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4.6 out of 5 stars
Let It All In
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
"I Am Kloot's" last album "The Sky at night" was a gem and John Bramwell's mixture of twisted sad laments and heart warming anthems should have dominated the charts for an eternity. True a Mercury nomination followed and the presence of the Elbow heavyweights Guy Garvey and Craig Potter at the mixing desk generated significant interest. But while it shone a light on the band the beam was not dazzling. On this new album "Let it all in" the same producers are back although if anything this is a less commercial beast with much of the lushness removed and return to the punchy harder edge of earlier albums with a number of first takes included. It may however be more of a stayer since the quality as ever that shines through. The opener is the burlesque blues of "Bullets" and sees Bramwell bitterly reflecting that "you treat your mind like a cheap hotel/somewhere you can stay but never stop" until it also crashes into a ferocious guitar solo which echoes a Tom Waits style intervention. "Let them all in" is a gentle acoustic number beautifully sung by Bramwell with understated band accompaniment while the excellent "Hold back the Night" could have alternatively figured on Portishead's trip hop gloomy masterpiece "Dummy". It starts with a bass and vocal, an echoing guitar sparingly inserting lonely notes until a the introduction of a pounding piano is eventually swept away by dramatic orchestral strings. As a single it will not trouble the charts but as a great song it ticks all the boxes.

Other songs like the bittersweet "Mouth on Me" harks back to childhood themes and showcases how this band fit together like a well worn glove. Peter Jobson (bass) and Andy Hargreaves (drums) are never needlessly showy but have a great understanding of how to colour in the prefect backdrop, borne of 14 years of reading each others musical mind. It also makes you realize quite how close is young Alex Turner's vocal style to that of Bramwell. Other songs include the lovely little ditty "Masquerade" is pure George Harrison while the jaunty "Some better day" is possibly the one song here that would have obviously fitted on "The Sky at night". There are a couple of songs that don't really engage that much, thus at this at this early point "Shoeless" seems a bit drab, and the last song "These days are mine" possibly overworks the Beatles linkage. That said I Am Kloot songs grow like trees over time and more perseverance will pay of. Much better is the bigger anthem and aching melody of "Even the stars" which sounds to this reviewer to be one of the best things that Bramwell has written.

In the final judgement this is an album which yet again proves that "I Am Kloot" are a hidden treasure and this record will undoubtedly consolidate an already uber loyal fan base and possibly expand it. "Let it all in" shows a band comfortable in their own skin, making the music they want to make and if you like it then fantastic but if you don't move on. This is music that makes sense when you consider the bands 14 year career and their refusal to deviate from a path of steady persistence which will probably never lead to enormous riches. The obvious thing to have done would have been to record "The Sky at Night Part 2". Its to Bramwell and co's credit that they have resisted this and in turn made an album that when all the necessary ingredients come together has a sheer emotional pull which is irresistible.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2013
I have always enjoyed I Am Kloot.
They have produced some great work to date but "Let It All In" is, in my opinion, streets ahead of anything else they have ever previously recorded.
The production is perfect.
Lyrically it is wonderful.
" Bullets" is pure genius.
The music is beautifully crafted with a tasty choice of instrumentation which provides the perfect canvass for John Bramwell's fabulously delivered vocal lines.
The trumpet on Some Better Day is exquisite and there is almost a Beatles vibe going on upon some of the tracks, yet this is merely a loose comparison as I Am Kloot always stamp their own inimitable identity upon all their work.
On the whole, there is a more reflective flavour to this album yet it still has enough bite.
Each track weaves its own magical spell and the song order keeps a superb sense of movement throughout the whole listen with subtle, clever twists and turns.
Along with Villagers "Awayland", this is one of the great albums, already, of 2013.
It would seem we are in for a treat this year as the bar is raised, so the standard has been set.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2013
I can't begin to say how much I absolutely love this album! There isn't a bad track on it and it is definately is my top album so far this year. It's one of those rare albums that I can sit and listen to with my headphones on and it makes my soul happy! Well with a few quid.
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"Let It All In" is the Manchester-based band's sixth studio album and the second produced by Elbow's Guy Garvey and Craig Potter and, in my opinion, is probably the best thing the band have ever put their name to which, given the quality of their previous material, is no small claim. It took a few plays, but once the songs established themselves in my mind, there was no removing them. This is simply a marvellous, beautifully written and performed piece of work from the first to the last note. John Bramwell, the singer, guitarist and songwriter is currently in the form of his life and this album is comprised of ten individually superb slices of emotionally-charged indie. If you can pigeon-hole the wonderful breadth of creativity on display here into a single category, that is (you can't!).

Album opener "Bullets" is a mournful, minor-key piece of dramatic brilliance which almost reads like a psychological thriller: "You treat your body like a cheap hotel/somewhere you can stay but never stop". The instrumental break almost brings to mind a dance number in a darkened cabaret room as the guitar solo viciously tears apart the melody line. The chorus of sublime title track, "Let It All In" offers the first warm positivity of the album and feels like sunlight breaking through the grey clouds. "Hold Back The Night" starts with a minimalist approach of bass and Bramwell's pained vocals, with guitar and drums joining in tentatively, hesitantly, building the fullness of the sound with each verse, until the instrumental break kicks in, when some sumptuous, scintillating strings take over the piece and make it soar, building to a goosebumps-on-the-skin climax with the lead guitar that leaves the listener almost breathless. Nostalgic ballad "Mouth On Me" features a tumbling bridge which cascades beautifully and "Shoeless" is tender, wistful, romantic and lovely.

The gently magnificent "Even The Stars" washes over you like one of Richard Hawley's finest performances and the folky, chirpy "Masquerade" (featuring the superb lines "the mad arrangements of my day/my descent into beige") continue the likeable, hummable high quality feel of the release. Perhaps the most catchy and commercial song on the album is "Some Better Day", which has a Beatlesque quality to it, an everyday subject matter and some lovely brass augmenting the subtle jauntiness of the melody. It's certainly one of my favourites on an album packed full of genuinely great songs. The album is brought to a conclusion with the strongly string-driven "These Days Are Mine" and the pensive, melancholy "Forgive Me These Reminders", finishing the record beautifully.

I've read quite a few reviews and there are some I Am Kloot fans who don't consider this album to be one of their best. I can't claim to understand that point of view. All I can say is that, since its release in January, I have fallen deeply in love with this album, felt that the songs more than compared with their previous work when I saw the band live in Brighton earlier this year and it is, to me, one of the best albums I have heard all year. Of course, people have their own opinions, but this is mine - "Let It All In" is absolutely magnificent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2013
Another brilliant album by one of the most underrated bands ever. Some great tunes and, as ever, beautiful vocals. It's a shame that they don't get greater recognition. This album has all the familiar sound that made Sky At Night such a wonderful and enduring album and this time Guy Garvey's assistance has put the shine on some more great compositions.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 September 2014
'Let It all In' is an album which takes a while to sink in. The bands lyrics, while obviously poetic and cleverly constructed, don't join up many dots for me as far as understanding goes so I'm left with just the musical mood and ambience of the record to truly appreciate.

The first time I heard the album I just thought it was o.k. but further listens seem to have increased its allure. I hear a hint of Dylan and Donovan in some of these songs and like the way that the album works well as a whole. There isn't really anything remotely 'pop' about this record nor is there any humour so it kind of falls into the modern 'meaningful and horridly serious mode' of bands like Snow Patrol and Coldplay.

All in all, its a difficult record to sum up in a few sentences so my best advice is that you buy it, digest it and then see if you can come up with more to say about it?
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on 28 January 2013
Having loved Sky at Night, their last album, and seen them at Glastonbury, we were really looking forward to this latest work, we are absolutely not disappointed. I am Kloot have the quiet presence of a band who love what they do, know it's good, and share it with us willingly, but uncompromisingly.
They write clever, moving, lyrics that somehow just connect. And the music.....at times mellow, reflective (see Let em' all in), at times soaring, rousing, anthemic (see These days are Mine)
Buy it, enjoy it, revel in the feeling. I am Kloot deserve the success this album will inevitably bring them. I see Mercury prizes and accolades in their future. But remember, I saw em' first ;)
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on 25 October 2014
Some may have problems with the slightly nasal/flat/sharp voice of frontman John Bramwell, but for me his compositions are strong enough to compensate for that. Ten tracks, less than 38 minutes. Some tracks are more bombastic, others very intimistic. 'Masquerade' is the highlight for me: 2'21'' of pure beauty. It may not be that original, it's just the pure essence of a song, simple and catchy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2014
I love this band and listen to this while writing. Hold back the night is the best track on the album.
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I think Guy Garvey is getting the hang of I Am Kloot. I've felt past productions have either just recorded them as is (no bad thing) or has gone to the other end of the spectrum and produced sounds that are just too big for their songs. I think with Let It All In he has got the balance just right! Great album in my opinion.
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