Have you ever eaten one heaping spoon of ice cream, and then decided that you were going to eat the entire gallon? While you probably didn’t regret gorging yourself on the tub, you probably realized it was a bit overindulgent, and wont do it again for a while. It is my belief that Kygo’s Cloud Nine is a solid representation of the metaphorical ice cream.
Kygo - a 24 year old producer from Norway – is known for carving out a Tropical House niche within current pop music, most namely with his hit single “Firestone.” That being said, I was expecting more innovation out of him for his new album, “Cloud Nine.”
Cloud Nine was driven more by the vocal lines, and less by the music. I was hoping for a more instrumental approach, but the only track without vocals is the introduction. This is not to say that it isn’t good music; With John Legend, Foxes, and James Vincent McMorrow being featured on the album, there are certainly some heavy hitting vocal chords. However, at times I felt as he was using the vocal lines as a crutch, making the music a bit stale for my taste.
On the other hand the sounds of the album did cover a large range – he used not only software-synthesized sounds, but also a lot of acoustic, to paint the sonic landscape. Many of the songs feature piano, guitar, or strings. I thought the track “For What its Worth” was absolutely gorgeous. Though it’s not what I would consider traditional Kygo, it had a hauntingly beautiful piano loop that just makes you want to give it a second listen. I believe his mixed use of synthesized and acoustic sounds give this album more depth, and certainly an interesting journey for the listener.
If you were looking for a mind-bending experience from Cloud 9 then you are probably going to be disappointed. However, if you were looking for some feel good tunes to ring in the summer, I would advise you to crack open a shandy and give it a listen. You might as well have some ice cream while you’re at it.