Album Review: Cody Jinks - “Change The Game”

The Fiercely-independent artist has built his career into superstar status with albums just like the aptly-titled “Changed The Game.”

It used to be difficult to be an independent artist in the country music world, especially true if you wanted any kind of radio airplay. Over the past decade or so, there has been a sea change in the genre with independent artists breaking out in large ways and Cody Jinks has been one of the independents leading the charge with great albums like Lifer, Mercy and The Adobe Sessions helping to build his case and create a wake in which the likes of Zach Bryan, Koe Wetzel and Ashley McBryde all have followed through. Throughout all of this, Cody Jinks has made some of country music’s best records and Change The Game is no different. The record blends his influences of Outlaw-era country and heavy metal into an intoxicating blend of traditional country rock.

“Take This Bottle,” a duet with Pearl Aday, is a brilliant duet (of the classic Faith No More song) about the dangers of addiction and how it affects our abilities to overcome it. The title track, a rollicking longtime life show favorite and in that independent Texas Country way, he sings about everything talked about in the first paragraph above. He really has changed “the game” of country music. He built what he has one show and song at a time. That independence as allowed Cody Jinks to sing about topics that aren’t always discussed — at least traditionally — in country music and he sings about his life on the brilliant opening track “Sober Thing,” a song which is one of the best he’s ever released.

“A Few More Ghosts” is a groove-filled rumination about overthinking things while “The Working Man” is an ode to a blue collar way of life and how the ethos of such a life don’t change, even if the work does. It’s a great country song with stellar instrumental breaks and a classic country spirit (you might even think it’s a long-lost Willie Nelson song — it isn’t). “Wasted” confronts all the bad ways someone can let their life flitter away without thought to what they’re really doing with it.

“I Can’t Complain” is a phrase I say all the time and it’s an ethos I have in life. No matter where it goes, I don’t want to complain. Keep a positive outlook. That’s sort of what this song is about here, as Cody sings about a relationship and his own similar outlook on life with it. This kind of viewpoint, along with his warts and all approach to songwriting and everything Cody Jinks does. He did Change The Game, indeed, both in his career and that of the country music world at large with each new album he releases.

Cody Jinks Change The Game