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Simply CMC: A Music Review of Artist Cory Mervin Coons
Every singer songwriter goes through phases of wondering whether the struggle and the sacrifice necessary to make a career out of music is worth the rewards of the work. For true singers, the struggle is insistent but not quite as insistent as the persistent internal need to make music. There is something within the heart of those singers which compels the music to keep coming despite any challenges the singer may face. Cory Mervin Coons (CMC) is a shining example of a true singer.
Coons began his singing life in his small Canadian hometown, branching out as he grew musically. His singing career spans more than fifteen years, during which time he has had numerous musical success, but he has never strayed far from the simplicity of his roots. His lyrics exemplify this, as he sings with a simple nostalgia commemorating a time gone by, a time when simple ideals were enough to satisfy the desires of individual men.
For example, in “Crumbs ”, CMC sings about a father who works “all day into the night” and a mother who “puts the kids to bed” in a town where “there’s a mornin’ dew out in the fields” and “you can smell the pancakes on the grill” in a time when “you won’t find a lock on my front door”. This possibly idealized vision of life is matched with a similar idealized appreciation of love, which is exhibited in “Unanswered ”. This love song is a blend of country and rock melodies that says that “Love’s the silent laughter that rings in your head … And true love is still the answer, in your unanswered prayer”.
Though he sings about such simple country ideals, Coons does not come across as naïve. In fact, he uses the strength of his ideals to support actual change in the world. For example, “Crumbs” was used to help market the Alesse birth control pill, showing that he is not going to shy away from harsh truths despite his hopeful ideals. Similarly, he speaks simply in “Faded Glory” about the uneasy truth that “With war and hate among us / There’s a cry for love and peace”. This Canadian may be singing about modern American political issues, but it is almost as if he is speaking simple truths about the state of any society at any rough time in their history. It is almost as though he is timeless.
This sense of timelessness extends to the sound of the music as well. CMC says that his musical influences include the older songs of Elvis Presley and the relatively newer songs of bands like Bon Jovi. In “Crumbs”, there is a hint of old Aerosmith in the sound of his voice. What rings through all of this music is the sense that these are merely influences affecting his style and not bands that he actually sounds like or makes any attempt to imitate. It seems that he is a singer who knows the solid core of his own sound but isn’t afraid to experiment a little bit here and there to see if another style might augment his own.
Coons has multiple albums to his name (CMC, Cory Mervin Coons). The most recent of these is a 2010 release called Retrospective. It features a new track along with older and unreleased music. Someone who is new to his music would get a great education about his simple style from this CD.