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Cory Wong’s Wong’s Café

 -  -  11


MISHAWAKA—Like most of his albums, Cory Wong’s release of Jan. 7 is strictly instrumental. Fans of Cory Wong and Vulfpeck were initially confused about who was going to release this album. For the past few years, the band Vulfpeck, in which Cory Wong is a major collaborator, has released an album per year. Many of the songs on this album were also released on the Vulfpeck YouTube channel, Vulf. But it was confirmed toward the end of the year of 2021 that this album was part of an album series where Vulf Records releases a limited collection of vinyls containing songs major collaborators have written. This collection is called “Vulf Vault,” and this release is the fifth of seven Vulf Vault Vinyl recordings in store. The others in the Vulf Vault are called “Antwaun Stanley,” “Inside the Mind of Woody Goss,” “Theo!,” and “Dart.”

But the interesting thing about this album is the novelty of the songs. Many of the other collections contained songs already released on existing records. This album is almost all new music. “Radio Shack” is the only one that has been released previously, but this version is new to the fans of Vulfpeck.

Cory Wong: this man is a prolific song writer, releasing six albums in 2020 and three albums in 2021. Former works have included a Grammy nominated album called Meditations with Jon Batiste.

Now for the song analyses:

Smokeshow- This contains an alto saxophone low in its register, making for a breathy and smooth tone, which exemplifies the name of the song perfectly.

Disco De Lune- The piano and bass play a bassline that deals in octaves bouncing up and down, stylizing this track as remarkably funky. 

You Got to Be You- With a repeated opening lick, it sets up a chord progression, which comes back in full swing for every A section.

Let’s Go- This is my favorite track on the record. The guitar tone from the beginning sets it up to be a song that slaps someone into high gear. It definitely helped me when I was driving through the Wisconsin Dells at night. Another cool part of the song is the octaves that ring out on every beat with the strings. 

Memories- The guitar stacks make this track highly unique with funky harmonies and syncopated rhythms.

Sweet Potato Pie- This track feels like it belongs on a Toy Story soundtrack—and I mean that as a compliment. It brings me back to some kind of childhood, though probably not mine.

Radio Shack (Wong’s Cafe Version)- This feels like it was put through a filter; it sounds as though someone put the sepia picture filter on the original song. There seems to be some sort of saturation effect put on the song, but I could wrong.

Out in the Sun (feat. Eddie Barbash)- This song goes from funky to reflective within each section.

Guitar Music- There are two guitars which play together, but with different emphases on where to play. This causes them to become out of phase with each other, creating a cool rhythmic effect.

Kitchen Etude- Keyboard pads play underneath this wonderful and succinct melody played on a guitar while miscellaneous kitchen sounds happen in the background. 

At 29 minutes long, this album comes short of traditional album length by one minute, but it does have 10 songs. Overall, I would have appreciated a little more meat in the B-section, regarding full songs, but it is a B-section for a reason; all the hits are on the other side. This is not to mean any disrespect to the songs on this side. Eddie Barbash hits it out of the park with his feature on “Out in the Sun.” “Guitar Music” and “Kitchen Etude” feel grounded in real life, playing guitar in the kitchen with all the chaos surrounding it. 

Again, this album, as with every Cory Wong album, provides the audience with instrumental music, which never gets old. For breakdowns of Memories and Smokeshow by the artist himself, visit the YouTube videos, ON THE ONE! // “Memories and ON THE ONE! // “Smokeshow”.

MISHAWAKA—Like most of his albums, Cory Wong’s release of Jan. 7 is strictly instrumental. Fans of Cory Wong and Vulfpeck were initially confused about who was going to release this album. For the past few years, the band Vulfpeck, in which Cory Wong is a major collaborator, has released an album per year. Many of the songs on this album were also released on the Vulfpeck YouTube channel, Vulf. But it was confirmed toward the end of the year of 2021 that this album was part of an album series where Vulf Records releases a limited collection of vinyls containing songs major collaborators have written. This collection is called “Vulf Vault,” and this release is the fifth of seven Vulf Vault Vinyl recordings in store. The others in the Vulf Vault are called “Antwaun Stanley,” “Inside the Mind of Woody Goss,” “Theo!,” and “Dart.”

But the interesting thing about this album is the novelty of the songs. Many of the other collections contained songs already released on existing records. This album is almost all new music. “Radio Shack” is the only one that has been released previously, but this version is new to the fans of Vulfpeck.

Cory Wong: this man is a prolific song writer, releasing six albums in 2020 and three albums in 2021. Former works have included a Grammy nominated album called Meditations with Jon Batiste.

Cory Wong's Wong's Cafe Photo credit Unsplash

Now for the song analyses:

Smokeshow- This contains an alto saxophone low in its register, making for a breathy and smooth tone, which exemplifies the name of song perfectly.

Disco De Lune- The piano and bass play a bassline that deals in octaves bouncing up and down, stylizing this track as remarkably funky. 

You Got to Be You- With a repeated opening lick, it sets up a chord progression, which comes back in full swing for every A section.

Let’s Go- This is my favorite track on the record. The guitar tone from the beginning sets it up to be a song that slaps someone into high gear. It definitely helped me when I was driving through the Wisconsin Dells at night. Another cool part of the song is the octaves that ring out on every beat with the strings. 

Memories- The guitar stacks make this track highly unique with funky harmonies and syncopated rhythms.

Sweet Potato Pie- This track feels like it belongs on a Toy Story soundtrack—and I mean that as a compliment. It brings me back to some kind of childhood, though probably not mine.

Radio Shack (Wong’s Cafe Version)- This feels like it was put through a filter; it sounds as though someone put the sepia picture filter on the original song. There seems to be some sort of saturation effect put on the song, but I could wrong.

Out in the Sun (feat. Eddie Barbash)- This song goes from funky to reflective within each section.

Guitar Music- There are two guitars which play together, but with different emphases on where to play. This causes them to become out of phase with each other, creating a cool rhythmic effect.

Kitchen Etude- Keyboard pads play underneath this wonderful and succinct melody played on a guitar while miscellaneous kitchen sounds happen in the background. 

At 29 minutes long, this album comes short of traditional album length by one minute, but it does have 10 songs. Overall, I would have appreciated a little more meat in the B-section, regarding full songs, but it is a B-section for a reason; all the hits are on the other side. This is not to mean any disrespect to the songs on this side. Eddie Barbash hits it out of the park with his feature on “Out in the Sun.” “Guitar Music” and “Kitchen Etude” feel grounded in real life, playing guitar in the kitchen with all the chaos surrounding it. 

Again, this album, as with every Cory Wong album, provides the audience with instrumental music, which never gets old. For breakdowns of Memories and Smokeshow by the artist himself, visit the YouTube videos, ON THE ONE! // “Memories and ON THE ONE! // “Smokeshow”.

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