Allocai’s “Cloud9” (single)

A subtle string melody. The synthetic groove that shadows its every move. A bittersweet vocal influenced as much by an inward reflection as it is scathing social commentaries. There are a lot of layers to Allocai’s “Cloud9,” but thanks to the skilled vocal abilities of its singer, they play out much in the same way that a brooding piece of cinema would; with breathtaking fluidity. “Cloud9” is the result of Allocai’s first trip to the recording studio, and though it’s only a sneak previous of what his debut album is going to contain, it’s such a boldly colorful and magnetizing composition that listeners won’t be left to wonder what the identity of this artist is primarily comprised of. His is a very unique strain of pop, to say the least.

The core melodies in this song aren’t synthesized at all. The guitar parts, the bassline, the surrealism that they inject into the track’s most enamoring climax – all of it is cultivated from natural tonalities that are usually absent from urban pop music altogether. Allocai doesn’t stop with piling on the instrumental luster here; he builds the hook around the very essence of excess, and subsequently makes his new single sound at complete odds with the minimalist movement in western music. He doesn’t mind being a rebel if it means sounding unlike anyone else in the game right now, and that alone deserves the commendation of anyone who appreciates what genuine talent can produce. Allocai’s got no time for posing, and his first official release is highly reflective of his recording ethic.


It’s rather difficult to categorize this track using the normal brandings that I would apply to American pop. There are so many different pieces to this puzzle, ranging from R&B, rock, urban pop, electropop, hip-hop and even experimental music, that trying to assign it with one label over another would seem, to me at least, a bit dismissive of the decidedly original approach that this song was created with. Allocai is still finding his place in the hierarchy of the Los Angeles underground, but I don’t think that he should focus on trying to define his spot in one particular scene above all others. He’s doing just fine as an independent, and I for one would hate to see him sacrifice his gifts to blend in with a crowd.

I’m very excited to hear how Allocai will develop his sound further. He’s on the right track with “Cloud9,” and if this single gets into steady rotation on either side of the dial this season, he has a good shot of elevating his status in SoCal a lot quicker than some of the tougher critics he’ll face might be expecting. He’s got a so much untapped potential here, and though it’s going to take a lot of disciplined effort on his part to exploit his style for every ounce of magic that it’s worth, I’m confident that he can make it happen. He’s already given us “Cloud9,” and that in itself is worth a collective round of applause.

Clay Burton

The music of ALLOCAI has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more –