[Album Review] Kygo – Cloud Nine


If you’ve been anywhere close to electronic music over the last couple of years, chances are that you’ve noticed a change in the kind of music that’s dominating the charts, and being produced by a lot of talented artists. Chances are that you have also heard of Kygo and been impressed with his beautiful tropical vibes. Cloud Nine is Kygo’s debut studio album, and read on to find out if it’s good (or exactly how good it is).

The album kicks off with a two minute intro, that gets you moving and grooving, setting the perfect beginning to a journey of wonderful music, and the piano is simply mesmerizing.

The first track is a single that’s already been super successful, with Parson James busting out a wonderful performance on ‘Stole The Show’. Kygo is also in top form, giving us a great build-up that perfectly blends with the vocals, along with a great drop.

Next up is collaboration with Tom Odell, best known for ‘Another Love’. He lends his voice to ‘Fictional’, and his vocals are simply a little too powerful. He’s the true star of the show here, and Kygo’s melody doesn’t go down too well with the vocals here, simply feeling out of place at times.

Irish alt-rock band Kodaline feature on ‘Raging’, which somehow is right in the feels. The emotions are just right with this one, and this is surely going to be raging on road trips and lounges. It’s well composed, it has great vocals and a great melody. Undoubtedly one of the best tracks on the album.

Since it has helped him to a billion streams on Spotify, ‘Firestone’ makes an expected appearance here, and to be honest we’re not tired of hearing it either. It’s definitely always going to be known as his breakthrough song, and for all the right reasons.

John Legend has collaborated with the second Avicii after doing a track with the original Avicii! He appears here on ‘Happy Birthday’, but it’s nowhere near his or Kygo’s best. This is a track that just sounds a little redundant, and even John Legend’s wonderful voice can’t save this track.

The seven tracks that Kygo had uploaded sometime earlier this year, included this collaboration with Vincent McMorrow. ‘I’m In Love’ drifts off the general rhythm of the rest of the album and is beautifully made. Honestly, Kygo’s tropical house wouldn’t have suited this track, and hence the heavy bass setting of this song was meant to be.

Foxes, known to dance music enthusiasts for Zedd’s ‘Clarity’, features here on ‘Oasis’ and you wonder why you don’t find her more often on dance music tracks. The song is slightly above average, mostly due to Foxes’ vocals. Kygo could have, and honestly should have done a little better here.

RHODES features here on ‘Not Alone’ and it sounds like a typical pop track. It’s a sweet little track, and is best kept minimal like it is here. Kygo has luckily not decided to give too much of a tropical house influence here.

Aussie songwriter Matt Corby lends his vocals to ‘Serious’ and there’s some serious power in his voice. Luckily the song is kept centred around his vocals, and sounds beautiful. You just feel like listening to more of his voice. Kygo has done excellently here to let the vocals standout, and inject just the right amount of synth in the right places here. One of the best efforts on the album.

Maty Noyes and Kygo’s chart topping collab ‘Stay’ also appears on the album, to serve a good reminder of how good Kygo can be when he wants to. It’s always great to dance to this track whenever it’s played. The reminders may be needed more often, as Kygo seems to drift away from his best sometimes here.

Will Heard is excellent as always on ‘Nothing Left’, which was released in July last year. It’s got great vocals, a very good vibe, and a great minimal melody that makes this track mysteriously appealing.

Kygo stays true to his tropical house roots on ‘Carry Me’, which has great vocals, and ‘For What It’s Worth’, which also has a great piano rhythm.

Labrinth and Kygo team up for ‘Fragile’, and it’s brilliant. It stays with you after you’ve heard it, and makes for great repeat listening.

Cloud Nine shows us how good Kygo can be, and how boring his music can get sometimes, as well. But most importantly, it gives us hope that the best is yet to come.

Check out the album here.

Shantanu Puro
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