Kygo - "Cloud Nine" (Album Review)

Kygo's Cloud Nine might not pummel you with relentless electronic thumps and aggressive noises, but it does have the subdued summer vibe you might just be looking for. EDM sometimes struggles between what style, sound, or vibe can dominate. Kygo's subdued, more tropical house influenced production was extremely hot in 2015. Justin Bieber, Drake, and various other artists were seeking out those somewhat tropical, beachy sounds for their beats. I talked about Matoma's "evolving album" release last year and talked about how important it was for EDM artists who are dabbling in the hype sound of the moment to capitalize on it. Especially in the EDM genre where listeners can be fickle. As we moved through winter and are now heading back to summer the question on my mind was, are we as listeners still wanting to get tropical?

To some extent a producer like Kygo (or any other EDM producer) who focuses on guest features to accompany their original instrumentals runs the heavy task of incorporating so many voices and still trying to tie the album together cohesively. I think Kygo's successful mostly. His production really does float along smoothly and it does tie everything together despite the many voices you hear along the way. It's a star studded affair. Guests include Foxes, John Legend, and James Vincent McMorrow. Despite the features the production is still the star of the show, which it should be. Some listeners may feel a huge lack of energy as this isn't one of those big festival banger type albums. That doesn't mean Cloud Nine fails to deliver a successful EDM album. I think the opposite in a lot of ways. To me mood is so important with EDM projects. If the artist doesn't capture the vibe he or she set out for then it usually fails. Kygo is successful, in my opinion. "Serious" is a great example of how well the songs on the album work vibe wise. It's so subdued in nature, but it never fails at being good at what it is. The texture and nuance in the beat is a prime example of how the style really creates this nice mood and feeling and can be successful without beating the listener over the head with some EDM staple sounds we've heard popularized since the EDM rise of a few years ago.  

This is breezy, summery, vibrant, and tropical infused music. It doesn't get too loud and really does move at the pace one should expect from this style and sound. That may be to some listeners determent as they may be growing weary of Tropical House and the palm trees may be showing signs of wilt. Since last year tons of new artists have sprung up with sound, and like dubstep almost exhausted listeners with the same vibe over and over. I still think Kygo does it better than most. This is his big statement. I think it works as a whole. It is a very good EDM album. This is a perfect release for laid back occasions, night listening, relaxed beach parties, or pool side gatherings.

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