Corey Kent | Blacktop Review
by Griff Stevens
Let’s take a ride down Corey Kent’s Blacktop, an audacious album that plants a boot firmly on the gas pedal of country music, pushing the genre into invigorating new territory. Here, Kent proves he’s more than just another cowboy singing about backroads and love lost – he’s a genuine, evolving artist with a rock-n-roll spirit and a lyrical prowess that makes each track an adventure.
Blacktop is a vibrant mosaic of Kent’s life experiences, talent, and the rock-infused country roots that ground his sound. Produced by Jay Joyce and Chris Farren, the record features 10 well-crafted tracks, each bearing the fingerprints of a variety of accomplished songwriters, including Morgan Wallen, Ryan Hurd, Kelly Archer, and Lydia Vaughan. Yet, Kent’s storytelling ability makes the album resonate, his lyrics weaving tales of risk-taking, victories, and poignant reflections on life’s simple pleasures.
The album kicks off with the platinum RIAA-certified single “Wild As Her,” a high-energy, freewheeling track that rocketed Kent to stardom with a Billboard Hot 100 entry and a place in the Top 5 on country radio. With its infectious rhythm and raw lyrics, it serves as a great introduction to the album’s overall character.
The tracks that follow traverse a spectrum of emotions and life experiences. “Long Story Short” showcases Kent’s talent for reflecting on the ups and downs of life, while “Something’s Gonna Kill Me” offers a potent commentary on risk and reward. It’s a powerful anthem that embraces the adrenaline rush of living on the edge, a song that finds beauty in acknowledging life’s inherent fragility.
“Man of the House” and “Gone as You” highlight Kent’s nuanced approach to country music, blending traditional sounds with modern storytelling. The tracks are evocative and rich, threading emotion through each verse and chorus.
With “BiC Flame” and “Call It a Night,” Kent shows off his unique take on the genre with a blend of rock, country, and a touch of soul. These tracks showcase a versatility that goes beyond the traditional country narrative, presenting an artist unafraid to cross genre lines.
“How You Know You Made It” and “Hood of That Car” are songs of celebration and reflection. They carry a message of success and gratitude, making them stand out moments in the album. “Once or Twice” then wraps up the album on a high note, showcasing the depth and range of Kent’s songwriting capabilities.
Blacktop reflects Kent’s growth as a singer and songwriter. His command over the storytelling in his writing and singing is evolving, and that makes country music so captivating. It captures the spirit of the genre while representing Kent’s ability to innovate and take risks. This third album is a collection of songs for an open road journey through the heartland of contemporary country music, led by a bandana-wearing rock ‘n’ roll spirit with a clear vision of where he’s heading.
All said, Corey Kent’s Blacktop is a compelling record that showcases an artist who is not only aware of his roots but also unafraid to venture onto new paths. Blacktop is a modern country album exploring the open road, and one can only anticipate where it will lead Kent next.
Release Date: June 2, 2023
Label: Sony Music Entertainment