hello folks! this week for the weekly review, we’re taking a look at Class of Cardinal Sin, released in 2020 by New York-based artist Covey.

the structure of this review’s gonna be a tad different than normal, as i think it makes more sense to talk about some broader thoughts first!

it sounds like there’s two “authorial intent” threads to follow here – Covey, the persona of Tom Freeman, shared stories on Tik-Tok for each of the figured represented on the cover, fleshing out their stories (which is neat but i didnt dive into much), but also has spoken a lot about the auto-biographical nature of the record. i found this interview really interesting, as he even breaks things down for each track individuall. i def feel like this is a “wear your heart on your sleeve” kinda record, as that “oversharing” lends a feeling of vulnerability that takes Covey’s vocal style and gives it a desperation for understanding that draws you in. i think it’s a really personal, really powerful reflection of damage, of illness, and wanting to be better. i unfortunately don’t have much to say about this record musically – i really do appreciate Covey’s approach to songwriting, as these songs pretty accurately capture the mood he’s going for, and there are some really solid hooks and moving moments, but on the whole i found them very effective in a way that im not sure i can elaborate on, haha.

Cut on the Crease opens the record with a very wistful tone, starting out with a bunch of “what-ifs”. 1991 focuses more on the ways that parental dysfunction can echo down the line. the chorus here is excellent, ngl. Why Am I Alive is, in a fairly direct way, musing why he was brought into the world, why his parents wanted him in the first place, and examining his own mental relationship with potential kids. v solid track. Four Dollar Sandwich is the kind of overthinking while walking i can relate to. i think this is one of the choruses i really started feeling, and i really dig Covey’s hook writing. Sam Jam is an incredibly tender track about his sister, and points in their youth that he regrets not being present for. the ending of this song is a direct fuck you to the guy mentioned in the second verse, and man this is so chantable its mission accomplished. also some incredibly effectively stirring contrast with the mellower tone of the earlier parts of the song. Point Mutation is my favorite song on the record, musically, and i think it functions as a kind of thesis statement for the record. Crooked Spine is another song about Covey’s sister, focusing more on her later life. a very tender track. Local Anesthesia is probably the most internally introspective track – a lot of the other songs discuss trauma or relationships with others, a lot of this one deals with his own mental health and his relationship with his own brain. Sound of a Gun shares a story of a childhood friend and solace found in friendship. Marzipan Pills is interesting in that a lot of the rest of the songs about his family take a look at the damage caused by an unhappy household in youth, but this track about his relationship with his dad shows there’s a lot of love there too. a very nice, if a tad bittersweet, closer.

faves – Cut on the Crease, Four Dollar Sandwich, Sam Jam, Point Mutation
dislikes –

Class of Cardinal Sin – 8/10

for the next Weekly Album Review, i’ll be listening to Room 42, by Paul Cauthen. i’ll be back next Friday, November 17th with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)