Artist: Cloud2ground
Label: N-Soul
Time: 9:58:41

Something is happening at N-Soul and I like it.  Recent releases show a quality that was lacking in most of their earlier material.  Cloud2Ground's new album E-Majn is no exception;  Jeremy Dawson and his assembled crew have created a wonder that leaves the listener begging for more.

As with most Christian electronica, the faith of the artist shows up not in the lyrics, which are made up of simple repeated lines and phrases if there are any at all.  Instead, faith appears in the liner notes in a simple declaration.  It might get Dawson into trouble in some circles, but that's a risk worth taking:

             Love through Music, Through Christ Everlasting,
             Not through doctrine, legalism, or fundamentals,
             religion and it it's leaders, denominations, closed minds,
             homophobia, and the fear of the unknown, nothing more
             exists but your body, your spirit, your bible, and a God
             that loves you
The album opens with "Raindown (raw piano dub)", a haunting, thunderstorm-laden, piano-heavy, ambient soundscape.   The calm doesn't last long, as "Madness for Love (anti-venom mix)" kicks in.  "Madness..." is markedly different from the opening track, a fast-paced techno masterpiece that the listener can only sit in awe of.

It is hard to describe individual tracks without repeating the same superlatives far more than should legally be allowed.  There are only two lemons on this nine song effort.  The first, "Been Away", is a passable song but one which does not fit with the others - on first listen, I found myself wondering if I was hearing an escaped track from Resolution's Politically Incorrect.  The lyrics (if they can be said to be lyrics) consist only of "been away, away today, away today, I've been away" and "Me and this girl were just talking..."

The other low point is A.J Mora's "Transforming Mix" of "Madness for Love"  I've never been able to really get into Mora's material, and this one is no exception.

Hopefully there will be more albums from Cloud to Ground, as it would be a real shame to see them vanish after this one effort.

By John Vanden Heuvel