Butler County Times Gazette
by Garon Cockrell
Cloud Cult: "Love" (2013) CD Review
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By Garon Cockrell
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Feb. 7, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Cloud Cult had its late-night television debut on Last Call With Carson Daly. A friend and
I were at that taping, and that was my introduction to this wonderful band.
Since then, Ive immersed myself in several of Cloud Cults recordings. And
yes, this is the kind of music you want to immerse yourself in, sink into, and
explore. This band has its own particular sound, creates its own universe. The
sound can be dense and intricate, gorgeous and moving, but always, always
interesting.
Theyve become known for their live shows, where they
have artists paint to the music. And no, theyre certainly not the first band
to do this. But theirs is the kind of music that lends itself to this sort of exploration
and interpretation in other art forms. The paintings are then auctioned off, so
fans can take home a singular souvenir of the concert.
Cloud Cult is also known for its environmentally friendly
CD packaging. The case for Love is
made of 100% post-consumer recycled paperboard, and the plastic CD tray is made
from recycled plastic with at least 35% post-consumer materials.
All of that is wonderful. But of course what is most
important is the music. Love
features
some excellent material, my favorites being "You're The Only Thing In
Your Way," "Good Friend" and "Meet Me Where You're Going." All of the
songs on this album were written by Craig Minowa.
Youre The Only
Thing In Your Way
Love opens with
a beautiful, sad tune titled Youre The Only Thing In Your Way. This is a
seriously strong track, and is one of my favorites. It begins like a folk tune,
with acoustic guitar and vocals, his voice right in your ear as he sings Drive, baby, drive, until your troubles
gone/Run, baby, run, until it all goes numb. This one really hits me, in part because of
the lines, Nothing here can get in your
way/Youve come too far to care what they say/Now youre the only thing in your
way. But of course sometimes thats the toughest, most formidable
obstacle. I absolutely love this song.
Its Your
Decision
Its Your Decision begins with strings, sounding
gorgeous. This song starts slowly, with the lines Will you sink today/Or let it float away/Its your decision. Then
there are wonderful touches on piano as the song builds with the drums until
it bursts to another plateau. It has a great, powerful build. Turn this one up,
let it sweep you up in its arms and carry you. Ive got work to do/Disarming land mines/If I hold it in, Ill just
blow up again/My trigger fingers twitching.
Love And The
First Law Of Thermodynamics
Love And The First Law Of Thermodynamics is a really
interesting instrumental track that takes you on a journey. Close your eyes,
and see what imagery it evokes for you.
Good Friend
Good Friend is probably my favorite song on this album.
I seriously dig the drums on this track. They kick off the song with a great,
powerful groove. The lyrics are good as well: We are not broken ones/Just shattered pieces of the same bright
sun/Trying to figure out which way to run/And we cant do this alone/All I need
is a good, good friend/To get me through this. And this song itself has a
friendly feel to it. It is a song to make you feel closer to the rest of
humanity, a sort of reminder that our basic needs are the same. Its a song to
remove all the layers of nonsense we coat ourselves with.
Meet Me Where
Youre Going
Meet Me Where Youre Going is another of my favorites.
It has a friendly folk feel, with positive lyrics like, Every day with you I say I do/And it means so much more each time.
This is a song to raise ones spirits and bring people together. Its a sweet
love song, with a pretty a cappella section where the voices blend well
together.
Sleepwalker
Sleepwalker features some cool percussion to kick it
off. The song is a call to those who sleepwalk through their lives to wake up
before its too late. Craig Minowa asks, Where
is your passion? Where is your wonder? Where is your thankfulness? The
song soon explodes with a heavy energy, and even has some techno elements. It then
becomes quiet, intimate again Where is
your joyfulness? Where is your empathy? Its a fantastic song.
The Show Starts
Now
Love concludes
with The Show Starts Now, which features the line I want to be the guy who lives in the moment, not so lost in my mind.
Thats a line I can relate to. It turns out not to be all that easy, at least
as Ive found it. The Show Starts Now also has some wonderfully aggressive
drumming.
CD Track List
  • Youre The Only Thing In Your Way
  • Its Your Decision
  • Complicated Creation
  • 1x1x1
  • All The Things We Couldnt See
  • The Calling
  • LoveAnd The First Law Of Thermodynamics
  • Good Friend
  • Meet Me Where Youre Going
  • Sleepwalker
  • It Takes A Lot
  • Catharsis
  • The Show Starts Now
  • Love is scheduled
    to be released on March 5, 2013 through Earthology Records, the bands own
    label.
    (Note: I've also posted this review on my music blog: Cloud Cult: "Love.")

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