Cody Canada wants what’s comin’ to him, just as he should. With fellow red dirt rockers like Will Hoge and Wade Bowen tasting success in recent years, it seems only fair that the former Cross Canadian Ragweed singer joins in with his and his band’s latest album, “HippieLovePunk.”
Canada’s album boasts more depth than most of his red dirt contemporaries can offer, though he also has more weak spots in his album than they have in recent years. The best way to describe it is that Canada is not an “Inbetweener,” a concept that he named his second track for. Those who are not ‘inbetweeners’ have high highs and low lows, and that’s really how this album plays.
First let’s tackle the high highs. “Easy” is a relaxed, lyrically complex tune that uses organs and a double negative to argue for behaving honestly and lovingly. The Southern rock bass chords would make Skynard proud. “All Nighter,” a tribute to a lost friend featuring members of Reckless Kelly and more, is mournful and resilient. Touching details like singing at the funeral and leaving shows that the song is designed to comfort someone who is no longer there in an effort to comfort those who are. It also happens to be the song where Canada sounds most like Willie Nelson, a quality that cannot really be improved upon.
“Comin’ to Me” and “Inbetweener” are the best of the uptempo songs on the album, though they’re both more rock than country. Canada notes on his Facebook page that this is a rock record, despite iTunes placing it in the country category. I’d argue it’s somewhere between the two with the Southern rock tracks soaring the highest. “Maker,” a trippy and depressing song, may be the best example of the blended styles.
It’s the punk part of “HippieLovePunk” that feels weakest. In an effort to preserve its rhyme scheme, “Revolution” comes out with some pretty bland lines. “Permanent constitution” and “positive evolution” are paired with each other. Neither idea seems to match the mood of the melody. “Boss of Me” also falls flat by sounding a bit immature in its anger.
Must Hear: ‘All Nighter” “Easy,” “Inbetweener”
Skip: “Boss of Me,” “Revolution”