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Cloud Nothings | Cloud Nothings

Carpark Records (2011)
By RYAN REED  |  January 18, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars

There's still something borderline poetic about a teenage dude recording a collection of lo-fi punk/pop songs on a laptop in his bedroom. But too much of Cloud Nothings' full-length debut drifts by solely on the clamor of youthful angst. This one-man Cleveland project from 19-year-old Dylan Baldi has generated a lot of internet hype, and deservedly so. Baldi is gaining traction as an experienced songwriter despite his youth — a handful of seven-inches and EPs, as well as a self-produced full-length, precede this release — and his most melodic, genuinely passionate moments of cheap, reckless-abandon pop are equal parts charming and life-affirming. But on Cloud Nothings, both music and lyrics sound as if they had been written in real time as the songs were recorded. There is good in that, as witness the giddy punk/pop sugar rush of opener "I Don't Understand." But there's also a negative: pretty much the entire second half of the album finds restless energy usurping songcraft, so we have spunky, hollowed-out holes where tunes should be. For a proper introduction, Cloud Nothings leaves much to be desired. But talk about highlights: if you can get through the sing-along chorus of "Should Have" without a big, dumb smile on your face, you might just be a heartless bastard after all
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  Topics: CD Reviews , lo-fi, music review, Cloud Nothings,  More more >
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