.  It’s not the same Corey Smith you heard on “Undertones” – but it’s still Corey Smith.    It’s that growth that may catch some longtime fans by surprise, and an issue that he addresses head-on with the intro to the album:

 

A man on the edge, I can’t take anymore

Here’s the broken record you’ve been askin’ for.

Over and over, I feel kinda strange,

Nothin’s different here, but everything’s changed…

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Granny

Granny

A few months back, my brother recorded a song he had written about our Granny.  It perfectly captures those trips up to Kentucky when we were kids, and later when we went up to visit her with kids of our own.

“Les Miserables” – 25 Years Young

“Les Miserables” – 25 Years Young

There’s a reason the music of your youth is the music that follows you throughout your life.  When you’re stumbling through the transition from adolescence to adulthood you make strong, immediate connections to things around you.  It’s the reason your first love is always so intense.  It’s the reason you feel invincible when you’re out with your friends.  It’s the foundation that leads to that nostalgic look back at “the good old days” in later years.  Those moments and memories that surround you during that time of your life become an integral part of who you are.  For me, one of those moments was with “Les Miserables”.

I came of musical age during the 80’s – hair metal, the birth of MTV, The King of Pop, and the advent of the “mega” Broadway musical.  For my money (and with no apology to “Phantom of the Opera” fans – I just never liked that show), there was none bigger than “Les Miserables”.  Debuting on Broadway in 1986, it became one of the most successful musicals of all time.

During my senior year in high school, we did a musical review.  The closing number was a medley of songs from “Les Miserables”.  I played the part of Marius.  We defended the barricades, Eponine died in my arms, and everyone dreamed of one day more.  It was the perfect exclamation point to that year and, in many ways, it was a much larger, if more subtle, metaphor for my entire high school experience (but that’s a story for another day).  It made a deep impression on me, and the music from the show would follow me and continue to fill me with wonder for the next 20 plus years.

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Corey Smith, “The Broken Record” Webisodes Part 3 – My Hometown

Corey Smith, “The Broken Record” Webisodes Part 3 – My Hometown

This week it’s time for the third webisode from Corey Smith, promoting his new album, “The Broken Record”. The new installment is called “My Hometown”. Corey talks why he loves living in Jefferson, Ga. and the emotional satisfaction that comes with his kids attending the same elementary school he did. Make sure to grab a copy of his new album “The Broken Record”, available now. My signed collector’s edition showed up today. I’ll be listening to it on the road this weekend and will have a review up next week. Stay tuned!