I Am Kloot Natural History (2001)

 I Am Kloot — Natural History (2001)

I Am Kloot — Natural History
Location: Manchester, England
Album release: March 26, 2001
Recorded: Studio Studio, Rochdale/The Elbow Rooms, Manchester/The Big House, Manchester/Isle of Mull, Scotland
Record Label: We Love You (Wall of Sound)
Duration:     43:02
01. To You     (3:17)
02. Morning Rain     (3:20)
03. Bigger Wheels     (3:28)
04. No Fear Of Falling     (2:11)
05. Loch     (4:33)
06. Storm Warning     (3:59)
07. Dark Star     (2:22)
08. Stop     (3:56)
09. Sunlight Hits The Snow     (2:44)
10. Twist     (2:58)
11. 86 TV's     (2:55)
12. Because     (7:19)
¶  "Because" includes a hidden track called "Graffiti".
¶  The Japanese edition of Natural History includes two bonus tracks: "Over My Shoulder" and "Titanic".
Contributing musicians:
Guy Garvey: backing vocals, percussion, sound effects, harmonica, wine glasses
Pete Turner, Craig Potter, Mark Potter and Richard Jupp: wine glasses on "Because"
Arnold Bramwell  Composer, Guitar, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
John Bramwell  Composer
Guy Garvey  Engineer, Harmonica, Mixing, Percussion, Producer, Sound Effects, Vocals (Background)
Andy Hargreaves  Drums, Percussion
John Harold  Guitar, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Pete Jobson  Bass, Slide Guitar, Vocals (Background)
Stacey Manton  Artwork
Craig Potter  Engineer
Mark Potter  Engineer
Website: http://iamkloot.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/iamklootmusic
Review by Tim DiGravina  (Rating: ****)
¶  Easily one of the most accomplished bands of the new acoustic movement, I Am Kloot has created one of the better albums in the genre with Natural History. Songwriters John Harold and Arnold Bramwell strike a highly successful balance between folksy acoustic numbers and mini rock epics throughout the album's 12 tracks. Catchy vocal passages crop up left and right, psychedelic guitar passages mingle readily with moments of quiet sublime romance, and the band isn't beyond throwing in the occasional refreshing jazz arrangement. It's not surprising that the music sounds as lush as it does, since Elbow frontman Guy Garvey produced, engineered, and mixed the album, along with offering snippets of harmonica, sound effects, some percussion, and backing vocals. Acoustic guitars, a somber bass, and hushed drums percolate slowly as they twist and twirl around Harold and Bramwell's vocals. Imagining I Am Kloot as a darker, acoustic lo-fi Oasis would seem to be entirely appropriate, and not just because there's a resemblance in their Mancunian accents. But this is a mini Oasis that occasionally moonlights in Robyn Hitchcock whimsy. Lyrically, there are loads of bizarre things going on, with disarmingly quirky lines like "Will someone somewhere marry me... to you," "There's blood on your legs, I love you," and "Twist, snap, I love you," rearing their heads at odd moments. These are clearly chaps who know how and when to turn a killer phrase. As endearingly quirky as some of the songs might be, there's an ample supply of beautiful ballads on hand to vary the mood. Weird near-genius standout tracks "To You" and "Twist" sit perfectly alongside the sweet, perfect "No Fear of Falling" and the eclectic, jazzy wonder of "Sunlight Hits the Snow." One senses that Garvey may be responsible for the occasional lapse into realms a bit too epic, but he and the band always manage to reel songs back in when they get too bombastic. Smart, catchy, at times ramshackle, and at other times desperately atmospheric and exotic, Natural History is a wonderful debut album.
¶  "Rather atypically for an album, Natural History has a stated mission: "To change people's lives at three decibels," according to I Am Kloot frontman John Bramwell--a one-time teenage busker on the streets of Paris, who returned home to British shores, half-dead from starvation, with the dream of forming the perfect band. The acoustic dressings, laconic delivery and gleefully knowing arrogance of Natural History immediately recall the 21st-century folk of Badly Drawn Boy's The Hour of Bewilderbeast, but Bramwell's half-spoken, half-sung lyrics often delve into darker realms than the bright-eyed romancing of Damon Gough. So, for every red rose presented with a romantic flourish--see, the falsetto-laden "To You"--there's a funeral bouquet in the shape of the macabre "Twist": "There's blood on your legs," shivers Bramwell, grimly, "I love you". Admittedly, Bramwell isn't quite as clever as he thinks he is; occasionally, his more laboured wisecracks stumble and fall right on their extended metaphors. But when I Am Kloot go straight for the emotional jugular, as on the closing "Because", even their ridiculous name makes a funny kind of sense."
¶  I Am Kloot est un groupe largement sous-estimé. Chaque nouvelle pierre ajoutée a leur discographie, enrichit la discotheque de quelques mélomanes avisés. Let It All In, leur dernier opus s'impose comme un nouvel argument pour convaincre de la qualité du trio mancunien. 
¶  Même en Angleterre, leur plus grande réussite commerciale, Sky At Night, produit par des membres d'Elbow, n'a pas dépassé le 24e rang dans les charts.
¶  Leur premiere merveille Natural History  est sorti en 2001. John Bramwell, avant de devenir la voix d' I Am Kloot, officiait comme organisateur de concerts. C'est d'ailleurs dans le cadre de cette activité, qu'il a rencontré Andy Hargreaves et Pete Jobson, et qu'il les a débauchés de leurs groupes respectifs pour les inciter a le rejoindre. Bien leur en a pris, puisque dés leur premier album, I Am Kloot a bénéficié d'un véritable succes d'estime, s'imposant comme un des groupes Pop Folk les plus importants de ces dernieres années.

I Am Kloot Natural History (2001)



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