It’s hard to think of anyone who has released more music in 2020 than Cory Wong, and his latest record, The Striped Album, marks number eight for the Minneapolis-based guitarist, songwriter, and producer.
The self-produced, 10-track album sees Wong joined by a variety of guests, including The Hornheads, Tom Misch, Joe Satriani, and more. An upbeat and disco-infused “Design” jumpstarts the album, featuring some excellent vocals from Kimbra before The Hornheads join Wong for “Click Bait”. Wong then drops the funk on “Lilypad”, one of only three featureless songs, before Phoebe Katis adds some floaty vocals on another disco-inspired track, “Synchronicity”.
“Smooth Move“, which Wong released as a single last week, might be this writers’ favorite cut from the album. After collaborating on “Cosmic Sans” for Wong’s 2019 album, Motivational Music For The Syncopated Soul, Misch returned to the studio to lay down some seriously poetic lead guitar lines. Switching between a clean tone and a funky envelope filter, Misch carries the track effortlessly along with a driving drum beat, reserved rhythm from Wong, and subtle, lyric-less vocals.
The second half of the album starts with the longest track, “Ellie”, before “The Pinky Harp”, featuring David T. Walker. A heavier bop, “Massive”, follows and features some heavily distorted leads from Satch himself, Joe Satriani. Keys really help to pull this track together, adding to the many layers of this wailer. Finally, “Livin’ It Up” featuring Mr. Talkbox, and “The Boardwalk” close out the album, putting a bow on what might be Wong’s finest work yet.
Listen to the album, in full, below and click here for more listening options.
Cory Wong – The Striped Album
Compounding upon Wong’s busy year, the musician recently launched his own podcast, Wong Notes, with Premier Guitar. In celebration of this latest album, Wong will release a three-episode series detailing the creative and technical process behind the album. Click here for listening options as those episodes become available. Additionally, visit his YouTube page for weekly vlogs.