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Yacobs - Clouds CD (album) cover





3.93 | 22 ratings

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4 stars Must begin with a confession... I don't always look for vintage instruments, virtuosity and tricky time-measures when I'm listening to prog music. The positivity, the moods, the message and the instrumentation can be all progressive in the simplest forms.

Ulf Yacobs' Clouds is a real gem, reminds me of Phil Collins, of Peter Gabriel, but in the same time it's original. In this album songs come first and after that only come the musicians. Lots of 80's synth sounds, Yamaha CP, Roland drum machine (just like on Genesis Duke).

The drum sound is amazing, very Phil Collins-like (gated, compressed)... the bass of Thomass Klarmann are very inventive and form a perfect harmony with Ulf in the rythm section.

Cinderella's theme will re-appear a few times on the record, it ties together the whole album. Twilight Sun is definitely an "unwritten Peter Gabriel song" form the eighties. Moogs, nice synth passages at the end. Very progressive.

Indian Clouds is an instrumental tune with lush acoustic guitar sounds, soundscapes by Ákos Bogáti-Bokor (guitarist of Yesterdays). A bit of Trevor Rabin (in sound) but still very Phil Collins-like mood... nice and tasty quoting, tribute at the end.

Turn Off The Sun is one of the highlights on this album. Intimate sounds on a Yamaha CP piano, after the chorus and some bell sounds the guitar solo is a real treat and a surprise too. Multiple voicings in the solo, nice tone and feel.

All You Have is Now is the most interesting momentum on this disc... the chorus is simply uplifting (to the Clouds)... you can't escape these melodies, you just need to hear it over and over again and after a few times you found yourself humming it while driving. This song truely shows Ulf's fantastic songwriter skills. Amazing song. Electric sitar, guitar synth solo, again, by Ákos. The song brought me back to Pat Metheny's Are You Going With Me, but I think this was intentional, anyway, a perfect fit for the song.

My Very First Day is a modern yet vintage experience with the sweeping moog sounds and the filtered vocals of Ulf. Intimate feel by a child voice in the chours. Stereo effects in the guitar solo, probably played on a sustainer guitar. Interesting and experimentingly fresh.

After all these nice and calm songs there is a need of a powerful "hysteria". Hot Summer In Transylvania is the most powerful instrumental song on this record and it shows all the fantasy of the drummer and of course shows how good is the production of the disc.

A Heavenly Sound somehow reminded me of No Son Of Mine by Genesis... the drum sound is just amazing. Nice composition, nice pop/prog song. The chorus once again is so uplifting.

Lift Off is like a smile on the album... a short instrumental countdown to an imaginery lift-off with lots of guitar sounds... the rythm is like Steve Rothery, the "verse" is Jeff Beck feel - playing with in-between-the-notes, chomas, the chorus is just like Gilmour/Howe/George Harrison. Loving it!

Clouds is the title track, and probably the most melancholic song on the album, somehow still very positive and uplifting with positive, beautiful lyrics. The song has amazing bass playing by Thomas Klarmann (of band Argos) and a moog solo with a very original sound. The song ends with Ákos Bogáti's guitar solo, I am not sure but there may be some Genesis (Hackett) quotes too, guitar with heavy fuzz sounds. Too bad that the song ends with a fade-out, I would have liked a longer version, but I think this is just part of the concept.

The album ends with Dusk, a short piece of piano music, perfect ending for such a good CD.

Production, concept and sound both are high in quality, strong four stars from me. Highly recommended for all Genesis/Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel fans. Very melodic prog.

Stargirl79 | 4/5 |


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