Nearly five years has elapsed since Cody ChesnuTT's last full-length. However, his most recent album could not have come at a better time. My Love Divine Degree ditches ChesnuTT's signature romantic themes and instead captures the essence of resilience, hope and love so relevant to a host of communities but particularly to the black diaspora. His powerful single "Bullets in the Street and Blood" features the immensely talented Raphael Saadiq who adds a delicate element to the song.
Despite ChesnuTT's elusive character, his music is bold and unflinching. The neo-soul artist invites producer Anthony Khan (professionally known as the Twilite Tone) to assist him throughout the album. The result is a mix of soul and funk that the Twilite Tone has notably used in other high-profile collaborations. His work extends to the likes of Common, Kanye West, Pusha T and many more.
To ChesnuTT, "this body of work is medicine," and it's one that remedies the soul. The artist indicates that he's moving forward with songs like "Africa the Future," but at the same time, his optimism doesn't dismiss the reality of our contemporary world — rather, it acknowledges systemic issues with strong tracks like "So Sad to See (A Lost Generation)."
My Love Divine Degree adds modern flair to soul and speaks to ChesnuTT's captivating songwriting skills. It was worth waiting for an album this timeless-feeling. (One Little Indian)