Nimbus Land



by evanjdaly USER (1 Reviews)
March 20th, 2019 | 2 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nimbus Land, an outsider artist's successful attempt at videogame-inspired Glitch EP

This album is some underground ***. I haven't done any research for any my previous
music reviews, but I know literally nothing about this artist, so I looked stuff up. I
learned he's from Boston, and... that's it. Some time ago, I read an interview with
Mallow about this project, and basically all he said was that he was inspired by video
game music and that making music was just a hobby for him. This is his only project.

That being said, this album is phenomenal. This album isn't stylistically what would
be marked as a 10 out of 10 album, but the production puts it in league with others
whose works would be insulted to be labelled as anything less. The video game
inspiration is instantly apparent, although each track has more presence than most
video game music, and as such, they do very well on their own. The continuity of the
album is definitely questionable, as each track feels more like a short story in a
collection, rather than chapters of a book with a singular narrative. The tracks go
from the incredibly high energy "Geno Blast," reminiscent of a boss fight, to the laid
back "Lullaby 1" and "Lullaby 2," which have more of a home base/overworld kind of
feeling. The real standout of the album is an all-time favorite, "Fish Hook." In
keeping with the theme, "Fish Hook" is the big, open area of the game that's so
sprawling with choices that it's hard to know where to look (or listen), so much so
that the options are nearly overwhelming. Likewise, "The Planets Are Smiling at You"
is a track to simply get lost in, where the layers are distinct, but hard to keep
track of as they appear at the edge before making their way to the foreground and then
disappearing again.

If there's anything to truly complain about with this work, it's the run time, at just
under 27 minutes, leaves the listener wanting so much more, but Mallow has been radio
silent for half a decade now, and unless he's changed his stage name, seems unlikely
to return.

This album feels like the work of an amateur, in that some of the choices feel
questionable and the presentation of each song in the album seems off, but somehow it
works. For example, the use of stereo seems basic, and possibly even hackneyed, but
Mallow is smart to use it only just so much. The album is outsider art made with no
clear direction, but with clear choices that add up to create a familiar feeling, but
still somehow mysterious and truly awesome.

user ratings (2)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Contributing Reviewer
March 20th 2019


Not gonna lie, this was kinda confusing to read. It feels very contradictory, but perhaps that's the point--the fact that this album doesn't work, but it works because it doesn't work. By the same token, using that as a thesis is really awkward, and the reasoning used to support it is not very strong.

Plus, video game music can be very diverse in terms of 'presence,' which I'm assuming means how relevant a given tune is in the game. When you think of stuff like Dark Souls (easy example, I know), the orchestral elements, especially in boss fights, are very noticeable and carry a lot of weight. They're not background features at all and add a lot to the experience.

March 31st 2019


Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for your feedback. I'm by no means a music reviewer.

Just to clear up the confusion: Before you even read anything I wrote, you see that I rated this album very highly, one of my top 10 favorite albums all-time. Then, in the very first sentence I point out how this album and artist are unknown. I'm not sure that even a single person that read this review had heard of him beforehand. So obviously there's a reason Nimbus Land (or just Mallow in general) was unsuccessful. I attempted to point out things that would cause a listener to not have the same fondness for the album that I do, and then tried to justify each of these things while also pointing out things that Mallow chose to do with different tracks that really made me fall in love with Nimbus Land. I also gave background to show that this guy is not a career producer, as to lend to the fact that Nimbus Land is outsider art, which I feel like is important to take into account when its clear that some stylistic choices were very different from established norms.

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