Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cory Paul Hill - Where We Live

Where We Live is the debut album from Fredericton’s own Cory Paul Hill. According to his bio on his website, Cory considers himself a songwriter first and instrumentalist second. This album proves he has what it takes to succeed at both. He is a strong multi-instrumentalist and an even stronger lyricist. This album features twelve songs of heartache, loss, love and death.

The music falls close to the folk-rock genre, but I hear lots of country influence in his vocals as well. During slow numbers like The Right Time, it reminds me of a Garth Brooks ballad with slow acoustic picking and strong vocals (I can swear I also hear a pedal steel far away in the background). These slow ballads like The Right Time and I Do is where I think Cory excels the most as a songwriter.

But all songs are not this slow and folky: the opening track, Where We Live, has some distorted guitars and drums sounding steering it farther away from folk and closer to rock.

Cory did all the recording himself and did a decent job. The mix is not consistent and I found myself adjusting the volume on my stereo often between tracks. Some songs have his vocals a bit too loud, but others have it damn near perfect. I don’t see any of this as negative, he did a hell of a job doing this by himself, but perhaps with a little bit of guidance he could make this even better.

The only real flaw I found on this album is that he seems to be trying to make some songs catchy using gimmicks. There are a few too many “la de da’s” and “do dee do’s.” My favorite track on the album is I Do, but I personally think it doesn't need those added fillers in the background. Cory has enough talent and skill as a songwriter that the “catchiness” is not required, these songs can hold their own ground.

Where We Live is available for as a CD or digital download at It’s a great first effort from some young local talent. With the right guidance and loads of persistence, I can see Cory going far with his music.

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