I don't usually storm in on a dressing room. I don't usually get access to be able to do so. But, unknowingly I did so at a Roots concert here in Vancouver. I'd been given a press pass, but I wasn't properly explained the limitations of this particular pass on this night. So, I believed it allowed me "All Access" - apparently not.
After entering the backstage area of the venue, I looked around for signs of life. I peered through unlocked, unlabelled doors until I saw a breathing entity. It just so happened that when I peered through the first door featuring human life, it was Cody ChesnuTT's and his band's dressing room. Rather than acting alarmed, or pompous, Cody asked me to introduce myself, and I met both him and the band. We were briefly acquainted before the venue's security "informed" me that I wasn't permitted there and swiftly "escorted" me away from the band.
Before hearing "The Headphone Masterpiece," I was familiar with maybe two Cody Chesnutt tracks; 'The Seed'(the original version without The Roots) and the charmingly cocky 'Look Good In Leather.' Both of the aforementioned tracks, though not recorded in excellent quality, are gems. That's something which needs to be dually noted - this album was recorded in Cody's bedroom on a 4-track. He recorded and wrote it all by himself, and to say the least, I'm impressed.
The album basically revolves around what, as a sex (males), our lives revolve around; women. The trials and tribulations affiliated with relationships and sex. Our frustrations and our joys. From 'Boylife in America,' which features Cody talking about his desires in their most simple form to 'Bitch, I'm Broke' - which highlights Cody's decisions not to allow women to take more from his life more than his sexuality..."Bitch, I'm broke."
'If We Don't Disagree' is arguably my favourite track on the album. The raw electric guitar twanging followed by the simple acoustic playing works wonderfully. As always, Cody's singing is exceptional and brings his lyrics to their intended plateau. 'My Women, My Guitars' also receives a very honorable mention. The sincere track about Cody's frustrations with both subjects and how he's headed for a breakdown provides the perfect anthem to frustrated musicians/men.
'So Much Beauty In The Subconscious' doesn't fit in with the rest of the album, in terms of it's unique sound and odd feel. The smooth ambiences created by his other delights make this come across very harshly. Also, 'The World Is Coming To My Party' feels as if it would be better suited on another release. It's a good track, but out of place. There are a variety of intertwined interludes spread amongst the album, some worth paying attention to - others not. But interludes are neither here nor there.
I'd hope Cody encounters a major label deal with a larger budget soon and re-records in a proper studio with a larger budget. Every aspect of it is exemplary. With stereo sound quality, enabling more clarity. This would undoubtedly be gracing the ears of myself, my peers and my neighbourhood on a more regular basis than I can currently handle. I would advise that you purchase 'The Headphone Masterpiece' though, it truly is as its title implies.