Syntax Issue 10
Denver Syntax

The appearance of arrogance is usually not to be confused with something more sophisticated, like humor. But what happens when “The Best CD Ever” is actually profoundly good? Is this a joke or is it real?

(And yes, the photograph above is of Crump. It’s his senior photo in his high school yearbook.)

Tell me, how do you at once make fun of rock stardom and write earnest songs that roar with a profound accessibility and hearty gait?

Whichever way you play it, Cody Crump is damn good. And, he’s not afraid to tell you just that. But couple that complication with some strong humility and a dearth of fear for working hard and then you’ve used your Bob Ross paintbrush to paint a happy little landscape that is a little more like Crump.

Crump’s new act – the public one – aligns him with his band, the Little Giants, an adept backing band that rounds-out Crump’s symphonic, ambitious pop. His songs are more sophisticated than bubble gum: they take hundreds of licks to get to the lollipop center. And their flavor is much more complicated than what any of these words could aim at.

In all, Cody Crump is a little more like a composer than a songwriter. Upon a cursory listen of his work, it is obvious that he has a handle on the fundamentals of songwriting. More than that Crump has a pronounced diction when it comes to textures, dynamics and cadence. He understands how to draw a listener in, put them on the ride and escalate everything as some kind of reverse overture where every element that is going to be presented, is – in some delicious kaleidoscope of understanding.

It makes sense that Crump should have a proclivity for this kind of orchestration. He draws some of his influence from the Romantic composers. Men like Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Chopin have shaped Crump’s musical landscape as much as Radiohead, NIN or The Beach Boys have. And where, for some analysis, stating an artist’s influences could be detrimental to the picture drawn of him – it’s peculiar with Crump’s musical background because in all, you just don’t hear all these big names coming through in his music in a way that you’d expect it to – in subject, theme, composition or texture. One of the biggest compliments lauded on Crump’s music is that he sounds like, well… him.

Here’s the portion of the program where we interject the inevitable: Cody Crump is young. Yes, I know… But it is relevant, if you must know. No, he’s not too young that he can’t get into a bar kind-of-young. He’s the kind of young that he probably shouldn’t be writing the kind of stuff that he is. But… he is.

And, it’s good.

A native of Montrose, Colorado, Crump moved to the Queen City as a multilevel move to make a living as a songwriter. And in only a couple of years of working as a serious musician he has garnered respect from many industry folks. More than being confident in his work, Crump has a myriad of ideas that will, hopefully, complete his musical spectrum. One is an electronic double-album that is currently in production. As well, he has another project, yet to be revealed. For while Crump can be boisterous on stage he keeps his projects and much of his ambition close to his chest. Rightfully so when your musical heroes have names like Chopin and Tchaikovsky. In this vein, writing scores for film are perfectly aligned to his direction.

For certain, Crump is a character. And it reveals itself in his songs nearly as much as it does when he takes the stage. For it is in these spaces where the sometimes quiet Crump turns on the spotlight and steps right in the heart of it. On stage, he is part humorist (and quite funny at that), complete entertainer and part satirist. He mocks his chosen profession – the parts of his love that he has, hitherto, strayed from. But in the studio, behind his guitar and Crump is nothing short of a solemn songwriter; a forceful composer and heartfelt lyricist.

Just like his songs, Cody Crump is ambitious. And rightfully so. Yet, for some reason, it has taken Denver a little longer to applaud him than this author would deem necessary. Still, that hasn’t discouraged Crump in the least and what every music lover can expect is to hear the alliteration of Cody Crump in the very near future.

Keep up with this little giant’s next moves, here: www.myspace.com/codycrump