Corinne Cook’s newest studio release Yes I Can promises, based on title alone, an affirmative and deeply felt effort. She delivers in spades. The opener “Last Thing to Go” is a song from the “two can play at that game” school of relationship songs and the glorious kiss-off quality of the track is perfect for its blues rock setting complete with raucous harmonica. There’s plenty of attitude coming through in the song “One Box of Tissues” despite beginning life as an apparent piano and vocal driven ballad. It soon ditches that approach in favor of a rollicking mid-tempo saunter and Cook digs into the song, responding with a lightly boisterous, invigorating vocal. She rips into this track’s lyrics with the same delicious relish she reserved for the first track and the strong country rock pedigree of the music pairs up well with her voice.
We’re sent into more thoughtful, meditative territory with the title song. The verses build patiently and transitions well into the song’s lightly rousing chorus. The obvious care Cook takes with getting her vocal just right, embodying the song’s emotional tone, makes this an even more rewarding listening experience. Elegance is the abiding watchword guiding the development of “Trying Not To Die” and the inclusion of lyrical violin, in particular, gives the song a stately quality it might have otherwise lacked to such a degree. Cook’s vocal for “Trying Not To Die” may be among her finest vocals so far over the course of three albums and provides her an opportunity for a real showstopper as a live number. Yes I Can’s songs will transfer easily to the stage because they are audibly built with that in mind. “Devil’s Heaven” further rocks up the country rock sound we heard with the earlier “One Box of Tissues” and has an especially emphatic chorus that rates among the album’s finest moments. The lead guitar is stinging here and brings a lot to the performance.
She moves even closer to full fledged rock with the song “Mr. Mechanic”, a lovely and ultimately playful tribute to Cook’s husband, The nervy guitar playing is never too abrasive, but there’s crackling energy coming off this arrangement that helps make this song one of Yes I Can’s liveliest tunes. The slowly evolving delicacy of the album’s final two songs “Seven White Stars” and “Those Few Dreams” are the heights of the Yes I Can’s deep feeling songwriting perspective and has melodic strengths unequaled by even the earlier “Trying Not To Die” and cast in distinctly brighter colors than before. The second of the two songs, “Those Few Dreams”, closes the album on a dispirited note in some respects, but there’s ultimately a redemptive touch to the song that tempers its melancholy.
Corinne Cook has transformed her life experiences into musical art that’s signature, emotionally responsive, and capable of transporting listeners to an alternate world. Her third studio album likely rates as her best effort yet, certainly her most fully realized, and she’s exponentially improved each time out while still showing no signs of approaching or reaching her peak with this release. There are even greater triumphs to come and her new album points the way in their direction.
YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/corinnecookmusic
Clay Burton approved by Sebastian Cole