Music Tapes for Clouds & Tornadoes

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Aug 19, 2008
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Unless you’re already a Music Tapes fan, chances are you haven’t experienced anything quite as exquisitely raw, effortlessly transportive, and charmingly distinct in a long time.
  2. At the core of them all is Koster's invested, angelic voice and his singing saw.
  3. The best songs on Music Tapes For Clouds And Tornados feature just Julian and banjo.
  4. All told, For Clouds and Tornadoes is a quality release from a musician that's not afraid to explore outside the usual methods to create extraordinary music.
  5. Koster's ability to create charmingly imaginative song cycles out of instruments you might find in your grandparent's attic has granted him a fan base that has waited nearly a decade for his sophomore release. It was worth the wait.
  6. Clouds and Tornadoes ricochets back and forth between these three levels: the familiar, the unfamiliar but recognizable, and the unfamiliar and unrecognizable, and like Maddin and Katchor, it’s this tripartite feeling that gives the music its uniqueness while still feeling like an unearthed artifact.
  7. These 15 tracks were certainly worth the almost-decade-long wait.
  8. 70
    His first Music Tapes album in nine years suggests an unhealthy obsession with Brian Wilson's "SMiLE," the wobbly-voiced outsider makes his own quaint magic.
  9. The record has a strong holiday flavour, so if you’re the type who gets nauseated by reindeer talk in March, maybe wait till December to play this.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. DannyN.
    Sep 15, 2008
    9
    This is a great album.
  2. DevinW.
    Nov 23, 2008
    3
    Trading in cutesy gimmicks - Unconventional instruments! Strange recording practices! - rather than song craft or any real ability, For Trading in cutesy gimmicks - Unconventional instruments! Strange recording practices! - rather than song craft or any real ability, For Clouds and Tornadoes loses itself in its elaborate conception. Strip away that gimmickry, and you get a weak voice singing songs that are often extremely grating. Gigantic metronomes and old wax cylinders do not a good album - or even a half-way competent album - make. Full Review »
  3. Kevin
    Sep 12, 2008
    5
    While "Music Tapes for Clouds & Tornadoes" is a charming, unique musical romp, I can't see what the critics found so appealing. Some of While "Music Tapes for Clouds & Tornadoes" is a charming, unique musical romp, I can't see what the critics found so appealing. Some of the songs are brilliant, but the album lacks variety and thus falls short. Full Review »