|cLOUDDEAD's Ten brings together Doseone, why?, and odd nosdam for their second and, sadly, final collaboration on Mush Records. cLOUDDEAD's remarkable range of styles and predilection for twists, turns, and surprises create a paradoxical sort of mood. The vocals, both in their lyrics and delivery, bear down on you while their music soars, guiding you like a glitch-hop-art-tronica Peter Pan.|
The opener "Pop Song" blends and trades ambient synths and breathy ah's with hip-hop beats and strolling drones. It is an overture of sorts, indicative of the complexity and duality of the album as a whole. "The Teen Keen Skip," which kicks off with an English boy reciting something like a nursery rhyme, feels like waking lost in a beautiful, dreamt city with no idea where you were, where to go, or how to speak the language.
The majority of Ten, is beautiful, excitable, fragile, sorrowful, combative, elegantly frantic, and masterfully unafraid. No, not one at a time - all at once. "Son of a Gun" and "Rifle Eyes" return to engaging complexity with smart, aggressive lyrics, dusty samples and tightly drawn beats woven through delicate keyboard lines and jewelry box twinkles. In the end, the ambience floats back to the forefront as the cLOUDDEAD skate away, streamers behind them, leaving with grace and ease and a palpable sense of completion. Contradictions be damned: the seemingly countless layers piled as Ten seduce with complexity - even as it pins you down, even as you fly through it. - Repellent