I Am Kloot – Let It All In (Shepherd Moon)
Out 21st Jan 2013
Letâs get this out of the way before we start.Â The clichÃ©s have already been rolled back out for I Am Klootâs sixth studio album, not helped by their insistence on using Guy and Craig from Elbow on production duties.Â Previous album Sky At Night was seen by the press as their attempt to âdo an Elbowâ, as if drowning the album in strings onto the album was a surefire way of following their contemporariesâ and friendsâ career trajectory.Â Thereâs so much more to Kloot than lazy comparisons â their back catalogue more than stands up on its own and with âLet Them All Inâ, theyâve produced an album that should, in a world with any justice, be recognised as their defining moment to date.
âLet It All Inâ is Kloot taking a step back, going back to the basic genesis of the band as a three-piece, with additional instruments added where necessary, and sounding better for it.Â That mix of Johnâs voice and guitar, combined with Peteâs languid bass and Andyâs understated but vital drumming is what makes the Kloot heart beat and draws people in without the need for theatrics and arm-waving and hand-clapping.Â It feels like the album has been kept deliberately simple to let the natural beauty of the songs shine through.Â It succeeds.
The album has an interesting history. âLet Them All Inâ dates all the way back to Johnâs days with Mouth in the 1990s and âEven The Starsâ started life as an obvious single in the days of âPlay Moolah Rougeâ in 2006/7 before not even appearing on the final album and being radically reworked for this version.Â Â The former finishes with John seemingly at peace singing to himself with a saxophone and moog outro in the background.Â âEven The Starsâ may disappoint some of those familiar with the rockier live version, but has been transformed into a haunting centrepiece of the record.
The albumâs lyrical themes are consistent with most of Klootâs back catalogue, an insight into the darker side of Johnâs character, such as on opener âBulletsâ where he reflects âYou treat your body like a cheap hotel. Somewhere you can stay but never stopâ or âAll alone sat here whispering through my megaphone. Noone listening, on the telephonesâ on simple, plaintive closer âForgive Me These Remindersâ, reminiscing about John as a young, argumentative man on âMouth On Meâ and delving into confused stories of love, paranoia, self-doubt and disaster on âMasqueradeâ and âHold Back The Night.â
Towards the end of the record, thereâs the positivity of current single âThese Days Are Mineâ and next single âSome Better Dayâ which are both classic timeless songs that could have been written at any point in the past fifty years, but feel perfectly relevant today.Â Ignore the slightly clumsy radio edit and dubious techno remix of the former, the album version makes perfect sense in its full glory and the latter is the song that will break them to the wider audience they deserve if thereâs any justice in the world.
Iâve had the album on almost constant rotation for two months and not grown tired of it and I donât think this review does it justice. âLet It All Inâ might not be the most original, inventive album youâll hear this year, but youâll struggle to find a more beautiful, heartfelt, emotive and plain damn brilliant one.Â Itâs their masterpiece.
All words David Brown. More articles by David can be found here.