Kars Landman
Clouds


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tyler W. USER (47 Reviews)
August 12th, 2020 | 21 replies


Release Date: 06/19/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Peace and tranquility in the skies

From the first chord of Clouds, the lush vibrance of reverb and peaceful ambience encapsulates the listener within a dreamy escape. The serene soundscape, woven together by infectious prog-rock grooves and spacey pop atmosphere, creates this sonic “oasis” that veils the chaos of the world, even if for a momentary period of time. With Kars Landman’s songwriting at the helm, Clouds lives up to its name: lofty, soaring, and atmospheric.

Leaving behind the heavily influenced metal tinge of his previous effort, Kars Landman opts for a more cohesive element to his style, crafting his most consistent record to date. With the omnipresent atmosphere dominating Clouds, the swelling ambience of the orchestral crescendos, rich synths, and airy guitars hone in on the peaceful composition of each track. From the orchestra-centric element of “Paradise” to the acoustic plucking of “Peace,” Landman effortlessly captures the essence of tranquility through a broad songwriting spectrum. Whether a piano ballad along the lines of “Lost” or a melodic venture in the realm of progressive rock in “Another Distortion,” Clouds, in all its diversity, fluidly progresses through its dreamy construct. In the midst of such serenity, Kars Landman intertwines the clean composition and the aggressive contrast with the occasional heavier element in tracks like “Wondering,” yet never abandoning the peace composed within.

Despite the limitations implied with independent solo work, Kars Landman excels beyond the confinements, crafting his best record yet. Although heavily dependent on MIDI and programmed instruments, Clouds overflows with beautiful melodies, catchy riffs, luscious atmosphere, and peaceful composition, sounding almost authentic in timbre. Alternatively, the solo work assists Kars Landman in a grand way, allowing for the perfect marriage of instrumentation and chemistry with each musical aspect elusively playing off of each other. Everything builds upon the foundation laid by another instrument, crafting a myriad of layers soaring across the soundscape. Ascending above the musical musical composition, the vocals add yet another layer to the ambitious presence of the atmosphere. Despite the occasional dodgy melody and faltering vocal line, Kars Landman’s greatly improved vocals soar melodically over the dreamy oasis, displaying delicate harmonies smoothly filling the open atmosphere.

With Clouds, Kars Landman deviates from his previous style and experiments with the more melodic aspects of his songwriting, displaying his diverse ability to capture the essence of each genre. Minor flaws aside, Kars Landman’s magnum opus shows him at the peak of his career with improved melodies, vocals, production, and overall composition. In spite of the recent chaos ensuing our world, Clouds envelops the listeners in a peaceful embrace of a lulling dream: the sonic oasis.



Recent reviews by this author
Taylor Swift FolkloreLune (AUS) Ghost
Emmure HindsightMake Them Suffer How to Survive a Funeral
Umbra Vitae Shadow of LifeDance Gavin Dance Afterburner
user ratings (3)
2.7
average


Comments:Add a Comment 
tyman128
August 12th 2020


2269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A bit of a short write up, but just wanted to get some attention out there for a fellow Sput user's project!

Easily his best work yet, hoping to hear more of this quality from him soon! Go give this a listen and support a fellow Sput user!

Beardog
August 12th 2020


3941 Comments


This really is a great review (writing-wise, I also like the rating haha). Thanks!

You can check out the record on all streaming services, or Bandcamp (where an instrumental version is also present).

https://karslandman.bandcamp.com/

Digging: Winterfylleth - The Reckoning Dawn

tyman128
August 12th 2020


2269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

of course man, means a lot to hear you enjoyed the review!

Bedex
August 12th 2020


2518 Comments


reviewing sputprojects to help out is really cool, insta pos and thanks tyman

SteakByrnes
August 12th 2020


22089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ayy nice write up man, glad you got this one done haha

tyman128
August 12th 2020


2269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks guys!! and yea, I’m happy I got this thing out haha, hoping it’ll break my writer’s block a bit

Beardog
August 12th 2020


3941 Comments


Y'all not even listening to the record?

SteakByrnes
August 12th 2020


22089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's open in a tab for later jamming

Beardog
August 12th 2020


3941 Comments


thanks !

SteakByrnes
August 13th 2020


22089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'll be real, not a fan of the vocals (third track was the best vocally by a longshot imo) but everything else is pretty good. Really dug the synth work on the second track, that intro was sweet. I could see myself throwing on the instrumental from time to time

Beardog
August 13th 2020


3941 Comments


aight, thanks for checking. I think Peace is my favourite track vocally, because of the outro and harsh vocals haha

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 17th 2020


36503 Comments


OK here we go:

From the first chord of Clouds, the lush vibrance of reverb and peaceful ambience encapsulates the listener within a dreamy escape
Not a bad sentence but kind of wordy for an opener. It suffers from too many adjectives. I aim to avoid bridge words like "of" when I can - what I mean by that is that it simply could have said "lush, vibrant reverb" or "vibrant reverb" rather than "the lush vibrance of reverb" and IMO would have flowed better. Not a huge deal, just me being picky I suppose.

within a dreamy escape. The serene soundscape
Two many "scapes" in a short period of time; an easy thing to miss but sounds clunky when reading aloud.

With Kars Landman’s songwriting at the helm, Clouds lives up to its name: lofty, soaring, and atmospheric.
Great concluding sentence - summative and informative at the same time. More sentences like this please!

Leaving behind the heavily influenced metal tinge of his previous effort, Kars Landman opts for a more cohesive element to his style, crafting his most consistent record to date.
This is a bit of a confusing sentence because it implies that the opposite of metal is cohesion. Was his previous metal work not cohesive? Or are you just trying to say that this new approach of his is different (no longer metal)? If so, I'd choose a better descriptor than cohesive because that word alone does not describe the change in his musical direction.

With the omnipresent atmosphere dominating Clouds, the swelling ambience of the orchestral crescendos, rich synths, and airy guitars hone in on the peaceful composition of each track.
Again, this sounds nice but suffers from some odd word choices. It's sort of implied that an album's atmosphere is omnipresent, unless it's an eclectic/diverse genre affair. Also, how does the album's ambience swell, or crescendo, per se? Does the ambience grow richer in tone and become louder? Is it like this epic drone passage? I dunno, something about the above sentence just feels like it says a lot without saying much at all.

Digging: Slaughter Beach, Dog - At The Moonbase

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 17th 2020


36503 Comments


From the orchestra-centric element of “Paradise” to the acoustic plucking of “Peace,” Landman effortlessly captures the essence of tranquility through a broad songwriting spectrum.
orchestra-centric, like "orchestral"? That word was used in the previous sentence so I understand your hesitation to use it again, but orchestra-centric sounds like a comical attempt to circumvent repetition. Rest of the sentence is fine.

Whether a piano ballad along the lines of “Lost” or a melodic venture in the realm of progressive rock in “Another Distortion,” Clouds, in all its diversity, fluidly progresses through its dreamy construct.
This could be me nitpicking again, but it bothers me when the same words are used to join thoughts twice in succession - "in the realm of progressive rock in" doesn't roll off the tongue. I might have rephrased this as Whether a piano ballad along the lines of “Lost” or a melodic progressive rock venture in the realm of “Another Distortion,” Clouds, in all its diversity, fluidly progresses through its dreamy construct.

In the midst of such serenity, Kars Landman intertwines the clean composition and the aggressive contrast with the occasional heavier element in tracks like “Wondering,” yet never abandoning the peace composed within.
I think I know what this sentence is trying to say, but it's worded in such a roundabout way that I can't be certain. You say he intertwines the clean composition with"the aggressive contrast", but that's the first mention of aggression so are we to assume that is in reference to the progressive rock elements? Or are you alluding to the second part of your statement, where you reference heavier elements? If so, I'd say something like "In the midst of such serenity, Kars Landman occasionally contrasts his clean compositions with heavier songs like “Wondering,” but he never totally abandons the pervading aura of peace." Notice I also corrected "abandoning" to "abandons" so that it agrees with the tense established earlier in the statement.

Although heavily dependent on MIDI and programmed instruments, Clouds overflows with beautiful melodies, catchy riffs, luscious atmosphere, and peaceful composition, sounding almost authentic in timbre
This is one of the best sentences here, although I'd consult my thesaurus to avoid overusing variations of the word "peace" and "peaceful"

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 17th 2020


36503 Comments


Alternatively, the solo work assists Kars Landman in a grand way, allowing for the perfect marriage of instrumentation and chemistry with each musical aspect elusively playing off of each other.
The "Alternatively" is entirely unnecessary to the sentence and makes no sense because there's no compare/contrast occurring. Also, continually referring to this as "the solo work" rather than just the album's title is a bit distracting. How does this solo work assist him "in a grand way"? Like, him personally? His career? What? Second half of that sentence is a word salad; just say that there is excellent musical chemistry and that the instruments accent each other perfectly. No need to inflate the idea with marriage and other unnecessary words.

Ascending above the musical musical composition
typo

the vocals add yet another layer to the ambitious presence of the atmosphere
How can an atmosphere be ambitiously present? Not saying it isn't possible, but maybe some more description is needed...

Despite the occasional dodgy melody and faltering vocal line, Kars Landman’s greatly improved vocals soar melodically over the dreamy oasis, displaying delicate harmonies smoothly filling the open atmosphere.
Great word choices, very vivid. Only thing I'd recommend is attaching these beautiful descriptors to what they are describing. By saying "the dreamy oasis" and "the open atmosphere", I don't know if you're referencing a specific moment within a song, a track, or the entire album. I think it's implied that it's meant to describe the album, so maybe revise to say "Clouds' dreamy oasis", etc.

With Clouds, Kars Landman deviates from his previous style and experiments with the more melodic aspects of his songwriting, displaying his diverse ability to capture the essence of each genre.
Good sentence but what genres? You mention melodic progressive rock and piano ballads, but only one of those is a genre. Seems odd to call back to genres that were never outlined in the first place.

In spite of the recent chaos ensuing our world, Clouds envelops the listeners in a peaceful embrace of a lulling dream: the sonic oasis.
Ensuing means "occurring afterward or as a result" - did you mean Devouring? Consuming? Either of those make more sense. There's that word peaceful again, and another oasis metaphor.

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 17th 2020


36503 Comments


Overall Synopsis:
Pros- Your descriptive language took off here in a noticeable way. For the most part you do a good job of painting a picture in the reader's head that this album is spacious, airy, piano-laden, floating in ambience, melodic - all things aloft and atmospheric. In that sense, this review opened a new door for your writing and that's important.
Cons - Like the album's atmosphere, this review also contains a lot of fluff. There's adjectives that could have been omitted, and sentences that were written to sound nice even though they don't make any intelligent points.

Final Review Score: 3.5/5 - tyman expands his vocabulary and descriptive language in this aesthetically pleasing review, while also aiming for much appreciated brevity. The problem is that the brevity is not accompanied by enough clarity. Too often, it floats between unrelated ideas and does not support its assertions with concrete evidence - or, it makes assertions or claims with nothing to reference. In that sense, this is something of a lateral move for tyman - he plays his hand at a new style while both succeeding and faltering. It's an interesting shake-up, but excellence still eludes him. He might have a classic somewhere in him if he can hone in on the creative/descriptive language found here while balancing it with a more logical thought process and clearer criticism/praise. When this happens, tyman's hardcore and loyal fanbase will be richly rewarded.

DungeonBoy
August 17th 2020


8057 Comments


lol did you just score his review? I love sputnik

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 17th 2020


36503 Comments


To be fair he literally asked for it

tyman128
August 18th 2020


2269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sowing, thank you so much for the feedback, I really do appreciate the in depth stuff because I know that takes time to critique, so thank you!

I'd say my biggest weakness right now is being able to concisely pinpoint what I'm trying to say with as much brevity as there is clarity. I realize I use quite a bit of "fluff" but that's usually because I'm trying to fill it with something that attempts to prove my point because I'm not quite able to in an effective way. Anyway, I have a review I'm working on tonight so I'll take all this and really refine this coming review!

Beardog
August 18th 2020


3941 Comments


please listen to my record too and tell me what you think! Cool to see a review of a review here haha

DungeonBoy
August 18th 2020


8057 Comments


Hey Beardog! Gave it a listen. First off congrats on creating, recording, mixing a whole album, I know how much work goes into that so kudos to you. Musically you have some really interesting ideas, the songwriting is good, and is for the most part pretty cohesive. There are some discordant parts that maybe don't gel as well as intended, but I admire your approach of throwing in some elements that mix it up to try and make the songs more interesting. If you don't mind me addressing the elephant in the room, the vocals on this ruin any enjoyment I could possibly get from it as they are ever present throughout the album. They are constantly off pitch, oversung, and create this grating juxtaposition against the music. All of your programmed instruments are perfectly in tune by nature, but the wavering vocals are so sonically off putting, it's honestly hard to get through. The only reason i'm addressing this is because there's so much potential in your music that I feel like you are shooting yourself in the foot trying to force your vocals into it. This is just my opinion, and is only meant as constructive criticism and I do wish you the best in your music making endeavors!

Sowing Seasons feedback on the review i'd rate a solid 4/5



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy