Close your eyes and get ready for a ride! Cloud Hop really knocks one out of the water with this 14-track album! Every song on Dreams of Distant Stars evokes imagery of some kind using creative and expertly composed instrumentation.
(Continued after the break)
Cloud Hop describes the album as “a 6 year journey of musical development” and his attempt “to move towards a hybrid orchestral sound and weave traditional instrumentation through digital synths”. The word ‘attempt’ undersells the work put into the craft as the synth-work complements the more traditional instruments perfectly and work to inject a sense of adventure and intrigue along with what is already a gorgeous instrumental that pulls you into another fantastical world!
Legends of Magic: The first track on this album grabs you immediately. The bells and violins fade in to a heavy drum beat creating a sense of fantasy and wonder immediately. The syncopation between the drums and strings in engaging and exciting. This track is a perfect way to introduce the rest of the album!
Corona: Unlike many other tracks on this album, Corona introduces choir “ahhs” which add another level of intensity. The instrumentation doesn’t move as much, allowing the choir chops to shine. The drums complement the powerful voices while the instruments serve to dramatize the energy.
Dreams of Distant Stars: The titular song starts out very softly with swelling, ambient chords. Slowly, stronger voices and drums start increasing the intensity of the track, without leaving that calming center. Dreams of Distant Stars continues to different sections, changing between full on motifs and softer bridge sections, giving this song incredible dynamic contrast as well as keeping things engaging and exciting. As the twelfth song on the album, this track is fulfilling in and of itself, and sets the stage for the final two songs to close the album.
Those are only three songs on an album that has no weak tracks. For the casual listener, Dreams of Distant Stars is highly recommended for an aural and emotional experience that is well worth the journey. Cloud Hop does a fantastic job on this long-term passion work and it not only shows off that effort, but shines in light of it!