Minnesota's Cloud Cult may use Odelay as a touchstone on Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus but the outfit's experimental beats and hip-hop junk are far more out there than that influence could ever be. Lyrically and vocally removed from the Beck Hansen school of thought, the group evokes strains of the Polyphonic Spree and the Flaming Lips, while brainchild Craig Minowa comes down heavy in terms of topics. The engaging, experimental "Living on the Outside of Your Skin" makes effective use of toy pianos and handclaps to keep listeners on their toes, and Cloud Cult's environmentally astute stance is evident in tracks like "Moving to Canada" -- which pays homage to minimalist groups like the Black Keys with inexplicable skill. From the acoustic-techno shuffle of "Start New" to the pulsating, warped pop of "Happy Hippo," this cult can't help but leave a strong impression. When the latter nicks a hook from Neil Young's "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)," it puts Minowa's wide musical scope, which varies from folk to funk to punk to electronica (sometimes in the same song), on display for all comers.
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AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen