LANDING ON A HUNDRED (Vibration Vineyard / One Little Indian)
Landing On a Hundred is the first full album in 10 years from neo-soul champion Cody ChesnuTT, and it’s a magnificently rich, diverse, and commanding record, bringing the vibes of such pinnacle ‘70s artists as Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye comfortably into the present day. Priding itself as a flavoursome mixture of classic soul, R&B, blues, swing, and funk, it’s a joy to listen to for the ease in which each song fits together whilst remaining entirely distinct. Funk-infected guitar flashes in opener Til I Met Thee and its follow-up I’ve Been Life are partnered with ChesnuTT’s gorgeous, emotive falsetto, while a brass backing brings a sedated softness to the former, and an infectious disco rhythm to the latter. Where Is All The Money Going?, meanwhile, has a cheery off-beat hop to it, whilst the soulfulness of Everybody’s Brother even manages to inject joy into its remorseful lyrical content: “I used to smoke crack back in the day”. There is plenty of down-tempo content to offset the otherwise obstinately elated mood, none better than the brilliant Don’t Follow Me, isolating ChesnuTT’s reverbed voice to deliver a haunting ballad of Shirley Bassey-esque proportions.
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Words: James Balmont