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cLOUDDEAD Ten

cLOUDDEAD has always been the best of the Anticon/Mush alt-rap stable, walking the fine line between sublime musical and poetic brilliance and art-school nonsense with a tangible finesse. Ten is a more focused and developed album than its 2001 predecessor, constructed from fragments of Americana, concise imagism and driving, nostalgic themes that stay with you for days after listening. It's almost impossible to convey the brilliance of this album without adding myself to the list of pretentious pundits doing cLOUDDEAD injustice, so I will say only this: imagine the best American free verse-from Whitman to Kerouac to Sarah Jones-set to the most evocative soundtrack conceivable, and you have Ten.

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