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Cody Jinks

The Wanting – 2019 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Cody Jinks

It's challenging coming up with enough superlatives to describe Cody Jinks' "The Wanting." Yes, it surpasses the traditional country sonic test. Just listen to the twangy electric and steel guitar on "Bite Of Something Sweet." Although taking the latter advice literally, may lead to a diabetic coma, Jinks delivers its words with an enjoyably conversational tone, the song - both musically and lyrically - feels like something Merle Haggard might have written and sung. Life can be so bitter, and we all long for something sugary to make existence's harsh medicine go down.

The title track, however, has an anthemic quality that brings Dierks Bentley to mind. "Where Even Angels Fear To Fly" also has an energetic, radio-friendly groove. These each have commercial appeal, without ever sacrificing artistic quality. (Hey, if guys like Luke Combs and Jon Pardi can attain commercial success without selling out, why can't Jinks?) Jinks, though, is willing to go deeper than most country stars. "Which One I Feed" is a dead serious look at his spiritual struggle. "Whiskey" deals with a devil known as strong drink. "Whisky, won't you help me make it through this one," Jinks begs while personifying alcohol.

A few years ago, this album might have even sounded better, at least when lined up against so much bad mainstream country music competition. But in 2019, with so much stiff competition, Jinks is still right there at the top. Years from now, this album will also sound fantastic. It truly has a timeless quality.