Turner Cody - First Light
This LP has sat around my house the past few months. It’s baffled me. I really don’t know what to make of it. There are times I really dig the vibe, and then there are times when I think it’s not all that great. Whatever my thoughts, there’s no denying the opening song Irene is a belter. 'Twenties in flavour, nodding at Van Dyke Parks too… and its inherent jauntiness is (for once) is its strength.
This is assuredly a ‘hobo’ record. The band members parade themselves on the front cover like a set of aspirant down and outs. The instruments used are very much of a ‘hobo’ tradition; clarinet, Wurlitzer, piano, rhythm guitar. You get the drift. And, when this stance works, as it does at the beginning of the LP, (with stuff like Underground, Camptown and the aforementioned Irene) it works great.
Indeed this opening trio (with Corner) is so good, so full of atmosphere, vim and vigour that it’s little wonder that I feel that everything falls off later. Despite the beautiful Heart to Heal stuff like See You Slumber and My Baby’s Been Away just feels too self-indulgent. A shame, but you should definitely check out the good bits.
Words: Richard Foster