Life Without Sound

Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2017 Ratings: #484 / 831
User Score
Based on 222 ratings
2017 Ratings: #555
January 27, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Carpark / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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Consequence of Sound

It’s a chugging, nimble-footed affair, showing a matured and restrained group; no more eight-minute-plus pounding, slashing jams, replaced instead with a sense of clarity and focus, a driving, raw sonic thesis statement.

The 405

Life Without Sound bears itself with moral clarity and resolve while rocking damn hard.

A.V. Club

More than anything, Life Without Sound finds Cloud Nothings refusing to fall into a rut.

The Line of Best Fit

Life Without Sound is a triumph of Baldi’s vision - for something bigger than just hard and heavy punk, and for rock and roll with pop intelligence. He’s pulled off both here.

The Guardian
Baldi has bulked up the band’s lo-fi production values for a more muscular sound while retaining the youthful energy of his songwriting.
Where Cloud Nothings’ early records seemed racked with neuroses and post-teen angst, ‘Life Without Sound’ feels more confident, the songs themselves coming from a more positive position.

The biggest transition since the their four-piece’s official debut in 2008 has been merging their calamitous distortion with vital melodies. ‘Life Without Sound’ strikes true in achieving this balance.

Pretty Much Amazing

Life Without Sound builds on the already impressive groundwork laid by Cloud Nothings’ past three studio albums, but proves how strong the band is as the sum of its parts.

Slant Magazine

By focusing less on inner tribulations and looking at the broader context of his place in the world, Baldi’s typical impulsivity and urgency of a frenzied youth transforms into the deliberateness of a wiser and more seasoned songwriter.


The production is lighter and more spacious here, and the effect is that the songs grab onto you a little less tightly. The sense of anthemic catharsis is present, but not quite to the same degree.

Drowned in Sound

The band remain an excellent and vital act, still producing worthy music which is head and shoulders over many similar, lesser acts, the problem, it seems, is that their evolution is a slow one.

Loud and Quiet

Maybe introspection and slow work killed some of the freshness and crunchiness of the previous, more spontaneous sound that put Cloud Nothings among the most interesting guitar acts around, but Baldi’s urgency still packs a punch.


They’ve eased back from their most breakneck inclinations, and while Life Without Sound isn’t their strongest work, it’s got the seeds that could lead to their next definitive statement.


By letting go of a little of their rage, Cloud Nothings let more light and shadow into Life Without Sound with promising results.


The cleaned up sound does wonders for Baldi's songwriting, always his strength yet still often overlooked. Producer John Goodmanson shines some much deserved light on the small nuances that make Cloud Nothings' music so intriguing, giving a proper, polished showcase to some of the band's most hook-filled material to date.

Under The Radar

Ultimately, Life Without Sound cements Cloud Nothings' place in the indie rock landscape, but beyond offering some real power-pop gems and the most refined production in their discography, it doesn't do much else.

The Skinny

Although Baldi has more observations to share than his previous records – and makes them with snarling passion and versatility – that added maturity isn’t quite matched by his songs yet.

Northern Transmissions

Much of Life Without Sound ... feels like a forced smile—a cheap veneer meant to cover up the group’s grittiness.


A Cloud Nothings song doesn’t have to have the self-pity of ‘Stay Useless’ to be totally exceptional, but nothing here comes close to that brilliance, that self-deprecating beauty, and it doesn’t feel like it gives it that good a go either. ‘Life Without Sound’ is a sound without life.

God Is in the TV

Dylan Baldi’s lyrics sound as if they were sourced from some vomit-inducing motivational quotes page on Pinterest, and whilst that was true on Here & Nowhere Else too, there was at least plenty of other stuff going on to distract you.

Cloud Nothings' past two efforts have really been the prime example of an indie rock group hitting the mark fairly well in representing the raw power of misguided youth. Attack on Memory, while disjointed in an album setting, brought on an extremely bold step in direction for the band that reinvented their image completely from an inoffensive, pop punk act to potentially the next essential act in post-hardcore. They weren't miserably angsty with their emo influences, they sounded truly angry to ... read more
Cloud Nothings have come a long way, and it's evident by the mature sound displayed on this album. However, Baldi couldn't conjure the melodies or passion this time around.

Notable Songs: "Up to the Surface"; "Things Are Right with You"; "Darkened Rings"
A lot more toned-down and poppy which is a lot different from what I am used to. His voice is incomparable, and the noise produced is still phenomenal. Honestly this album seems more balanced and controlled than normally, i dont know how I feel about that right now. Nonethless it is very very very good. Things Are Right About you and Modern Act or amazing songs.

Fav Trakcs; Up to the Surface, Things are Right About You, Modern Act, Realize My Fate.

Least Fav; Darkened Rings, Strange Year,
Easily my least-favorite entry, it feels like an album devoid of all risk taking, and without a concrete theme, it seemingly strives to be nothing; not necessarily a personality crisis of an album, but definitely one with no direction unsure what it wants to be.
I can't imagine how life without sound would be like and Cloud Nothings' suggestion is not helpful at all to get an idea, since it's totally covered in fog and can't escape it.
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Track List

  1. Up to the Surface
  2. Things Are Right with You
  3. Internal World
  4. Darkened Rings
  5. Enter Entirely
  6. Modern Act
  7. Sight Unseen
  8. Strange Year
  9. Realize My Fate
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Added on: October 12, 2016