Mother (studio album) by Cleo Sol

Mother by Cleo Sol
Year: 2021
Release date: 2021-08-20
Overall rank: 20,794th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
74/100 (from 13 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution   Average rating historyAverage rating history
Award Top albums of 2021 (298th)
Award Top albums of the 2020s (891st)
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Cleo Sol bestography

Mother is ranked as the best album by Cleo Sol.

Cleo Sol album bestography « Higher ranked This album (20,794th) Lower ranked (35,808th) »
-MotherRose In The Dark

Upcoming concerts

Colorado Symphony Orchestra w/ Cleo Parker Robinson
Boettcher Hall, Denver, United States. United States
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Mother track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 76 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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Rating: 79 (5 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 77 (3 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 75 (3 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 75 (3 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 76 (2 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 77 (3 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 78 (3 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 73 (3 votes)Comments: 0
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Mother rankings

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Mother ratings

Average Rating: 
74/100 (from 13 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

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02/06/2023 17:56 DavideBerna  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,14173/100
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01/30/2023 06:11 plasmicmist  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,81776/100
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11/01/2022 11:16 jonny5244  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 8,25363/100
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05/14/2022 17:53 lisalisa  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 36978/100
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01/27/2022 16:39 Sandrof1969  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 2,13368/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album has a Bayesian average rating of 73.6/100, a mean average of 74.2/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 74.2/100. The standard deviation for this album is 11.4.

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Mother comments

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From 05/14/2022 18:10
Don´tell me it´s Kitch! I know
...but it´s OK!
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From 09/18/2021 19:01
(Pure, reassuring, lovely soul music. One of my favorite soul albums or R&B albums in years and I hope it gets more attention cuz it is REALLY fantastic and deserves it. 67 Minutes, perhaps a bit long for some people’s taste. But I feel Cleo Sol imbues these songs and every minute of this album with enough pure beauty and loveliness that it is well worth a few hours of your time from listening and relistening.)

This album is pure and sweet and bitter and soulful. It uses every minute of it 67-minute run time to enchant and inspire and calm. The instrumentals, for the most part, are minimalistic and stripped down to a simple beat and a piano and some beautiful vocal harmonies, etc. There are exceptions, obviously, but in general when I think of this album I remember and conceptualize Cleo singing with a pure clarity over a piano. It's a simple and beautiful sound and I love listening to this album and just relaxing and drawing some inspiration from it.

The songs are admirably simple. Cleo Sol is one hell of a singer, and I adore her voice enough that I don't really need nor want a lot going on behind her. The opening Carole King-esque beauty "Don't Let Me Fall" is a clear highlight. As is the gorgeous " We Need You". "Music" has these weepy string parts and these sick transitions, some organ sounds, and drum crisp fills and these electric piano parts and the whole song is open and spacey and chill and rich... awesome! “Know That You Are Loved” is a tear jerker for sure and its incredibly direct message hits so hard and cuts right to my heart. "Don't Let It Go To Your Head" has a sick rhythm and a sweet Santana-like guitar sound which, paired with understated soulful vocals, is pretty damn incredible. The wildly stripped down and austere production of "Promises" is excellently understated as well. That is what I am taking from this album, its understated and comfortable and not doing too much and as a result the few elements that dominate the sound can be presented free of other bells and whistles. This makes for an un-flashy and very human experience.

There’s an 8+ minute stunner of a track toward the end of this album called “One Day” which is ridiculously good on many levels. The lyrics are so beautiful, the singing so pitch perfect, the arrangement is excellent, and it has these musically distinct parts that add up to one of the best soul songs I’ve heard in years. Especially love the closing 2 minutes which are 2 minutes of heavenly, contemplative beauty.

Other tracks such as "23" maybe will grow on me but as of now they aren't moving me to the same degree. "23" has this lively and loud bassline that strikes me as silly, and the whole track has a somewhat strange surreal quality that doesn't fit the melody and vocals. Again, maybe its eccentricity will grow on me over time. (Edit: yeah this 23 track sounds like a disney song, specifically I'm pretty sure Beauty and The Beast (1991) came to mind from the ending lol). The closer, “Spirit” is a very dramatic piece which reminds me of Lauryn Hill, it reminds me of a particular Hill track but the name escapes me, but its really solid and while not one of my favorites on this album, its really good.

This album just feels good. Cleo is so assured and rich in sound and personality. Themes of motherhood and finding your own way in life and maturity seem to be present, but honestly I've not done a deep dive into the themes and lyrics.

I have wanted to dive into this record for awhile but had forgotten about its existence until I heard Little Simz album a couple weeks ago and heard Cleo Sol's feature in "Woman" and I loved her performance there and that was all I needed to get me to listen to this. I'm very happy I did. Its kind of exactly what I needed today to calm my nerves and just breathe in the air and relax. This is one of my favorite soul and R&B albums in a long while and I think it should be getting more love and attention. Hopefully her feature on Little Simz’s hit album will drive a few thousand more ears to this record.
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