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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Cory Linden

Based on a True Story

Review by Gary Hill

There is something to be said for pacing and laying out a set with the best material opening and closing. That’s something Cory Linden has accomplished here. His blend of classic soft rock and modern alternative rock is quite compelling. Linden shows a desire to bring in other sounds here and there for variety. His voice is quite smooth. He’s a great singer and the songs are all well written. This is quite a strong release.

Overall, it’s hard to imagine any listener for whom this disc would hold no treasures. It’s a very strong and accessible release. The vocals are top-notch, but so is the songwriting. The instrumental performances are also great and it’s produced for a nice clean, but not overly sterile sound. All in all, this one lands in the ‘win” column any day.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Hold On (To Whatcha Got)

Linden opens the set with a nearly perfect song. It’s a mid-tempo piece with a real classic rock vibe to it. This is great stuff. The vocals are perfect and there’s some excellent guitar work. It’s hard to picture a song much better than this one. If the whole disc were this good, it would be one of the best albums of the year. There’s a bit of a soulful bluesy vibe to this tune at times, but overall it’s a pop rock with a real classic sound.

This opens with some decidedly bluesy guitar. As the vocals join there’s a bit of a gospel vibe. The cut works out from there with a real retro sound. It feels a lot like 1950s music.
The Football Song
Starting with a phone ringing, “The Football Song” seems quite tongue-in-cheek. It’s got an old time country music sound to it. It’s fun and funny.
If You’d Dance With Me

There is a little bit of an Island vibe to “If You'd Dance with Me,” but overall it calls to mind something from Van Morrison, perhaps the most. That said, there are some surf music elements to this, along with some Spanish guitar.

Love You to the Moon

A child’s laughter opens this. Then acoustic guitar joins and Linden takes the listener on another soft rock journey. This is a classic sounding tune that has lots of class. It’s well-written and well performed with a sweet lyrical message.

Don’t Forget to Say Goodbye

With a title like “Don't Forget to Say Goodbye” one might expect a sad ballad. That’s not what Linden delivers, though. Instead it’s an energetic tune cut from the soft rock cloth.  It’s an accessible piece that works quite well. It does include female vocals (with a bit of a country edge) for a duet.

Will U Still Be Loving Me
This opens with an acoustic guitar. The first line of the song is the title of the album. The tune is built on an energetic alternative rock sound that’s quite nice. There is a bit of a warble in the delivery of the vocals here. That sound is something that probably will turn some listeners away. That said, the cut is one of the best here if one looks beyond that. It’s got some great hooks and performances.
It's a New Day
Island percussion opens this, but saxophone quickly changes that concept. It’s an energetic and catchy tune with a real jazzy vibe.
Been Here and Gone
This piece is energetic, but perhaps not as accessible as some of the other music here. It’s still quite good, though. It’s just not up to the standards set by some of the other stuff. It also suffers a bit from a bit of sameness.
Hold It Together
The closing song is “Hold It Together.” Linden did a great job of assembling the songs well because the opener and this one are the two best pieces here. Those are the prime spots for the strong material on an album. The final tune is a ballad with some great performances and emotion. Some strings add a lot to the arrangement, too. The closing section gets quite lush and intense and turns towards symphonic rock.
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