ALBUM REVIEW: Cory Wong Spreads Funky Positivity on ‘The Optimist’

Vulfpeck guitarist turns a near death experience into life-loving grooves.

Cory Wong’s latest solo album, The Optimist, is a beautiful melting pot of funk, R&B and soul. Best known for his criminally funky guitar work with Vulfpeck and The Fearless Flyers, the multi-instrumentalist’s second LP is not one to be missed.

The album title stems from a harrowing experience from his childhood – at 16, he suffered a concussive head injury and was told he had two weeks to live. Instead of spiraling into hopelessness, Wong developed an insatiably positive mindset which persisted long after he miraculously recovered.

That undeniable positivity permeates through every pore of The Optimist, with each funky number exuding unrelenting groove and soul-tickling joy. Tight drums, blaring horns and thumping bass echo throughout the album and perfectly accompany Wong’s tasteful and slick licks.

The Optimist, while only 7 tracks in length, is a brilliant masterclass in guitar-centric funk that speaks volumes about its creator.

Score: 🎸🎸🎸🎸/5