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iTunes Review

So it’s a little strange hearing Eluvium sing at first. Not because Matthew Cooper can’t carry a tune; it's because he’s spent so many years sculpting icy instrumental pieces. While that ambient Eno angle is still in place on Similes, Cooper’s hushed melodies unfold like hazy storm clouds that never quite crack open. Moody but never menacing, these are songs you fall asleep to, from the spiraling piano progressions of “In Culmination” to the soothing drone tones of “Bending Dream” and “Nightmare 5.” And then there’s “Cease to Know,” an 11-minute closer that’s frozen in time and a fitting foil to the forest-clearing slowcore of “Leaves Eclipse the Light.” Listen long enough, and you might just float away along with its flickering chords. 

Customer Reviews

The vocals...

...completely distract and detract from the beauty of the music. Listen to the other Eluvium albums for comparison. Those are sublime ambient works.


this much is obvious; mr. cooper knows what the hell he is doing. it's that simple. the decision to stray from purely instrumental tunes proves a good one. if the results were anything less than great, i'm sure they would have been omitted. it's obvious that the man has something very valid to offer with his physical voice both poetically and tonally. naesayers c'mon. if you enjoy an artist's work, don't put them in a creative box. after a couple listens, this is my best-so-far for 2010. the blending of elements and vibes is meticulous, tasteful, and to my ear, hooky. great job matthew.

Apples and Oranges

In response to the review below mine: for non-ambient aficionados/purists (i.e. the vast majority of people), the *lack* of vocals in Eluvium's other work probably distracts them from its beauty, but as understandable as such a reaction would be, if one of them were to criticize it on those grounds, said purists would consider such criticism to be totally off base - and rightfully so, for the latter ultimately results from wrongfully comparing the work in question to something it should not be compared to (traditional music with vocals), rather than taking it on its own terms. Well, the same applies to this album: listen to it for what it is; don't (mis)judge it for failing to meet a standard to which it doesn't even aspire to in the first place ("pure" ambient); or, in other words, don't compare apples to oranges. The purists who are decrying this album for its vocals are like someone who typically eats apples trying an orange and declaring: "the citrus flavor totally ruins this thing!" No, one would say to such a person - either accept the new (to you) fruit for being a new fruit and eat it accordingly, or just don't eat it at all . . .


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Portland, Oregon resident Matthew Cooper records under the alias Eluvium. His ambient washes and symphonic guitar pieces would feel equally at home on a Brian Eno record or a Fennesz recording. His debut release, Lambent Material, was released on the Temporary Residence imprint in 2003. Cooper recorded five full-lengths for the label over the next three years (An Accidental Memory in the Case of Death, Talk Amongst the Trees, Travels in Constants, and Copia) before taking...
Full Bio
Similes, Eluvium
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Customer Ratings



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