Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud (InsideOut Music)

Breathtaking stuff.
Release Date: 
23 Sep 2012 - 11:30pm

 

Devin Townsend is a phenomenon. A one-man cottage industry with a legion of incredibly devoted fans, he’s able to exist outside of the increasingly cranky and dysfunctional music industry, flitting constantly from project to project with seemingly not a care in the world. A quirky, Todd Rundgren-style genius, Devin does what he does. And if the rest of us come along for the ride, great – if we don’t – then that’s great too. It doesn’t matter to Devin.

That said, I’ve a feeling more people are going to be hitching a lift on the Devin bandwagon this time around than ain’t. Epicloud is an amazing record. Curiously dated in sound yet extravagantly timeless in nature, there really isn’t anything about this record that you can actively dislike. I’ve never been a big fan of Devin – too much nerd humour lurking in the background for my liking – but, when you are swept up in the icily magnificent Euro pop of Save Our Now all your gripes and quibbles are swept away in the sugar rush of perfect songwriting that you’re being confronted with. And when Save Our Now is swept away by a suitably coruscating (dare I say epic) remake of live staple Kingdom, awash in stentorian riffage, double kick salvos and Townsend and guest Anneke Van Giersbergen’s effortless vocal rapport you’re left smiling like an educationally subnormal loon, marvelling at the scope of it all.

There aren’t many ‘name’ artists around these days with the guts to follow their instincts and write whatever moves them – and damn the torpedoes – and consequently the whole feel of Epicloud is of something left over from the late seventies. It’s self-indulgent for sure, but that almost improves the listening experience rather than detracting from it. The gospel choirs, the ad-jingle earworm catchiness, yes, even the silly humour of Lucky Animals all combine to transport you to a world where it’s okay simply to love music for the sake of it without worrying what the cool kids think of you, and that’s a liberating experience in these jaded times. Epicloud doesn’t deserve a run-of-the-mill music review, not here or in any other mag, because it’s worth so much more than that. Just buy the damn thing, and wallow.