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          Case alum makes name for himself in recording world

          Mallory Factor

          Issue date: 11/14/08 Section: Focus
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          It's hard to follow in the hallowed footsteps of artists like Sinatra, Martin, Tormé, and Darin. Few modern singers have been able to achieve similar success as a crooner, the lone standout being Michael Bublé. And yet, that's precisely what Case Western Reserve's own Cody Wood, a former BME and music major, and current aspiring artist in Los Angeles, intends to do. With a sweet voice and sharp mind, it's easy to understand why he believes he can succeed.

          Wood, a musician of many talents, has been honing his craft since he was a child. "When I was four, my mother bought me a tape recorder and I started writing my own songs," said Wood. "No structure. Just recording and playing them back. Then I did classic music until sophomore year of college. That's when I started playing around with song writing." Of the 10 tracks on his debut solo album, "Nothin' To It", Wood is credited with five. More impressive is that those five tracks stand out above the rest, highlighting Wood's versatility, both in genre and vocal style.

          The first and title track mixes vocal jazz with rock, setting a diverse tone from the start. Wood's next original piece, "Beauty Rain," highlights Wood's classic influences, using only strings as background music. This is lyrically one of Wood's strongest offers, utilizing meaningful metaphors while implementing beautiful imagery. "Your beauty rains inside of me, it covers all I know/My heart is pruned with solitude, never will it show" evokes a distinct, precise meaning - a true testament to Wood's ability to write lyrics. Still, the best original number is easily "Bad Boy," a classic adult contemporary song that highlights every positive facet of "Nothin' To It". On this track, the vocals are rangy but spot on, the music fantastic, and the lyrics enjoyable and smart - it's a complete number that shows great potential for future music.

          In addition to the original pieces, the album also contains two famous covers - Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" and The Beatles' "Yesterday." Both tracks are interesting and different takes on the originals and reinforce Wood's originality. "Just The Way You Are" gives Wood an opportunity to show off the smooth side of his voice, delivering the lines almost more smoothly than Joel did in the original.

          The choice of "Yesterday" certainly makes sense given Wood's penchant for yearning in his lyrics, though Wood's arrangement is much more complex and, surprisingly, upbeat.

          When asked advice about going into the music industry, Wood replied, "No matter what aspect it is, you don't need to compare yourself to the other artists that are out there. You just need to be comfortable with who you are and do what you do. Whatever that is, you just need to be yourself. You don't have to be the same artist as everyone else."

          This belief should come as no surprise after a listen to his album, which remains unique in a genre filled with common sounds. Many similar artists are unable to distinguish themselves from their predecessors, merely producing an album of vocal styling without any real substance or imagination. Nothin' To It, though, remains a very promising debut from an inventive mind, a mind that Case Western Reserve is lucky enough to call one of its own.
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          In This Issue

          News

          • Major work on LGBT Center completed
          • Meet your USG Executive Board
          • More to coffee than its morning punch
          • New international student orientation session debuts
          • Optimizing your credit cards
          • University names new controller
          • USG Briefs: Filer to be taken offline

          Sports

          • A conversation with Otto Penicka, voice of Spartan athletics
          • Another year, another slap in the face
          • Conference Previews
          • Men's XC team to avenge snub
          • Spartan Spotlight: Cindy Spahn
          • Spartan women have their eye on return trip to Nationals
          • Women's Soccer looks to build on surprising season

          Opinion

          • Flouting the system, 101
          • Letter to the Editor: Commutes Students Association offers home to all CWRU students
          • Sex and Dating
          • Spreading the wealth
          • Student body, SEC ready to move on

          Focus

          • Going back to Those Gold Soundz: I was a six-year-old Phish phan
          • Kate Voegele, Meagan McCormick charm crowd at Welcome Back Concert
          • One student's story: wielding Magic in foreign countries.
          • Scott Pilgrim epitomizes style over substance in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
          • SEC positively affecting campus
          • The Buzz
          • Welcome Back Comedy Night a real laugh
          • Welcome Days
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