Album Review: Cloud Nine

Mini-Description: In my fifth album review, I struggle to find things to say about Kygo's melodic yet very repetitive new record.

Best Songs: "Here For You" ft. Ella Henderson, "Nothing Left" ft. Will Heard, "Stole The Show" ft. Parson James
Worst Song: "I'm In Love" ft. James Vincent McMorrow


Hello everyone, and today I'm going to be reviewing the new album from Kygo called Cloud Nine. Now, I've never been quite the fan of EDM, but I've always respected it as a colorful, bouncy art form that can take many shapes beyond Avicii and the like. Generally, however, an EDM artist's style can tend to be their main point more than it should be, and, if applicable, the quality of their music relies on their performers. Some EDM artists, such as the Chainsmokers, on the other hand, are talented enough on their own to apply uniqueness to their music, even without the need of their performers.

As this album proves...Kygo is not one of them.

There's no easy way to make this review, mainly because, this record didn't offer a lot. I think the best way to start is in Kygo, the man behind the music. His production tendencies are my big issue with this album. His style is the usual piano driven electronic that you get from people like him. At face value, and in moderation, I like this kind of EDM.

My problem is that his sound has absolutely no variety. Almost all of them sound the exact same, which causes a lot of these songs to run dry and makes the record kind of hard to care for. This is apparent in elements like the breezy atmosphere of Raging, the ticking synths of Firestone, and whatever was happening in Stole the Show. I wouldn't say there are many bad songs on this album, and all of them are finely produced by themselves, but the sound just causes them to bleed into each other. That's probably why the stripped back Here For You and emotional ballad Nothing Left are the best songs on this album.

But again, these songs have strong melodies, such as the aforementioned Firestone as well as songs like Stay. Kygo has exactly one ear for strong melodical foundations. What a shame that he never uses that other ear to spice things up a bit.

Vocally, I'm on the fence yet again. This album has some high highs and low lows here. On one hand, we have the endearing yodels of Kodaline on Raging, Ella Henderson's strong crooning on Here For You, and Parson James' raw warble on Stole the Show. But about Parson James, Stole the Show musically reminds me of Omen by Disclosure, but not anywhere near as good, because frankly, James isn't a Sam Smith.

Then we have people like Maty Noyes on Stay with her grating throaty whisper, and James Vincent McMorrow on I'm In Love with his shrill falsetto, both of these songs are my least favorites on Cloud Nine, but even then Stay isn't that bad. Goven the redundant production value, it makes the poor vocals on both songs all the more disappointing.

Speaking of which, that takes us to the lyrical content. Is there even anything to say? Besides the play metaphors on Stole the Show, the regretfulness on Nothing Left, and maybe the literal explosiveness of Raging and Firestone, it's interchangeable and forgettable. Except I'm In Love, which repeats the phrase "I'm in love" a bogglingly annoying amount of times.

If there's one way I can describe this album, it's frustrating. There's so much potential, so much talent, isn't on display. As hard as I'm going off on this, I don't hate it. In fact, I like most of the songs on here barring one or two exceptions, but when I try to piece them together, it doesn't work. There's no variety, I'm sorry. I'm thinking a very light 6/10, and only a recommendation to diehard Kygo fans. I mean, if you're interested, knock yourself out. But if not, I'd skip it. This is WonkeyDude98, signing out.


I think of this album as I think of Fetty Wap's debut. Individually most of the songs are good, but together, you'd get annoyed - ProPanda

I'd honestly say this album fares worse. While Fetty Wap's debut may have been too long (over an hour) and had some duds, he at least had enough personality on his own to carry the songs and make them memorable, and each good song on there did something right. Kygo benefits from none. Each song is forgettable and doesn't stand out, and all of them do the exact same things right and wrong for the most part. - WonkeyDude98

Here For You isn't on the album... - djpenquin999

Well, it was on the playlist for the album (I use YouTube). Without that song, this is probably a strong 5/10 at best and the same recommendation. - WonkeyDude98

k - djpenquin999

Maybe you should have tried George Harrison's Cloud Nine, including support from Clapton, Elton John and Jeff Lynne among others - Billyv

Maybe - WonkeyDude98