Corey Kent, Blacktop Review
by John Gaddis
Blacktop is country music artist Corey Kent’s culmination of 15 years of hard work honing his singing and songwriting craft. The album is aplomb with Kent’s unique blend of rock-infused country, heartland values, and red dirt grit, and it has ignited a new era in his musical journey.
Blacktop is an album that plays like a road trip through the heart of America, each song a chapter, telling stories of love, loss, and hard-won triumphs. The opening track, “Wild as Her,” sets the tone – a heady combination of pulsating rhythms and soaring vocals that made its way to the top five on the country charts and has garnered over 250 million on-demand streams. This track resonates with an irresistible charm that’s as untamed and captivating as its namesake.
The album’s writing credits boast a lineup of industry heavyweights like Morgan Wallen, Ryan Hurd, and Kelly Archer, contributing to the collection’s depth and nuance. One of the standout tracks, “Something’s Gonna Kill Me,” is a poignant anthem about risk-taking and embracing life’s highs and lows. This song, written by Kent himself, strikes a chord with anyone who understands that life’s greatest moments often come hand-in-hand with its greatest risks.
The album closes with “Once or Twice,” a track that perfectly captures the spirit of the collection – the feeling of driving down the open road, the sun setting in the rear-view mirror, chasing the promise of new beginnings.
The production, helmed by Jay Joyce and Chris Farren, shines throughout, focusing on Kent’s compelling vocals while infusing each track with a unique, invigorating energy of contemporary country. From the heartfelt ballad “Man of the House” to the rousing “Hood of That Car,” the album is full of high-octane heartland anthems perfect for both intimate listening sessions and raucous arena shows.
Kent’s years on the road, performing over 100 shows in 2021 alone, have shaped his music, filling Blacktop with authenticity and raw emotion. Like its creator, this record thrives at the crossroads of rock and country, resulting in an album that is both undeniably true to its roots and refreshingly modern.
Blacktop positions Kent as one of the breakout artists of our time and showcases a country singer who is not afraid to take risks, whether it be in life or in music. It’s a celebration of the freedom and fearlessness that defines him as a musician and a person. This is the kind of album that makes you fall in love with country music all over again.
A deserving nominee for AIMP Rising Artist-Writer of the Year, Corey Kent’s Blacktop is a journey that takes you down the winding highways of life’s poignant narratives. It has a bold, adventurous spirit, and yet is imbued with a homespun sincerity that tugs at the heartstrings. It is the manifestation of the raw grit, sweeping grandeur, and warm intimacy that embodies the spirit of modern country music. The sonic landscapes it paints are as diverse and expansive as America itself – from the bustling cities, through the heartland fields, to the enchanting blacktops that connect us all.