Cloud Nine is the debut album for Kygo, the culmination of his rise to stardom that began with his song Firestone in 2014 with vocals from Conrad Sewell, a track that is actually included in the fifteen song offering. Kygo himself is a Norwegian DJ and producer who primary relies on the vocals of others on his tracks, which means this is another album with a bevy of guest artists, giving every piece it’s own unique sound while maintaining the quality musical styling of the primary artist.
Kygo is recognized as being part of the Tropical House sub-genre of house music, and I bet to most of you that doesn’t tell you anything at all about what to expect. It didn’t mean anything to me until I spent some time looking into and listened through this album a few times. Basically, this is upbeat, low tempo electronic music. The best thing I can really compare it to is the type of music that would play at the end of a Jason Bourne movie or in the car headed home after a night of heavy clubbing. It’s chill music, and I get the sense that to truly appreciate it fully, you have to have just gone through something with some tension it. This album is a great cool down selection, I guess is what I’m saying. From my experience, don’t listen to it anytime you need to be productive, because it will definitely stand in the way of that.
As with any album like this, the strength of each track is going to partially fall to whoever was brought in for the accompanying vocals, and as with any album like this, you are going to get a mixed bag. Some of the songs are really good, some of them are just okay, some are completely forgettable. But one thing I can say is that none of these tracks fall apart. Even the worst of them are still decent enough songs, they just aren’t anything special. Raging featuring Kodaline and Fiction featuring Tom Odell are examples of this album at its best. Happy Birthday featuring John Legend is probably the worst of the bunch.
Overall, I enjoyed Cloud Nine, but it isn’t something I’m going to find myself revisiting very often. I feel like it really needs to be applied to the right types of environments, and I don’t think I find myself in those types of environments all that often. Maybe the next time my job pisses me off and I need a cool down during my lunch break to prevent an explosion of anger I’ll call on Kygo to sooth that savage, murderous beast.
Overall Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Favorite Track: Raging (feat. Kodaline)