Thursday, June 11, 2009

MIA: Cody ChesnuTT

There are many mysteries in our modern world. Some of which include: Why is Seth McFarlane allowed to make new shows? Better yet, why hasn't R. Kelly continued Trapped In The Closet (Does he really have more chapters or will he throw something together and hope fans like it much like The Phantom Menace)? More than any of these questions is the one question that needs a definitive answer. Where's Cody ChesnuTT and where is his followup to The Headphone Masterpiece?

There have been many artists who've released one album before disappearing into obscurity but none of them were Cody ChesnuTT.

The Headphone Masterpiece
is probably going to be overlooked at the end of the year as one of the best albums of this decade. That's very sad because it is definitely one of the better releases of this decade. Musically, it a Soul and Rock, double album version of Bruce Springsteen's 1982 classic, Nebraska. One man, his guitar and his bedroom but with electronic beats, some drums and bass thrown into the mix and with the same demo recording quality.

It's a very lo-fi Soul and Rock record. It's as if Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh) made a record of classic 60's Soul covers. It's that cool. Songs like "Upstarts In A Blowout" and "Look Good In Leather" bring to mind the sound of Garage bands while "Serve This Royalty" and "Smoke And Love" are in tune to the modern R&B sound yet so different that it would be hard to imagine them on R&B/Urban radio. That is the appeal of this album. A little something for everyone who feels that music as a whole is universal and shouldn't be segregated.

Then, there's "The Seed," a song so awesome that The Roots covered it, added Black Thought's rhymes to it and made it a hit. From there, people, to a degree were able to become familiar with ChesnuTT's music. He even appeared briefly in Dave Chappelle's Block Party. Then...


He seemed to vanish. No sophomore album, no guest appearances, just a talented artist vanishing.

Now, it's seven years later and still, there's no sophomore album (a rumored one, yes. A definitive one, no). He now has a downloadable track on Guitar Hero World Tour (which is pretty awesome) and there is a new song on his MySpace and it keeps up his lo-fi sound but it's not enough. Seven years is a long time to be away from the music scene. Although, some artists have stayed away longer, those artists were bigger names or had a decent cult following. Cody ChesnuTT was/had neither but could've had both.

Who knows other than ChesnuTT himself as to what will become of his new recordings. The one thing that is certain is that waiting to hear new material from a very promising artist should never take seven years especially for an artist whose debut album was the criminally overlooked The Headphone Masterpiece.

Check out a few tracks from The Headphone Masterpiece.
"Can't Get No Betta'"
"Looking Good In Leather"
"My Woman, My Guitars"
"Upstarts In A Blowout"
"Eric Burdon"
"Serve This Royalty"


  1. Also, one of the most bizarre, yet entertaining live shows I have ever seen. Including having someone from the audience come up and perform slam poetry during the middle of his set.

  2. That show was so weird yet really cool. If he were to come to town, I'd definitely go

  3. I saw him open for Goapele at the Independent in San Francisco back in May '09... playing only his newer material. Not only did he command the attention of the audience (whom had little knowledge of his name) with his stage presence and skilled artistry but he made everyone feel his vibes in an engaging sort of way.