- This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
- Personnel includes: Cody ChestnuTT, Craig Waters, Sharif Dumani, Aaron Ebenspurger, Chris Winston, Troy Taroy, Alonzo "Freestyle" Catia.
- Recorded at The Sonic Promiseland, Valley Village, California.
- Lyricist: Sonja Marie.
- Personnel: Tom Tally (vocals, background vocals); Sonja Marie (vocals).
- Audio Mixer: Cody ChesnuTT.
- Recording information: The Sonic Promiseland, Studio A, Valley Village, CA.
- Arranger: Cody ChesnuTT.
- The title of this lengthy, two-disc affair may be a bit misleading; it might suggest some sort of Prince-like construction full of finely wrought sonic details and painstaking production. In fact, the opposite is true--it's a raw, minimalistic, lo-fi effort that has the immediacy of home demo recordings. Fortunately, it's that very quality that has endeared Cody ChesnuTT (the weird capitalization is his idea, folks) to a panoply of critics, earning him a spot on countless best-of-2002 lists. Still, THE HEADPHONE MASTERPIECE didn't hit the album charts until 2003, possibly helped by exposure through touring with the Roots.
- While this is a genre-spanning affair that incorporates pop, rock, soul, funk, and hip-hop in roughly equal measures, it's a million miles from the neo-soul of a Maxwell or D'Angelo. In terms of sonic context, ChesnuTT is more aligned with mercurial four-track scamps like Guided by Voices, churning out songs and snippets without any grand scheme in mind. Attitude-wise though, he seems to be coming from the hip-hop mindset, as the dominant lyrical preoccupations are world-beating braggadocio and the unabashed celebration of social and personal improprieties of every stripe. Whether you call Cody ChesnuTT pop, soul, or hip-hop, one thing is apparent from listening to the HEADPHONE MASTERPIECE; the man's got rock-star confidence to spare.
Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.104) - Ranked #5 in Rolling Stone's list of 2002's "10 Best Debuts"
Rolling Stone (10/3/02, p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...One of the most emotionally raw albums of the year..."
Spin (1/03, p.73) - Ranked #37 on Spin's list of 2002's "Albums of the Year" - "...Think Guided By Voices on a Remy Martin bender with Shuggie Otis and you're still not there..."
Uncut (01/04, pp.84-7) - Ranked #38 in Uncut's "Albums Of The Year 2003"
Uncut (6/03, p.91) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...Although decidedly lo-fi, this epic, adventurous and mischievous album bears comparison with Prince and Todd Rundgren....This is an album of the year..."
Mojo (Publisher) (9/03, p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...At once engaging and aloof, the record entices you closer yet keeps its distance, its often hamfisted production and errant vocals adding to its ramshackle, rusticated charms..."