“TOV” is masterfully crafted from start to finish, and will make you dance, sing, and cry from the beginning to the end.
Cory Stewart has been dropping killer singles one after another, and it was only a matter of time until we were finally served with a full length album! “TOV” is just that. A no-skip, heavy-hitting pop album with a voice and direction unlike any other. Cory paints strong pictures in each song with potent vocals, beautifully stacked harmonies, clever songwriting, and perfectly-matched instrumentals throughout the album.
“What If” is the upbeat opening punch for Cory on TOV. It builds with Cory’s soft vocals into a stronger delivery and unmatchable build-up combined with thoughtful lyrics. We often question ourselves and our intuitions, and sometimes that builds up with anxiety. At the peak of the build up, Cory questions his self-doubt instead, saying “what if it’s meant for me?”
The song fades out and suddenly we’re awoken with distorted bell chimes from a clock. The clock strikes its final notes, and then we’re blessed with Cory’s vocals and an addicting bass line. It’s “Poison (feat. MDL CHLD),” and we completely understand why this was one of Cory’s singles. A classic pop song with a hip-hop verse from MDL CHLD, what more could you ask for? We love this powerhouse song as the second track on TOV. If you haven’t heard this song yet, you’re behind.
Have you ever been to a gay club and heard a house song that you just couldn’t get outta your head for days? This is that song. “Outta My Head” blesses us with a 90s era house instrumental combined with modern production elements, addictive songwriting, and Cory’s compelling voice. I’m certainly going to be adding this song to all my house music playlists.
The follow up to “Outta My Head” has a similar BPM that almost feels like your own heartbeat. This song is personal in more ways than one, but I promise that it won’t be the end of you. “End of Me (feat. Michelle Mondesir)” is a full serve if you’re going through a breakup. Cory’s raw emotions through his lyrics and vocal delivery make this song especially unforgettable if you’re currently in relationship turmoil. Grab your tissues, you’ll be fine, because Cory made this song for you!
“Tu•mul•tu•ous Situation” is an interlude track that spills some real tea. Listen to it yourself for some good advice, you lazy filthy animal!
Cory dives into a meaningful direction for “Happiness in Heartache,” where it seems he sings about possibly abuse and seeing red flags in romantic relationships. Cory sings this so emotionally, almost from a personal perspective, but he also sings about a female lead facing the hardships throughout the song. I can’t help but feel this isn’t about just one person specifically, but can relate to many people in abusive relationship situations. Regardless, we’re thankful Cory included this gem on TOV.
“Little Lies” is one of the lead singles from TOV and is an excellent transition track that correlates with the last song. A more uptempo and bright song about unsteady relationships, “Little Lies” even has a pitch change near the end that keeps us smiling despite the lyrical content. 10/10 one of my favorite songs on the album.
The next track is “Do You” and oh my god, I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head since it dropped as a single. This beaming song is full of vocal melodies that are sure to stick with you in your sleep. The instrumental almost gives me Britney vibes, but Cory’s stacked vocal harmonies and vocal nuances truly serves us pop originality realness. This is one of my favorite songs from TOV, hands down.
Personally, we felt track 9, properly titled “Anyway,” is Cory overcoming his relationship problems and learning to love himself. The church bells, to me, signify Cory’s rebirth and attitude after “Do You.” The lyrics even point to this, with a carefree and pointed attitude towards an ex. Relationships are confusing, but after everything has come to the surface, Cory never even loved them anyways. Their loss is our gain with this track.
“Cut Those **** off” is an interlude that we highly suggest you give a listen to instead of us describing it. Cory spills more tea and you have to be there.
This next song is honestly insanely catchy and quite flammable, so be prepared to stop, drop, and stream til you have to call the local fire department! “Grab The Fire (LP Version) [with Jxckson]” is best described by Kisos as “that song you hear at the olympics when they carry the torch.” Every. Single. Time. I. Hear. This. Song. I see Cory and Jxckson in my head doing Olympic commercials / having Olympians run with the torch to this song. Can we make this happen? Please? Listen to the song and I dare you tell me you don’t agree with me. @ me on Twitter, I bet you won’t.
“You’re Like My Mom” is a sweet interlude that you just have to be there to feel the emotions, so go stream it yourself!
Oh, you wanted more house music? Oh, you wanted to be a teeny bit sad though cause the album is almost over? Look no further! “No More Trips to London” is such a cute pop/house-esque song that honestly gives me chills inside. Between Cory’s compelling chorus and the sound design throughout the song, this is an unforgettable song from TOV.
At track 14 and one of the lead singles from TOV, “Unhappy” is one of the cutest and catchiest songs on the album. Cory discusses what it would be like to live life like how we assume everyone else sees it. Sometimes, at our lowest, it’s hard to see the good things going for us, and we’re blind to the blessings we do have in life. Cory’s biggest message here is that when you’re feeling like that, take back what’s yours. Don’t take life for granted, and go after your dreams. Don’t hold yourself back mentally, and do what you love despite what your inner saboteur says. This song has a lesson everyone needs to hear.
“Maybe I’m Insane” is another interlude where you have to just be there to feel the emotions in it.
“Why Do I Even Try” is another lead single from TOV, and the guitar riffs along with Cory’s vocal melodies get stuck in my head. This song gives me flashbacks to last summer, enjoying the sunshine on my back patio, and driving home from work with the windows down. This song is just so much fun, and it’s definitely on every summer playlist I make from here on out!
Are you ready to cry? Good. Because “Little One (feat. Tovah Natalie) [Demo]” is the cutest and sweetest song I’ve ever heard in my life. You need to see this video of Cory showing this song to Tovah’s daughter, Cory’s late best friend whom the album name and some of the messages on TOV are inspired by. This song is so meaningful to me, and I’m so thankful Cory shared a song this personal with all of us.
TOV is the long awaited full length album from Cory Stewart, and it’s nothing short of a fantastic piece of musical art. Cory poured his heart out and into this album, and we can tell from each detail in every song. We strongly recommend you give TOV a listen here, and follow Cory on all social media! We can’t wait to see what’s next from him, so be sure to stay informed!
Cory on Instagram: https://instagram.com/coryjstewart?igshid=1jacogwmjgzw2
Cory on Twitter: https://twitter.com/coryjstewart?s=21
TOV on All Platforms: https://linktr.ee/coryjstewart
Written By: Bryce Quartz