Landing On A Hundred

Cody ChesnuTT

Vibration Vineyard, 2012

http://cchesnutt.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/09/2013

Things have changed quite dramatically for Cody ChesnuTT since his 2002 debut The Headphone Masterpiece. After working as a songwriter, ChesnuTT penned his double album debut in his makeshift home studio onto a 4-track cassette recorder. Since then, his recording techniques have been less primitive and his music highly influential, though it's been ten years since he released a follow up LP to his cult-favorite first release. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Though it's a decade later, ChesnuTT's soul influences are as noticeable as ever, as he clearly takes cues from legends like Marvin Gaye and Al Green. However, the similarities between his first album and this one might end there. This time around, he's backed up by a full 10-piece band, actually recorded the album in two different proper studios, and lyrically takes a much more mature, grounded approach.

ChesnuTT's first album was certainly a lo-fi affair, but here there's a big band feel from beginning to end. Tracks like “I've Been Life” and “Under The Spell Of The Handout” are chock full of horns, allowing ChesnuTT to find a soulful groove that's present through most of this. While it's certainly a funk-spirited album as well, he also finds a gospel angle with “Til I Met Thee” and even gets soft on “Don't Follow Me,” a ballad that's sure to tug on the heartstrings of anyone with a child. His primary influence is front and center on the '70s soul style of  “Scroll Call” or “What Kind Of Cool (Will We Think Of Next),” though he certainly shows other dimensions across the selections here.

ChestnuT is now a family man and living an entirely different life than when his last album was made. Songs like “Don't Make The Mistakes I've Made” and “Everybody's Brother” discuss the life ChesnuTT abandoned, and it's no doubt he's had many revelations in the last ten years. This is somewhat of an audio autobiography, and ChesnuTT is a fine storyteller; his rich musicianship that pulls from funk, R&B and soul was absolutely worth the wait.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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