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Love
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Craig Minowa (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards); Shawn Neary (banjo, trombone, glockenspiel, background vocals); Shannon Frid (violin, background vocals); Sarah Elhardt (accordion, trumpet, French horn, background vocals); Arlen Peiffer (drums, background vocals).
  • Recording information: Earthology Studio, Viroqua, WI; The Hideaway Studio, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Minnesota-based indie large ensemble Cloud Cult deals in huge, sweeping gestures and epic productions. Love is their ninth album, a glossy and ornamented affair following eight other albums that are, for the most part, equally over-the-top expressions of extreme emotions. The band has moved from its Beck-ish beginnings into the ever-climaxing kind of life-affirming, celebratory, indie rock made popular by the Arcade Fire, Polyphonic Spree, or Danielson. Singer/principle songwriter Craig Minowa guides his large group arrangements through both sparkling, spare, strings-heavy ballads like "You're the Only Thing in Your Way," and yelpy singalong rockers like "Complicated Creation." The production is crisp and booming, stuffing dozens of instruments and counter melodies into concise, crystal-clear end products. Whether it's the sound of a room full of people shouting over Neutral Milk Hotel-style marching drum, or the glistening Belle & Sebastian-esque trumpet moments of "Good Friend," everything is in perfect focus, broadcasting Minowa's searching compositions in the most luminescent way possible. The majority of the songs deal with general life affirmation and an optimistic looks at life's cycles of joy and pain. ~ Fred Thomas
Professional Reviews
Billboard (p.53) - "[M]anicured in the right spots, building tension and exploding into musical peaks..."
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