Review : Cloud Cult - Light Chasers
PitchforkThere's no statute of limitations on grieving the loss of an infant child. For Craig and Connie Minowa, the 2002 death of two-year-old son Kaidin was enough to force a year-long separation. This bereavement also fueled the most cathartic moments of the Cloud Cult albums Craig would later record, in a geothermal-powered studio, at the couple's small, northern Minnesota organic farm. Happily, the Minowas are now celebrating a new addition to the growing Cloud Cult family-- baby boy Nova-- and their band is experiencing something of a rebirth, too.
Cloud Cult's eighth proper album follows the No One Said It Would Be Easy band-doc DVD last year and three recent reissues of this self-released collective's early-2000s output, including 2004's staggeringly expansive Aurora Borealis. Any fan who knows those releases won't be surprised by Light Chasers, which stretches Cloud Cult's hippie-Arcade-Fire sprawl into "a concept album that interweaves stories focused on the exploration of the mysteries of the universe, life and death." Many of you will probably stop reading at this point; the rest of you should know that Light Chasers improves on 2008's Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) by focusing on what Cloud Cult do best, though it lacks the colorful songwriting and hooky inventiveness of the band's most endearing songs. It'll still probably be fun live.
Cloud Cult's usual combination of wiry guitars, earnest yawps, swaying orchestration, bustling drums, and occasional keyboards or electronics returns on Light Chasers, with the addition of ex-Tapes 'n Tapes-er Shawn Neary on bass. Unfortunately, all this overwroughtness-- overwroughtitude?-- has come to feel slightly rote: Note extended song titles like "The Contact (Journey to the Light p. 5)" (the exact track listing varies between the back of the CD case, liner notes, and CDDB online data). Still, this combination of the building blocks for epic, millennial indie rock remains fairly potent in Cloud Cult's hands, particularly on multiple-personality piano stomper "Room Full of People in Your Head". Unplugging it a little, "The Baby (You Were Born)" is a wide-eyed acoustic ballad that, like John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" before it, can seem moving or saccharine depending on your frame of mind. With no breaks between songs, you have to wade through various interludes and self-help asides to find this stuff, but that's part of the fun of a Cloud Cult record. These guys have always been a little different....full text
Blogspot.This ep is being released on 4/20 to coincide with Earth Day I guess. But it's already available for $3 digitally at their online store.
2008's "Feel Good Ghosts" was a surprising addiction for me. I knew the band's name, but never expected to like them. I have since checked out some of their older work and enjoy that as well. So, this new album I certainly expect more of the same at this point.
It is still really sad I have yet to see them live still. They should play a show at The Varsity instead of 1st Crapenue. Or maybe even 1 of the theaters, and I'd definitely make an effort to go. Maybe I'll win tickets from Radio K....full text
IndieshuffleWhat's so good?
I could have made this up, but I think Cloud Cult faced a lot of pressure leading up to this album. That pressure, specifically, was to produce something that sounded different to the prior eight(+) albums they had released. So, how’s it hold up? Surprisingly well, actually. While the album isn’t officially out in stores until September 14th, the group has released it digitally on their website. I got my hands on a copy yesterday, and have since given it two listens. You might consider this review to thus be a rather quick judgment, and if that’s the case, take it with a grain of salt! Frankly, I’m more inclined to let the music stand for itself than to provide any sort of “critique”. But here we go…
The eight prior albums by this non-profit group certainly found an enormous amount of musical inspiration in the unfortunate death of Craig Minowa’s infant son in 2002. I find, however, that with “Light Chasers” they have moved past a thematic ambiance of dwelling on the past. This in and of itself leads me to conclude that they haven’t screwed this one up....full text
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ice-cream or chocolate?