The Austin Chronicle

ACL Music Festival Reviews

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, September 23, 2005, Music

Cory Morrow

Nothing Left to Hide (Write On)

In the ever-burgeoning Texas music scene, Cory Morrow is a superstar. But like the rest of his ilk, Morrow's music, as evidenced by Nothing Left to Hide, remains routine, and his songs retain that cookie-cutter feel. We've heard this before, with different lyrics perhaps, but the emotions and grooves are strictly by the numbers. Morrow doesn't have anything new to say, and there's nothing original about the way he's saying it. This is especially unconvincing when similar artists like Radney Foster and Jack Ingram have taken the genre to places that are relatively distinctive and refreshing. On Nothing Left to Hide, Morrow claims to be a changed man, his run-in with the law earlier this year serving as a pivot point in his life. But there's little if any real growth from his past work. It's true, he's more concerned with feelings than he has been in the past, but he barely gives the listener a real reason to care. The title track is one exception, where Morrow seems to dig deep and, as he puts it, "gamble with my heart." With a guitar glimmering in the background, it's startlingly authentic; more of such moments would take Morrow to the next level he's trying to reach. (Saturday, 12:30pm, SBC stage)


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