90FM Album Review:Cloud Cult-"Love"
Taylor Christian
tchri473@uwsp.edu







 
 

Not too many bands out there are lucky enough to function on their own record label, and even fewer of those that do can run their studio on purely geothermal power and recycled materials. Cloud Cult’s lead singer Craig Minowa, however, has done just that with Earthology Records. Located on his own farm, Craig has been putting out music on his label since its founding back in 1997, and doing it steadily at that. Since forming in 1994, Minowa’s band Cloud Cult has just released their 11th album as of this year. The Minneapolis-based experimental indie rock group has been many things over the course of their career, and none of them is normal. From the array of instruments the massive band employs (8 members as of now) to the live show spectacles they’ve become known for, such as having painters make on stage paintings throughout the performance and auctioning the paintings after the show, the band puts forth a serious effort to be a thoroughly unique experience.

Their most recent album, entitiled Love, succeeds again in this goal, with broad sweeps across varying musical styles even in the first three songs. The album immediately kicks in with a soaring, beautiful ballad that does a great job catching the listeners attention, before dropping into a sad violin number for track two, and jumping into a raging freak folk tune reminiscent of Akron Family. These tracks seem to be the precursor to an album that re-grabs your attention between every track, but unfortunately the album seems to slide into a bit of a gloom over the course of the remaining tracks, losing the array of genres the opening tracks feature. This loss of distinction between tracks makes the album lose its catch on a prolonged listen, which is unfortunate as Cloud Cult is usually a band that does a great job of releasing albums that are intended to be listened to as a whole. The album on the whole features several great tracks that are each worth a listen, but as a whole, seems to mark a bit of a downturn for the band. However, the experimental nature of a band like Cloud Cult is one that creates a very large disjunction in how the albums are received from listener to listener, so fans of the band or people who enjoy listening to something they’ve never heard before could easily find plenty to like in Love’s thirteen tracks.