Sound — 9
Cloudkicker's most recent release goes in a completely different direction than previous efforts, but the end result has become my favorite music the artist has to offer. A solo project by musician Ben Sharp, "Let Yourself Be Huge" strays from the faster, heavier, more technical songs found on "The Discovery" and "Beacons". Mr. Sharp traded in the distortion for acoustic guitars, and the focused sounds and rhythms for an ambient and relaxing sound. This 26 minute album is a great listen, and is one of the best and most relaxing works I have heard since "Minus The Bear's Menos El Oso". The self-produced record by Ben Sharp sounds professionally produced, and showcases different styles and influences that create a unique record that has become one of the most frequently played albums in my music collection.
Lyrics — 10
On previous Cloudkicker releases, the music was all instrumental. On "Let Yourself Be Huge", this trend continues, except for the title track. Even so, the vocals are just utilized to add to the ambiance of the song and album as a whole. On this album, the music tells the story, or provides a background for your own interpretation. "You And Yours" delves somewhat into a post-metal/post-rock sound, reminiscent of the Isis albums "Panopticon" or "In The Absence Of Truth". The use of sleigh bells in "It's Inside Me, And I'm Inside It" reminds one of Explosions In The Sky's album "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place". The odd-feeling drum groove that starts out "Explore, Be Curious" with the building ambient guitars make the listener feel like they are exploring a new place in their mind. The other four tracks are pleasing acoustic interludes that transition from the previous song to the next, giving the listener a chance to digest and prepare for the next song to play. I feel that Ben Sharp is a very good musician, but also a very good composer. When you lie down and listen to this album as a whole, the music tells a story, not through words, but through the instruments, and the way Sharp worked this album together gives the listener an open interpretation to the story of the album.
Overall Impression — 9
"Let Yourself Be Huge" is my favorite Cloudkicker album that Ben Sharp has released. I would recommend the tracks "Explore, Be Curious" as well as "It's Inside Me, And I'm Inside It", but the album is best listened to as a whole. I love how Mr. Sharp has gone in a different direction from "Beacons" to this present release, but I wouldn't mind if he went back to the heavier, more progressive music he has composed in the past. He is a great musician who puts out his work for free (although physical copies of this album are available). Overall, this album is definitely worth at least a listen, although I hold this record in a higher regard than that. While it will be hard to top this effort, I'm sure Ben Sharp can do it.