Cloudkicker
Woum


2.5
average

Review

by Nick Mongiardo USER (134 Reviews)
November 1st, 2015 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Woum proves to be juvenile for Ben Sharp's standards, which is why it sticks out like a sore thumb in his discography.

Welcome to the unwarranted sequel of Let yourself be Huge. Whatever made that album so emotionally complex and unique simply doesn’t exist with Woum. Everything brilliant about it happened to be context, execution and the feeling that the songs were all moving toward a payoff. However, with the abysmally named Woum, it’s actually surprising how much of Ben Sharp’s talent for song writing and musicianship wasn’t applied here. All of it sounds like the soundtrack to a very urgent scene from a movie, but only without anything to get emotionally invested in. With the exception of the closer, none of this is unlistenable in any way. In fact, it’s quite pleasant and lush throughout. Even with that said, this is not enough for the listener to get completely immersed in Ben’s often exceptional musicianship. Instead, what the listener gets here proves to be a simplistic, atmospherically driven alternative rock album.

As stated before, this album exists in the same inspiring light as Let yourself be Huge, but without the emotional weight. The lazily titled “Intro to Woum” without a doubt sets the tone for the entire album, with it being driven by nothing but gently textured guitar work. The same can easily be said for “Trim Splint” as it prides itself on the same pleasant aspects of the opener. However, the best track on the album definitely proves to be “Plurals” by a mile. The guitar sound could easily be pulled out of a post rock song and the melodies Ben performs are certainly quite catchy. However, nothing truly moves toward any type of crescendo or payoff, nor does the guitar have any kind of unique sound to it. Though “Threaded” is undeniably driven by ambient guitars, it sounds like it could be ripped right off a Hammock, for better and for worse. It’s as if Ben was going for the blandest sound possible as a whole. As usual, he still does every bit of work here himself which is always a plus, but this is something many amateur artists can create themselves, which is strange because Ben Sharp has demonstrated the ability to be everything but amateur on numerous occasions.

There isn’t really much more to say about this one due to its very short nature and simplicity, unlike most of his work unfortunately. It showcases the same sound as Let yourself be Huge, but nothing more. This also leads the listener to assume that said album was a fluke at far gentler music for him. Judging from this album, it’s drastically clear that he’s immensely better at creating progressive metal music. Woum also ends on one hell of a head scratching note, with the instruments of “Mou” literally swaying back and forth, fading in and out along with what sounds like samples. It’s a terrible way to end the album, but the rest of it is far superior. After all is said and done, one can’t help but appreciate Ben Sharp as an artist no matter what he does despite this being a bit of a clunker. Not only is it his first true failure, but he releases his music under the radar for himself and only himself. He doesn’t ask for much. This record will undoubtedly reveal itself to be Cloudkicker’s most polarizing for his fans, but that’s alright. He clearly strived to create something more simplistic and leisurely in his free time, still never asking for an ounce of cash. Despite all the admiration of the man behind Cloudkicker, hopefully his next work will lean more towards the more engaging spectrum nonetheless.



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user ratings (101)
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
November 1st 2015


20591 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sorry Ben, but someone's gotta do it :/ Also, what a bad album title.



Anyone can listen to it on his bandcamp btw http://cloudkickermusic.com/

JS19
November 1st 2015


7400 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, but your summary reads really awkwardly dude.

Digging: Floating Points - Crush

Mongi123
November 1st 2015


20591 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I thought so too so I changed it. Thanks man.

indigonowhere
Emeritus
November 1st 2015


10734 Comments


Aww, I think this album has been really underappreciated so far

Mongi123
November 1st 2015


20591 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fair enough man! As I said, I get what he tried to do here, but it's just not nearly enjoyable enough.

JS19
November 1st 2015


7400 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Much better dude : ) I never thought any Cloudkicker release was that amazing but this is just boring

jmh886
November 1st 2015


2433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

good review. album is kind of boring. however, one thing that is often overlooked on Cloudkicker albums are the drums. Ben is incredible at programming and the drums on this are pretty awesome. Probably the highlight in my opinion.

beefshoes
November 1st 2015


7603 Comments


What was he thinking with this album art??


Digging: Sunn O))) - Pyroclasts

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
November 1st 2015


1386 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Say it aint so. Such a consistent dude normally, hopefully you're all just badly wrong.

portableheadd
November 1st 2015


81 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ben Sharp doesn't seem to know how to compose very well outside of his more metal stuff. All these songs sound like someone just writing an idea and then looping stuff on top of it and until awkwardly ending it at some point instead of progressing the song anywhere and adding more parts.



As a guitar player with a loop pedal I understand that this happens but it means I can't see these songs as anything other than rough sketches of song ideas still to be finished.

Drummerboy123
November 1st 2015


3096 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Agree 100% with this. Plurals is the only thing I listen to really.

Mongi123
November 1st 2015


20591 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks guys. Yea it just doesn't feel very flushed out.

solongatlast
November 1st 2015


342 Comments


"All these songs sound like someone just writing an idea and then looping stuff on top of it and until awkwardly ending it at some point instead of progressing the song anywhere and adding more parts."

This accurately describes 90% of his music.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
November 1st 2015


16344 Comments


this guy is absurdly overrated. he's not bad but jesus.

Digging: Crimeapple - Viridi Panem

Sunnyvale
November 1st 2015


1224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not a huge fan of most of his stuff, but Let Yourself Be Huge is absolutely brilliant.

bloc
November 1st 2015


58241 Comments


Yeah this is crap

"this guy is absurdly overrated. he's not bad but jesus."

I agree

Digging: Wire - Pink Flag

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2015


4894 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, but I have to disagree, the album is quite nice. Not as good as Let Yourself Be Huge, yet some of the tracks are very enjoyable.

Digging: Swans - Leaving Meaning

Mongi123
November 1st 2015


20591 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks guys. Fair enough dude it's a nice passable listen but agreed. The LYBH title track is one of the best things he's done.

Insurrection
November 1st 2015


24735 Comments


i liked little histories a lot. gonna give this a shot anyway

MO
November 1st 2015


22763 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Album is solid, will probably drop this to a 3 soon. One of those releases I won't come back to very much



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