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Travel in Peace

(The Soundtrack of My Escape)

Non-Fiction Book

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Chameleon- "rod"

Solid funk, R&B, and rock licks – with a touch of gospel thrown in for good measure – characterize Chameleon, a 2002 release by one-named artist Rod. It’s an upbeat mix of eclectic musical influences that is as smooth as a velvet fedora.

From the first cut through the last, moody keyboards and understated guitar work, punctuated by thumb-thumping bass envelop Rod’s excellent vocal work, reminiscent of Terrence Trent D’Arby.

Taking Chameleon for a spin will cause the listener to be transported back to the late 70s, when cool R&B was in its heyday. I imagine tooling around town in my Ford LTD, a few hand sweeps either side of midnight, radio tuned to the far end of the FM dial while some ultra-hip disc jockey introduces cut after cut from the album.

Tracks 4 (Fly), 5 (I need You), 8 (The Day that My Heart Lied to Me), 12 (Fine’), 15 (Why), and 17 (A Surrendered Life) offer not only the strongest selections on the album, but also the full range of styles that Rod has blended on the album.

Cut 6 (She) is an O. Henry-esque spoken-word narrative that came off a little cornball at first, but after going through the disc a few times, I found it had grown on me. I now take it as one of seventeen pieces to a complex musical puzzle that is worth the time to assemble. Once finished, the listener will have a complete, artful picture in song and note.