Some Days, the second album Bega-born, Wollongong-based singer-songwriter from Corey Legge, poses a problem. A good problem, but a perplexing one for a person who’s trying to write about the album. So let’s just get it out of the way: the title song is so extraordinarily good that it takes on a life and identity of its own, almost to the point that the rest of the album should be considered separate to it. Because the fact of the matter is that the rest of the album is very, very good. It’s just that ‘Some Days’ is one of those songs that, when heard for the first time, is immediately recognisable as something you’re going to keep listening to over and over for years to come. It would eclipse most songs that happen to come near it, with its perfect chorus – the run of notes in the repeat of the words ‘some days’, the construction of the lines ‘some days I thought I was nothing/but I meant everything to you’ that beautifully captures the nature of the child-parent relationship – and Legge’s resistance to making the verses sound as epic, so there’s tonal balance throughout the song musically, melodically and lyrically.
But now we do have that out of the way, let’s look at the songs that accompany it on this album, which seem to depict Legge at the stage of life he’s at right now. Not who he dreamt he’d be when he was younger or what he wants for the future. The song titles give you the clues: ‘I’m So Damn Sick & Tired’, ‘All My Friends Are Getting Married’, ‘I Don’t Know What I’ve Got Myself in For’. He’s not hiding behind generic titles so that the listener is led to believe something else is going on. And in case you are still in any doubt, his voice will show you exactly what’s going on.
So this is Corey Legge, raw in the content of his lyrics and polished in the presentation because those lyrics are all clearly expressed, and brave enough to open a vein, let it bleed for a while and let us see what’s inside of him. He has an ability to portray experiences that are bittersweet without ever leaning heavily on the bitter side, and sometimes leaning into the sweet (‘Fireball’); he can also be strident, as in ‘The Day That Just Keeps Giving’. In short, he’s human, but what makes this album remarkable is that he’s captured so many dimensions of being human by focusing on one part of his life, without being tempted to wander off into what-ifs. That takes discipline and purpose, and for a musician it then has to be something that can be presented in four-minute lots that can translate to complete strangers. That’s the wonder of it: this collection of four-minute lots can be understood as a whole or spliced off individually. It’s an arc of a life, very specifically Legge’s life. You’ll come out of it feeling like you know him better – and also wanting to find out what happens next.