TThe ChesnuTT “Masterpiece

Brad Lindert

It’s 12:30 on Tuesday morning, or as some call it, 12:30 on Monday night. I need to go to sleep, but I have work to do: write a couple of papers, read a couple of stories, direct a couple of scenes, and yeah, I also have to write another article. And I can’t get “The Seed” by Cody ChesnuTT out of my head.Yeah, Cody ChesnuTT (yeah, double capital Ts) is in my head with a catchy neo-soul lo-fi song. His debut album is chock-full of catchy songs just like “The Seed.” A double disc debut album is bound to have some gems, with 36 tracks and over 100 minutes.

Yeah, you heard me, a double disc debut album; nothing is more arrogant than releasing a double album, especially if it is your first.

Well, actually there is something more arrogant than that: calling your own album a masterpiece. Oh, you might be wondering what the title of his album is. It’s The Headphone Masterpiece.

Normally I would pass judgement there, the review would end, and I would call Cody ChesnuTT a TToTTal ass. But I won’t. Why? Because he actually has talent, which is hard to find among pompous people these days.

He knows he’s good. And guess what? He is good. Is the album a masterpiece? No. It is a good album that could have been a masterpiece if he made the album only 13 tracks long.

Cody really knows a good hook when he comes across it. Whether it’s the Rhodes piano of “Magic in a Mortal Moment,” the funk guitar of “Look Good in Leather,” or the acoustic plucking of “My Women, My Guitar,” Cody knows how to write good music.

And sometimes he comes up with some good lyrics too, but too often he falls into writing songs about calling women bitches–“B!%@#, I’m Broke,” “Brother with an Ego,” “War Between the Sexes,” and “So Much Beauty in the Subconscious”– and talking about his penis–“B!%@#, I’m Broke,” “My Women, My Guitar,” and “Brother with an Ego.”

Oh, and talk about a guy with attitude; just look at the single “Look Good in Leather,” where he sings, “I’m cool with attitude and ego to spare.”

But who cares how cocky he is when he has tight melodies that I would say rival Stevie Wonder? Yeah, I said Stevie.

His voice carries soul and sounds eerily similar to Ben Harper’s. His drums are tight and, yeah, there are funky bass lines and great keyboards. And the music quality is what you would expect for being recorded in a bedroom by one man.

The quality sounds just like Guided by Voices, though I would never put Cody and Robert Pollard in the same category. One is funk (Mr. ChesnuTT) and one is drunk (Mr. Pollard).

So, should you go get this album? Well, take my Cody Quiz:

1. Can you stand a guy who is arrogant?

2. Do you like soul and lo-fi music?

3. Do you like songs about sex, pot, and God?

4. Do you look good in leather?

5. Do you mind if he is really really arrogant?

6. Can you sit through a hundred minutes of music with tape hiss in the background?

7. Do you mind if the guy spells his name with capital T’s?

8. Do you like Ben Harper’s voice?

9. Do you like extremely religious people who swear a lot?

10. Do you mind a CD booklet that is basically shout outs?

11. Can you find this album for about $13?

Well, if you answered yes to at least seven of these, you should buy this album. If you answered yes to all ten, then you either really need to buy this right now, or you spell your name with two capital T’s.

Well, until next week, I’m Brad LinderTT saying, “Keep your mind in the clouds and your headphones on your head.”He was such an enigma – and then he spoke. This once amazing, confusing person became human when he spoke, and the magic was gone. But the magic and the atmosphere of his music still remained.

It was his music that transported me to another place. I just sat in awe the entire night. I left that show with a high that I haven’t gotten from music in a long time.

Sure, some of you out there did not like him. I can understand that; I mean, he dances, plays the violin, and sings in a made up language. That is funny, but it is also a beautiful piece of music that he has created. And sometimes beauty takes precedence over absurdness.

Oh, and don’t worry, I most likely will be sarcastic next week and bash everything I just said, so if you like that sort of thing just wait a few days.