Leather – Cody Johnson



Cody Johnson, the Texas troubadour with a penchant for staying true to his roots, delivers a compelling collection of songs on his third album, “Leather.” Released under Warner Music Nashville, this record showcases Johnson’s commitment to quality music and his unwavering dedication to the country genre.

Johnson’s sound on “Leather” is both familiar and refreshing. He doubles down on his country roots, infusing each track with sincerity. Producer Trent Wilmon deserves applause for challenging Cody and coaxing out surprising depth in the songs. From the title track to “Make Me a Mop,” the album resonates with authenticity.

While Johnson didn’t write or co-write any of the songs, his knack for selecting great material shines through. Like George Strait and Mark Chesnutt before him, Cody understands that singing with conviction matters more than claiming songwriting credits. The result? A lineup of tunes that remind us why we fell in love with country music in the first place.

“Leather” strikes a balance between boisterous tracks and poignant ballads. Songs like “That’s Texas” and “People in the Back” inject energy into his live shows. Meanwhile, heartbreakers like “Watching My Old Flame” and the introspective “Whiskey Bent” (featuring Jelly Roll) cut deep. Johnson’s vocals carry the weight of these emotions effortlessly.

The misstep comes in the form of “Jesus Loves You.” Instead of forwarding Christ’s teachings about forgiveness, it morphs into a revenge fantasy. Written by HARDY, it veers into distorted vigilante justice territory. Thankfully, it’s just one song, and the rest of the album compensates.

In a landscape where mainstream country often veers away from tradition, Cody Johnson stands firm. “Leather” is a testament to his unwavering commitment to the genre.

Standout Tracks:

  • “Leather”: The title song exudes vulnerability and resilience, leaving a lasting impression.
  • “The Painter”: Surprisingly deep and beautifully rendered, this track showcases Cody’s growth as an artist.
  • “Make Me a Mop”: A gem that reveals Cody’s restraint and maturity.

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