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CD REVIEW: Cody Road – Driven
By Chip Withrow - 11/02/2005 - 08:15 PM EST

Artist: Cody Road
Album: Driven
CD Review: Cody Road combines chiming guitars and tight vocal harmonies to evoke memories of jangly ‘60s folk rock, ‘70s Southern California country rock, and ‘80s and ‘90s power pop. The best songs on Driven are pure top-down road-trip music.

The cd kicks off with the punchy “When I’m There.” It’s an urgent rocker with a great when-I-get-back-to-my-baby vibe. Several other songs have a similar straight-ahead groove. “Owe It All To You” is poppy and fun. It has cool lyrics, too. “Very First Time” is infectious, reminiscent of early ‘80s New Wave.

The pretty “Outside of Mine” is one of the best songs on the disc: the vocals blend achingly and the acoustic guitar solo is sweet. “Careless Whispers” has some nifty, jazzy chord changes, and it boasts the best string work on the cd. The tension-building dueling lead guitars at the close of the song end too soon.

“Over and Over” is another soaring track – a full string arrangement would give it some real heft and drama. “Cry Till Tomorrow” fulfills that promise of drama: a soulful, slow-burning 6/8 beat, world-wise lyrics, a singalong chorus, and a powerful lead guitar at the end.

A few songs feel like they don’t belong and don’t quite measure up to the really great ones on Driven. Even on those tracks there are some nice hooks, like the guitar solo on “Afternoon” and the country blues harp on "Havin Fun."

For the most part, Driven is one catchy cd, familiar yet fresh, and Cody Road is one tight band.

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