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The Headphone Masterpiece

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Audio CD, January 21, 2003
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Amazon's Cody Chesnutt Store


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Cody ChesnuTT - Everybody's Brother


Universally hailed as a thrilling new figure in music for his edgy, lo-fi debut, The Headphone Masterpiece, back in 2002, Cody ChesnuTT is a soul troubadour whose frank, socially conscious ruminations on life continue to challenge popular notions of what modern soul music can look and sound like: a raw storyteller for the people wearing a guitar and a toothpick-chewing smirk; a wide-eyed, ... Read more in Amazon's Cody Chesnutt Store

Visit Amazon's Cody Chesnutt Store
for 3 albums, 11 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 21, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Ready Set Go
  • ASIN: B00007MI2A
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,685 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Magic In A Mortal Minute
2. With Me In Mind
3. Upstarts In A Blowout
4. Boylife In America
5. B**ch, I'm Broke
6. Serve This Royalty
7. The Seed
8. Enough Of Nothing
9. Setting The System
10. The Most Beautiful Shame
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Family On Blast
2. My Woman, My Guitars
3. Somebody's Parents
4. When I Find Time
5. Eric Burdon
6. Juicin' The Dark
7. Five On A Joyride
8. Daylight
9. So Much Beauty In The Subconcious
10. Daddy's Baby
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The illegitimate son of Marvin Gaye, rocks with the heart of Hendrix & the soul of Prince, the result? A real raw Soul with a taste of black Rock 'n' Roll! Cody is featured on the Roots' single 'The Seed' & the original version is on this album. CD 2 is a

When you put the word "masterpiece" in the title of your debut double CD, you'd damn well better be able to back it up. Thankfully, Cody Chesnutt has the goods. This precocious, sex-obsessed, spaced-out, spiritual singer is practically bursting at the seams with talent and ideas. With The Headphone Masterpiece, he delivers a homemade, lo-fi stew made of smooth funk, forceful rock, and gritty hip-hop, all topped off by the sweet-crooning voice of a great soul singer. Across 36 tracks, Chesnutt invites you into his psyche, and it's a unique journey to say the least, wending as it does from the weightiest of spiritual concerns to that morning's hard-on. So is it a masterpiece? Well, not quite. Even Mr. Chesnutt must believe that he's got better music still in him. But The Headphone Masterpiece is an ambitious opening salvo from an artist who may well take his place in the celebrated lineage that extends from Hendrix and Sly Stone through George Clinton, Prince, D'Angelo, and so on. Once he learns to harness his surging electricity, Chesnutt may offer us a true masterpiece--or even a few of them. --Marc Greilsamer

Customer Reviews

Spread the love, it's just that good.
A. Lancaster
Cody is a great song writer, he's a talented musician, and he's got a "soulful" voice that's really an unbeatable combination.
It sounds the same to me and one of the only songs that I really liked "With Me In Mind" is not even sung by him.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Austin Davidson on December 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Cody ChesnuTT plays a little bit of everything. He does a little rock, a little soul, some funk some folk some hip hop. ?uestlove of The Roots described him as Tracy Chapman meets Beck on acid. The album was produced entirely in his bedroom, which he dubbed The Sonic Promiseland. This is one of the best albums of the year and Cody should be well on his way to superstardom, but what do I know about the fickle world of pop music? What I do know is that this is raw, catchy, homemade music. My favorites are The Seed (the true highlight of the album, sort of a Ric James style '80s funk song) Look Good In Leather (a '60s soul pop song) Boylife In America (Prince and Bob Dylan) and so many other on this 36 song introduction to Cody. Some songs run only 30 seconds and you think, well he should have worked more on this song it's unfinished, but I believe the charm is in the brevity. This album inspires me to no end mostly because Cody did it all himself in his bedroom on his own terms and he's selling it through his own label. He truly is punk rock, and I think maybe this sort of music coming from kid's attics and bedrooms and basements and garages is definitly the next wave in music because nothing can hinder the music, it's all DIY.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. Brajczewski on October 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Coupled with understanding, this is some of the best music ever. The lyrics, the subjects, the attitudes, the philosophy, the psyche - it's all over the place! But the soul...the soul is right out there in the open. There's a few things you need to understand about this album. First - the fuzzy sound. Look at it from a musician's standpoint, especially a musician who produced his entire album with the exception of one instrument in one song. Fuzzy sound means originality. It's the hard copy. Not tinkered with, not refined. It's not the sound quality that counts - it's content. On even the fuzziest and most poorly produced of songs - what are we left with to enjoy. The soul of the musician. His words and his music. Fuzziness is not a bad thing here; not a production failure. It's a creative technique, a personal mark. This man gives us 36 songs. What recent pop music album can you recall that comes close to that song count? Most deliver one third the quantity and one eighth the quality. So - fuzzy is good. Next subject - the album is called The Headphone Masterpiece. It was literally created to sound best over a specific pair of headphones - a model of Sony's I believe. Anyhow, think about your truly favorite songs and when you really discovered what your favorite songs were; the songs you thought were most deeply musical, most meaningful. I'd be willing to bet it was when you had it in your CD player or your iPod. Usually playing music over speakers is for background music and not concentration. Thus, an album optimized for headphones and thus called The Headphone Masterpiece calls for reflection and concentration on the music. That's not all - as a musician I can identify, and hope to communicate to you, the spontaneity involved in the creation of a song.Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on February 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album deserves to be noticed if only for its sheer chutzpah. You gotta give a guy props when he records a two-disc album with 36 tracks in his bedroom and plays all the instruments himself. Now that's ambition. Some aspects of this album prove that Chesnutt did it for himself without worrying about what an audience would think, given some very self-indulgent and non-entertaining moments. The homemade nature is evident in poor sound quality, several recording errors, and a lot of cheap drum machines and sequencers. Regardless, Chesnutt proves to be an emerging songwriting genius and is a very impressive multi-instrumentalist with a great voice. Lyrically Chesnutt is all over the music map from loveman romance to gangsta boasting to soulful philosophizing, and even blissfully uncool childhood odes in "Up in the Treehouse."
Musically, Chesnutt starts from a classic soul foundation but he is clearly interested in all types of music. The album contains distinct examples of many genres: classic rock in "Upstairs in a Blowout," funk in "Setting the System," new wave in "The World is Coming to My Party," jazz rock in "When I Find Time," near-techno in "Juicin' the Dark," and 60's boogie in "Look Good in Leather." Other than that though, most of the rest of the album features interchangeable ballads with Chesnutt accompanying himself on guitar or keyboards, or undeveloped snippets of less than a minute, which could have been expanded into another album of cool songs with some outside encouragement. A good example is "The Seed" which was remade in far stronger form, with Chesnutt as special guest, by The Roots on their album Phrenology. After this homemade magnum opus, let's get Chesnutt a real record deal and producer, and with more focus his next work might be a real headphone masterpiece.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Frankel on January 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Well, dude certainly gets a lot of things right here, but "HeadPhone Masterpiece" may be the "ego" part of Mr. Chesnutt that's been referred to in other reviews. Also, I could be wrong but I can't see too many heads rockin' this in their headphones on the #8 Train in NYC.

But if you can say anything, it's that this is a man who totally embodies an artist's refusal to be boxed in with labels. He's all over the map in a sort of schizophrenic, scattered, ingenious way. And that's the thing, there's definitely genius here but the album as a whole is far too fragmented and unfinished in ways that make it a far cry from "masterpiece" material. That said, any music fan worth their salt would be hard pressed to think of a more wildly creative album release in the last ten years.

I got turned onto this album the way a lot of other people did - the Roots/Chesnutt collab, "The Seed." And if you know the song from Phrenology and think it grooves like hell (which it does) but is pretty messed up (listen a little more closely to those lyrics - It IS) well, you haven't heard the half. Cody's just getting started. Thing was, when the album sounded nothing like I expected it to, I shelved it for a good year.

Picked it back up this weekend, and was treated to a remarkably present surprise. The man owes almost nothing to hip-hop and while it's a little unfair to bring up these names, Sly Stone, Shuggie Otis, Lenny Kravitz, The Beatles and even Nick Drake are brought to mind when listening. Song writing is incredible, instrumentation is spare and either acoustic or very electric/programmed and sometimes just distorted, audio-wise. True, the album wasn't recorded in a bathroom, but many times you're wondering if it was.
Read more ›
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