ChesnuTT’s new album is a reflection of his past, he starting anew, and the progression of a man and an artist with a lot to preach. From the first “doo doo’s” on the album opener “Til I Met Thee,” ChesnuTT reasserts himself as a beautiful and powerful soul singer. Compared to his first album, these songs bring a clearer vision and a fuller sound that just oozes more soul. And while ChesnuTT lives in a contemporary R&B world, Landing on a Hundred is no doubt an album with old-soul spirit. And perhaps the venue where these songs were recorded played the most significant role. Much of it was recorded at the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee; the same place that soul icons like Al Green, Buddy Guy, Solomon Burke and Ike & Tina recorded. In fact, ChesnuTT has mentioned in interviews that he used the same microphone Al Green sung “Love and Happiness” and “Let’s Stay Together” with. The results don’t disappoint. That classic sound emanates on songs like “That’s Still Mama” and “Under the Spell of a Handout”, a song where Cody channels his best Stevie Wonder.
The musical side of Landing on a Hundred certainly does its job of engaging you as a listener. But Cody himself really hits his stride as an artist. He sings his heart out, but as a songwriter puts it all out in the open. These songs really tell the story of a guy who is focused on his growing as a person into adulthood, into fatherhood and keen on leaving a lot of the past behind him. “Don’t Wanna Go The Other Way” witnesses an internal struggle to hold on to faith and avoid conceding to past demons. It’s an intense moment, but a pivotal song on a collection that has a lot to offer.