Orange & Green & Yellow & Near
Left Banke, Zombies, Beach Boys, Beatles, America, Elliot Smith are good reference points for the second album from Cloud Eleven. This one's a little more melancholy than the first album, but still has a groovy west coast psychedelic vibe. The songwriting and production values show a lot of growth on this one. If you like psych-pop with a sixties flare, you'll love this one. AMG 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; Pop obsessives will enjoy this album. - Mark Deming.