Cory Morrow

SXSW Records

Cory Morrow

Outside the Lines (Write On) The first impression given off by Cory Morrow's latest release, Outside the Lines, is pleasant singer-songwriter fare. There's nothing to distinguish it, though Morrow's tenor is reminiscent of Paul Kelly without the Australian's superior writing ability. Plus, a sturdy, if not particularly inspired take on the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil" isn't necessarily what you'd expect from an artist that's reportedly heading up the rowdy "Texas Music" movement associated with successful grassroots Texans like Pat Green. After a few more listens, Outside the Lines proves that first impressions don't lie. Morrow and producer Lloyd Maines have made an agreeable-sounding disc that bears no substance underneath its shiny veneer. If they sought to make an album of musical variety, they succeeded. There's the lite-pop of the disc's opening title track, Celtic flavored stomp "More Than Perfect," the generic Tex-Mex "Dance by the Rio Grande," an atmospheric instrumental "Sunday Drivin'," and the almost-hard-rock take of Drivin' n' Cryin's "Straight to Hell." No matter how diverse and amiable Outside the Lines is, however, its lyrics and melodies are laughably generic. Always trust those first impressions. (Friday, March 15, Broken Spoke, 9pm)

**  

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