Better Days is the new EP from Chris McCooey. Combining the heartfelt guitar melodies of yesteryear with a new blend of rock and pop, fans of any genre will be moving along to the six songs McCooey has so carefully crafted. Standouts like “Fade To Black” and “We Found Love” come later in the EP, but that doesn’t mean McCooey has any snoozers. Proving he should be on everyone’s radar, Better Days is McCooey’s confident stake in the very busy music pool. You should be wading in these waters.
First things first – McCooey has a voice that holds integrity and still, there’s something a little mischievous happening behind the curtains. He’s not just a run-of-the-mill singer. In the opening song, “Better Days” he molds the listener to his laid back style, with just a hint of caffeinated rhythms.
I liked how this song is reflective of the past and has the listener thinking about days ahead. It’s an encouraging start and puts the listener into a state-of-mind that is more like ‘big picture’. Think about it all – and don’t dwell on the small stuff, he seems to infer to the listener. He does it with a charming guitar and a voice that cracks in certain spots.
The next songs, “The Man I Could Not Be” and “Yonder” delve into different themes. In “The Man I Could Not Be”, seemingly a letter, McCooey sparks the idea of being what ifs and things he would change. In “Yonder”, a folksy-rock waltz that has a much more heightened drama that its predecessors, also unveils a different side to McCooey’s vocals. I already enjoyed what I was hearing, but this song really sealed the deal in terms of his vocal attraction. Something clicks, something really becomes ‘that thing’ in his voice here.
As aforementioned, “Fade To Black” is a standout. As long as you have a few miles to go, don’t fade to black, McCooey sings. This go-getter, this injection of personal power keeps the album on track. It’s the fourth song, and it’s also the game changer. Something different, too, is the way he incorporates violin strings into the music. It classes it up, but it also makes it all the more lovely. The final songs, “We Found Love”, a pop rock hit in the making – this one is definitely prime time ready, and “When This Is Over’ give even more attention to McCooey as a wordsmith.
He’s not so verbose that you lose interest, but he can spin a lyric that feels so easy and natural. Dream deep and keep steady, he sings in “When This Is Over”. The song might be about this damn Covid and being apart, but it’s also an anthem to the idea that now more than ever, as humans we need each other. “When This Is Over” is perhaps the best single to add to your ‘can do attitude’ playlist or soundtrack. It’s also the ending to what sets McCooey from other singer/songwriters – he touches exactly what we’re all thinking.