Your problems with this record will NEVER be about the music or the production. From top to bottom, the beats on this thing are lively, ever-changing, and constantly surprising you, catching you off guard. I'm sure Clipping took a helluva lotta inspiration from cLOUDDEAD. I love the trancey noises on Rifle Eyes and the quietness of 3 Twenty, those two were definitely the highlights of the album for me. If you have a pair of good headphones, whip em out, this is one of those albums with plenty of detail to absorb and enjoy.
But.. where cLOUDDEAD loses me are the lyrics and vocal performances. It's so far from traditional hip hop in regards to flow and lyricism, lyricism in both topics and word choice. All the rhetoric here is inflated with abstract imagery, so much so that I struggle to empathize - reminds me of Milo, but Milo's style is a lot more consistent and enjoyable for fans of more standard hip hop. The voices here don't strike my ears well, a nasality to them that don't work to the artists' advantage. Rifle Eyes sounds Bone Thugs-ish for the first half, but plenty of other verses on this project sound spoken word and even indie esque.
Best way to put my feelings on it - this would be a good album to recommend to a fan of Clipping who prefers indie music over hip hop. I'm already not crazy about Clipping to start with, so this album is not for me. But man, the production is too stellar and consistent for me to give it anything below a 60, even if the MC's aren't up to snuff. Can.. are they even MC's? It feels weird to call em that, but I guess it applies, sorta.