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R&B - Released January 1, 2012 | One Little Independent Records

Cody ChesnuTT arrived in 2002 with The Headphone Masterpiece, an eccentric and sprawling debut. He appeared to be the kind of artist who could release a bounty of scattershot but occasionally excellent material on an annual basis. As years without a proper follow-up elapsed -- past a handful of collaborations, compilation appearances, and a 2010 EP -- his enigmatic aura only swelled. It's reduced with Landing on a Hundred, a relatively straightforward second album. There are no vulgar, offhanded, eager-to-provoke moments like "Bitch I'm Broke" or "War Between the Sexes." There aren't any unvarnished edges, either, though it's all organic -- by no means is it slick. Each one of the 12 songs is fully developed, recorded in studios with a large supporting cast, including string and horn sections. The material is classicist, drawing much from socially conscious soul of the late '60s and early '70s, especially 1969-1973 Marvin Gaye. Now in his early forties, ChesnuTT's outlook is less inward. "'Til I Met Thee" opens the album by acknowledging fatherhood as salvation. Like much of what follows, it's stylish, almost extravagant soul with a dash of funk from scratchy rhythm guitar lines. Many bases are covered: Africa is honored and uplifted, a young man who disrespects his mother is chastised, romance and personal connections are placed over wealth and technology, self-reliance is promoted, temptations are combated, and global economic inequities are scrutinized. "Don't Follow Me," a bleak and heartbreaking ballad in which he offers advice to his son -- i.e., "Don't make the same mistakes I've made" -- hits hardest with slamming drums, mournful trumpet, and a great amount of reverb. That he follows with a new version of the EP track "Everybody's Brother," where he addresses the drugging, gambling, and womanizing he has left behind, makes it all the more powerful. ChesnuTT delivers everything with colorful, wise-yet-probing conviction. Compared to the debut, this is a deeper body of songs. Entertainment and enrichment are provided unsparingly. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 21, 2003 | One Little Independent Records

Cody ChesnuTT's debut album, The Headphone Masterpiece, is what all pop/rock-soul-R&B-hip-hop hybrids should be: good, raw, fun, and funky. ChesnuTT mixes '60s-style rock with '70s soul and '90s hip-hop and R&B in an eclectic celebration of sound. This lo-fi gem was recorded in his bedroom and sounds like it; it's essentially a 36-track musical diary. He sings testosterone-driven songs of passion and tender tales of mental anguish with equal abandon. When he whispers, "I know my breakdown is on the way," on "My Women, My Guitars," you feel his impending fall. He plays almost all of the instruments and sings most of the vocals, and he's often out of tune and off-key, but that only adds to the emotion and recklessness of the album. He holds everything together with a few polished and catchy tracks that are scattered throughout. On "Looks Good in Leather," he sounds like Terence Trent D'Arby or Ben Harper, but with a style that's all Cody ChesnuTT. "The World Is Coming to My Party" is a full-fledged dance anthem, complete with a rafter-shaking groove that Prince would be proud of. He just as easily channels Curtis Mayfield on the smooth "Serve This Royalty," which showcases ChesnuTT's soulful voice and may be the finest track, combining his great grasp of groove with clever lyrics like, "We can crown kings in Adidas." ChesnuTT is as comfortable in the hip-hop world as he is in the rock and soul spheres. He lays down a funky rap on "War Between the Sexes," and few hardcore gangstas can match his misogyny on "Bitch I'm Broke." While a few songs lack ChesnuTT's charm, the misses don't disturb the groove enough to hinder the overall effect: a masterpiece, with or without headphones. © Michael Gowan /TiVo
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R&B - Released June 2, 2017 | One Little Independent Records

At the start of Cody ChesnuTT's third full-length album, the eclectic, brightly drawn My Love Divine Degree, is a brief hypnotic opener in which he sings "Anything can happen when the music is good." Singing over a delicately rendered electric piano, ChesnuTT coos the lyrics, as if to his baby. It's a magical soul lullaby, a mantra, conjuring the tone for what is to come. Produced by Anthony "Twilite Tone" Kahn, My Love Divine Degree is certainly a magical album, rife with Day-Glo melodies, kinetic rhythms, and passionate lyrics about love, fidelity, fatherhood, and violence. Coming 15 years after his breakthrough debut, the sprawling, lo-fi The Headphone Masterpiece, and five years after his sophisticated follow-up, Landing on a Hundred, My Love Divine Degree finds ChesnuTT better balancing his early lo-fi vibe with his obvious love for the classic work of artists like Marvin Gaye and Bob Marley. These are buoyant songs, even ragged at times, yet full of deeply philosophical notions and a production style that deftly straddles the line between thoughtfully honed and off the cuff. Cuts like propulsive, Afro-beat and hip-hop-infused "Africa the Future" and the sparkling, early-'70s-style soul jam "She Ran Away" sound like they were constructed around demos, with ChesnuTT's pure vocals and raw-nerve acoustic guitar tracks expertly layered with harmonized vocals, horns, and dabs of synth. This style is brought into full color on the dancey, infectious, Terence Trent D'Arby-esque "Image of Love," in which ChesnuTT's resonant croon and falsetto asides are framed by a swirl of juicy keyboards and a cascade of multi-tracked backing vocals. Equally compelling is the passionate, slow-burn psychedelia of "Bullets in the Street and Blood," featuring Raphael Saadiq. Quavering between ChesnuTT's yearning baritone and Saadiq's breathy croon, the duo decries the emotional weight carried by urban families beset by violence. They sing "Saturday morning, eleven o'clock services, we've seen it too many times before/A mother brokenhearted, a father's head is hanging with children too young to know the score." It's a poignant, cinematic track that displays just how far ChesnuTT is able to expand his organic, prismatic vision. There are synthy, roiling dance numbers like the post-punk-inflected "I Stay Ready"; arty ambient ballads like the poetic, steel drum-accented "Always Sebrena"; and buzzy pop numbers like the '80s-does-'60s Jackson 5-ish "It's in the Love." Elsewhere, the production scrim is less apparent, as on the galloping ska-punk number "Make a Better Man." Backed live in the studio by a nervy guitar, bass, and drums trio, ChesnuTT, his voice a throaty yawp, celebrates the elevating, transforming power of being a good husband and father. He sings "Love a mother and her child and you'll make a better man." Notably, in the years following the release of The Headphone Masterpiece, ChesnuTT did become a father and famously took several years away from performing to focus on his family. It's that kind of rooted sense of purpose and dedication to the process, whether raising a child or recording a pop album, that permeates and elevates all of My Love Divine Degree. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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R&B - Released September 1, 2016 | One Little Independent Records

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R&B - Released April 21, 2017 | One Little Independent Records

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R&B - Released March 18, 2013 | One Little Independent Records

Soul - Released December 7, 2010 | Vibration Vineyard

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Soul - Released February 25, 2017 | Jam in the Van LLC

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Punk / New Wave - Released August 4, 2002 | Acetate Records

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R&B - Released March 24, 2014 | One Little Independent Records

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R&B - Released November 18, 2013 | One Little Independent Records

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R&B - Released May 15, 2016 | One Little Independent Records

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Soul - Released July 21, 2014 | Vibration Vineyard

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R&B - Released April 1, 2017 | One Little Independent Records

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R&B - Released April 13, 2015 | One Little Independent Records