Abraham Cloud

Voyage to Afghanistan

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AllMusic Review by

Rock has plenty of singers who have become popular for the brilliance of their songwriting and performances despite voices that are far from technically perfect. Abraham Cloud's voice is unpromising as an instrument, a shaky, raspy baritone that is slightly reminiscent of John Kay of Steppenwolf after many cups of coffee. Cloud presents a mixed bag on Voyage to Afghanistan; though the songs are poetic and full of vivid images, he sabotages some of his material with a delivery that accentuates his lack of technical ability. On tracks like "Off" and the title cut, Cloud is relatively tuneful and his band tosses out guitar hooks aplenty, the odd vocals giving each piece character. Elsewhere he sings convoluted vocal lines that don't follow the music very closely, if at all. While jazz singers can get glorious effects with this technique, it does shift the focus away from the lyrics, and lyrics are definitely Cloud's strong suit. The songs here are first-rate, but more likely to become hits for singers with better voices than their author.

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