Cloud Cult

They Live on the Sun/Aurora Borealis

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The Rebel Group double-disc eco-package of They Live on the Sun and Aurora Borealis includes the two Cloud Cult titles recorded for Orchard and Earthly directly after the passing of Craig Minowa’s son, Kaidin. Since most of Minowa’s songs obsess over this 2002 tragedy (over 100 and counting), clearly, the songs that he made from this period between 2003 and 2004 were among his most cathartic and powerful. In 2009, the original recordings were remixed by Minowa and tastefully remastered by Greg Reierson to enhance the sound quality but not overly clean it up. As the liners note, “the albums were created during an unusually rough period in life, so the rough edges have been retained for authenticity." Strangely though, many of the albums' rough edges are sanded out completely. Six songs from They Live on the Sun are omitted (“Fairy Tale,” “Estupido,” “Toys in the Attic,” “Waitress,” and “Three Times a Lady”, and “6 Days [Radio Mix]”), only to be replaced by the mildly dated techno squelches of “Time.” Five songs are also left off Aurora Borealis ("Princess Bride", "As Long as You’re Happy", "Buried Poetry", "My Fictitious Life with Amily", "I Guess This Dream Is for Me", and "State of the Union,") however, the solid, previously unreleased, “And It’s Good” makes for a worthy replacement. Even with altered track lists, the best bits are still intact, and unless you’re a strict completist, this stripped-down two-fer is the most efficient way to collect Cloud Cult's career musical highs and emotional lows.

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