Wednesday, 16 January 2013

REVIEW: I Am Kloot - Let It All In

Written by Ben P Scott for God Is In The TV

Formed in 1999, I Am Kloot finally broke through to a wider audience with their acclaimed 2010 album 'Sky At Night', which as well as giving them their highest chart position to date also earned them a Mercury Music Prize nomination. Now they follow it up with their sixth effort 'Let It All In', a more varied record that builds on the sparse acoustic sound of its predecessor while reintroducing and improving the style of their early work. Like the previous LP it's produced by Elbow's Guy Garvey and Craig Potter, who have been friends with Kloot long enough to know how to bring out the best in their music. The success of the previous album has given the band greater confidence, and this one will surely take them further.

Bullets opens the album, building from downbeat Northern misery and a tune that hints at The Doors' 'People Are Strange', before swinging into a Tom Waits-like burlesque stomp. With its dusty night time moods the (almost) title track 'Let Them All In' is a laid back grower, while the magnificent 'Hold Back The Night' is a perfect example of how I Am Kloot have progressed over the years. After the resigned, brooding bitterness grows more powerful with each verse, it's soon pushed up to dramatic levels with the arrival of a sweeping string section that wouldn't sound out of place in a Bond film.

From start to finish, Let It All In does a great job of blending the best elements of the first two albums with the tricks they have learned since, like on the wistfully poetic 'Mouth on Me', almost a wiser, introspective relative of the debut's 'Morning Rain'. With its lovely acoustic intro and subtle charm, the stirring 'Shoeless' is like a natural continuation of 'Sky At Night', and elsewhere 'Even the Stars' channels the spirit of Joy Division's 'Atmosphere', rising into a stunning, hymn-like chorus.
The peaceful, humble brass and gorgeous lullaby melody of 'Some Better Day' provide another wonderfully infectious highlight, while the massively uplifting 'These Days Are Mine' is their way of saying to the mainstream "we're here".  When reviewing music, I try not to read any other reviews to avoid other people's words having any effect on my own, but i'm sure I can't be the first to remark on how much influence producer Garvey must have had on this joyous epic. It's grand but not in the slightest bit cluttered, blessed with the presence of soaring strings, bright brass, a gospel choir, and an anthemic coda designed for festival crowds and stadiums to sing back at them, which is now more of a possibility should these new songs reach an even wider audience.

'Forgive Me These Reminders' closes the record on a bittersweet, heartfelt note, a charming low key moment so beautiful it could make a grown man cry. Fitting together wonderfully, Let It All In sees John Bramwell moving in to a higher league in terms of songwriting, a strong and consistent album that provides I Am Kloot with their definitive work. 9

Pre-order your copy of 'Let It All In HERE.  

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