I have been eagerly anticipating this new Cloud Nothings record for quite some time. Their last, 2015's Here and Nowhere Else, completely took me by surprise and ended up my most played album of that year by a pretty significant margin. It was without hesitation that I preordered Life Without Sound the day it came out. Though I apparently hesitated long enough to have missed the green vinyl version for sale on its own. I ended up having to buy a bundle with a T-shirt. Unfortunately, the T-shirt was white. I hate white band shirts. Then to add insult to injury, the label restocked the colored vinyl version on its own the next day. At least the album is great.
Life Without Sound is definitely a change for Cloud Nothings. As a whole it's a little bit mellower, lacking some of the really passionate shouting moments of Here and Nowhere Else. But the songwriting and hooks are every bit as strong. As soon as you hit the second track, "Things Are Right With You" you're drawn in to the vocal melody and the always building guitar riffs. It's one of the best songs on the album and can hold its own against anything Cloud Nothings have released.
The entirety of the album is just packed with great songs. There are moments that remind me a bit of Idlewild, but we're talking about a thousand times better than the very best Idlewild song that was ever written. Still as a touchstone for a comparison, you could do worst. The thing I'll say most about this album is that for me it was a grower. It didn't blast me out of my chair like Here and Nowhere Else. Life Without Sound gradually took hold of me with each listen and once it clicked, I was all in.
Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound: