CODY CHESNUTT – Landing on a Hundred

January 01, 1970

(One Little


singer/songwriter Cody ChesnuTT endeared himself to hipsters a decade ago with
a lo-fi home recording modestly titled The
Headphone Masterpiece
. Like a lot of double LPs made without outside
supervision, it had a lot of good songs, cool ideas left undeveloped and junk. Landing on a Hundred, however, is
another story. Recorded live on the floor with his band, ChesnuTT’s second
album cuts the fat away for a lean, no-bullshit sweet soul program that
hearkens back to the heyday of the O’Jays and Al Green. (No surprise, given
that it was recorded in Memphis’
Royal Studios, birthplace of various recordings by Green and Ike & Tina


delivers his messages – about fidelity (“Love is More Than a Wedding Day”),
welfare (“Under the Spell of the Handout”), style without substance (“What Kind
of Cool [Will We Think of Next]”), peace on earth (“Scroll Call”) – via
hip-rolling grooves and lush melodies, with production that remains
gimmick-free, except when a bit of
spacey echo can enhance the mystical aspect of his spiritual worldview (“Don’t
Wanna Go the Other Way,” “I’ve Been Life”). Ultimately, ChesnuTT’s musical
pronouncements address Life in Our Age – “Everybody’s Brother,” “Chips Down (In
No Landfill)” and “Don’t Follow Me” don’t stint preaching the gospel of
climbing out of the crap via a tight grip on one’s bootstraps. Buy into his
messages or don’t, but you won’t be able to deny ChesnuTT’s mastery of ‘70s
soul sorcery.


DOWNLOAD: “I’ve Been Life,” “Love is More Than a
Wedding Day,” “Don’t Wanna Go the Other Way” -MICHAEL TOLAND


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