Song of the Day: “The Optimist”


In quite a drastic turnaround, my cold from yesterday cleared up, and I’ve been feeling great. I’m not trying to brag at all, but it feels so good to not be sick after feeling so sick for the past few days. In honor of my recovery, I decided to pick a song I’m already familiar with, just because it fits my current mood so well.

“The Optimist” is a song by guitarist Cory Wong, who played a show at The Hi-Fi last August. Before the show I got a chance to chat with Cory over the phone. For a full transcription of the interview, you can click here.

The Optimist

“The Optimist” is the last track from Cory Wong’s 2018 album of the same name. Like most of his songs, “The Optimist” is an instrumental piece with no vocals or lyrics. But it’s just one of those songs that puts a smile on your face whenever you hear it.

Cory Wong is a well-trained and creative guitarist, and none of that is lost on “The Optimist”. The song starts off with a slow preamble, before picking up into a solid groove when the guitar comes in with the melody. These two sections trade off a couple times before the bridge, in which a piano and bass gradually build up to the screeching guitar solo.

But while Cory Wong’s playing is technically advanced, none of the emotion is lost through his melodic meanderings. I don’t know if I’d say that he’s as good of songwriter as he is a guitarist, but he’s a damn good guitarist, so that’s okay.

The only thing I find myself wishing when I listen to songs like “The Optimist”, is that I was hearing it live. Don’t get me wrong, the song’s still great. It’s just that Cory Wong’s live performances go above and beyond what you would expect from listening to his albums. You still hear a lot of the same songs. But the experience in and of itself, is an entirely different thing.


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