When I first heard Cody Jinks’ voice, I was blown by the amount of presence displayed. When you hear Cody Jinks sing, you’ll pay attention. That’s a great quality for a musician because you’ll rarely lose the listener or audience’s attention. Jinks is just one of the many talented country artists to come out of Texas with his style of country music mixed with a little rock and roll. While many were paying attention to Justin Townes Earle and Ryan Bingham’s new records, Jinks just released a pretty nice album of his own. Today I review his new album Adobe Sessions, which will knock your socks off at times.
The album starts off with one of those type of songs, “What Else Is New.” It’s a song where Jinks makes observations on things happening all around us from the job market to Russia to climate problems. The instrumentation on this song is infectious, with a real heavy dose of steel guitar. This song reminds me a lot of Sturgill Simpson’s “Life Ain’t Fair and the World Is Mean” with it’s attitude and approach. It’s a great way to kick off the album and grab the listener’s ears early. This is followed by “Mamma Song,” which is dedicated to Jinks’ mother, hence the title. Jinks sings about making his way in music and how she has always been there for him through good times and bad. I like the fact that it isn’t cheesy and clichéd like most of these types of songs usually are (like Garth Brooks’ “Mom) and actually creates a sentimental feeling when listening.
One of the best songs on the album is “Cast No Stones.” It deals with people who use their religion to pass judgment upon others. In other words, this song takes down holier than thou Bible thumpers who make you feel like shit for your actions. It’s not anti-religion, but more anti-assholes who shove their opinions down your throat. The instrumentation and lyrics work seamlessly together to produce a fantastic song.
“We’re Gonna Dance” is a simple love song with solid instrumentation. It’s not a bad song, but it’s not spectacular either. It’s a decent filler song. Jinks slows the tempo down with “Birds,” a song about Jinks talking to an old man (perhaps his Dad?) about life and enjoying it for all you can. Instead of the electric guitar that had been permeating throughout the album up to this point, an acoustic guitar replaces it. While I didn’t quite enjoy this song as much as I thought I would, it did prove the Jinks’ band is just as good slow as they are fast.
“Loud and Heavy” really lets Jinks’ voice be front and center, while the instrumentation takes more of a backseat. This is one of the more rock-influenced tracks on the album too. I would say this one of the most radio-friendly tracks on the album. The other great song on Adobe Sessions and the one I would put right beside “Cast No Stones” is “David.” This song is about a man and his best friend David. The man talks about all of the memories and how they grew up into different people, but still as things change, the more they stay the same. Up until the halfway point of this song, the listener will think this is just a nostalgia tune. But instead it takes a tragic turn; something the listener will feel when it happens. Jinks’ storytelling chops in this song are fantastic.
This is followed by the heartbreak song, “Me or You.” I think this song does a good job expressing the emotion behind the theme of this song where the man and woman are torn on their relationship. But it just feels like this song drags too long and could have easily been shortened down in length. “Folks” is the most folksy song on the album (say that 10 times faster). This is a song that blows by your ears quick if you don’t pay attention. I enjoy the steel guitar play on this song. “Ready for the Good Times to Get Better” is about a man down in the dumps and feeling blue. He laments that he’s tired of feeling this way and is waiting anxiously for the better days. Jinks’ vocals are fantastic and I like the choice of the backing vocals on this track too.
One of the most pure country songs on this album is “Dirt.” No, it’s not that “Dirt” by Florida Georgia Line. Although this song has a nostalgia factor that is similar. This “Dirt” is much more somber in it’s theme, as it deals with a man recalling how poor he grew up as a kid and his family struggled to make ends meet sometimes. I really love the instrumentation, as it really drives the song along. The final song on the album is “Rock and Roll,” a song about a man recalling his past alcohol addiction and the consequences of it. As Jinks sings in the song, “I don’t need that whiskey anymore.” The songwriting isn’t complicated, but that isn’t needed in a song like this one. The lyrics are kept simple to tell a complicated story like someone going through alcohol addiction. It’s a real sentimental song that caps off this album well.
When listening to Adobe Sessions it felt like it was an album of the year candidate. It sounded that good. But then there were other times where I was waiting for more and didn’t come. As I say in the title of this review, this album had real flashes of brilliance. It just couldn’t maintain this throughout the album. It could have been a great album, but instead it’s just pretty good. This is just the beginning for Jinks though because I think his potential is sky-high. The best is still yet to come. Regardless I definitely recommend checking this album out. There are some great songs on it and if you like a little rock with your country you’ll definitely enjoy it.