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Orange and Green and Yellow and Near

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Album Review

Rick Gallego appears to know West Coast psychedelia and soft pop like the proverbial back of his hand, and anyone who wants proof should give a listen to Orange and Green and Yellow and Near, the second album from the group Cloud Eleven. Gallego is the guiding light behind Cloud Eleven — he not only writes the songs and sings lead, he plays all the instruments (besides the drums and a few stray horn and mandolin overdubs) and produces their sessions. From the sound of this music, Gallego has a serious jones for Pet Sounds/Smile-era Brian Wilson, an abiding fondness for Love, a more-than-passing infatuation for the Left Banke and the Association, and listens to Shoes when he wants to get modern. Gallego does quite well by his influences, and has assimilated them into a style that's light, tuneful, and with a pleasingly trippy undertow that lifts the songs up rather than dragging them down. As craft, Orange and Green and Yellow and Near is just about flawless, but while Gallego has been able to create a beautiful approximation of the music he loves, these songs unfortunately have precious little personality of their own; there isn't a thing wrong with this album, but for all the beauty of its surfaces, it lacks the heart and soul of a record like Pet Sounds or Forever Changes, and that is the secret ingredient that made those albums so memorable. Pop obsessives will enjoy Orange and Green and Yellow and Near, but people more interested in music and style might find it a bit wanting; my guess is this guy could use a good collaborator who would put some fire behind his skills.

Customer Reviews

Pure Bliss

Fans of the Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, or any other mellow alternative bands should check this album out. Rick Gallego has an amazing, cool voice that flows through speakers. Awesome stuff.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Cloud Eleven is essentially the power-pop alias of multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter Rick Gallego, whose sound is most akin to latter-day power-pop acts like Matthew Sweet and Teenage Fanclub. With the help of guitarist Zane Drake and drummer Greg Schroeder,...
Full Bio
Orange and Green and Yellow and Near, Cloud Eleven
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