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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 May 2017
Okay but a little to slow
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Well done the Financial times is all I can say. It's not a paper that is regularly posted through the letterbox but an off chance reading of it at a public library turned up a short review of "I am Kloot's" new album "Sky at Night" which ended with the plea that it is "time surely for this Manchester band of everymen to have their day in the sun too". The FT is emphatically right "Sky at night" is a revelation and an album of consummate song-writing and big songs. Unbelievably this is the fifth album for this three piece Mancunian band who comprise John Bramwell (guitar/vocals), Peter Jobson (bass)and Andy Hargreaves (drums). They formed in 1999 and sadly over that period have been so far below the radar that a Lockheed Blackbird would have had trouble spotting them. Dear old John Peel tried his best to promote the band but we didn't listen properly.

"I am Kloot's" predicament has some similarities to there mentors and great chums in Elbow who also struggled to gain their rightful recognition for far too many years until they unleashed the wonders of the "Seldom Seen Kid" one of the greatest albums of the last or any decade for that matter. Since 2001 "I am Kloot" have had a big Elbow connection with Guy Garvey producing their debut and for their latest Garvey has enlisted fellow band mate Craig Potter to help at the mixing desk. It appears that the newly found "Elbow Magic" has rubbed off and resulted in another brilliant Kloot album but one this time that represents a real leap in consistency and maturity.

Clearly the two big songs on here intended to draw people in are the opener "Northern Skies" currently subject to blanket playing on Radio 2 and the penultimate song the jaw dropping "Radiation". Both songs are very different with the former having a countryish feel and makes for an ideal single with a brilliant video featuring Christopher Eccleston to accompany it. "Radiation" starts off as altogether more sparse and beautiful affair that then breaks into huge almost ELO like orchestration midway and superb vocals by Bramwell where he repeats the lines "Everything we ever thought, we'd ever want, me and you, well it just came through" over a pounding backdrop. In short it's a storming song and massive highlight. Yet my true favourite's on the album are the slow burners like "I Still do" which is achingly beautiful and destined for classic status, equally the Richard Hawley style piano ballad "Its just the night" has a lonely desolation and sadness which captures perfectly a gin soaked evening which has gone wrong. "The moon is a blind eye" pulls on every emotional pulse in your body, while "Lately" is slightly bluesy but the huge wall of backing harmonies are pure "Abbey Road" and the late Dr Winston O Boogie would have loved to tackle this head on. Finally "Proof" seems to have been on every album they have recorded including a more raw version on the 2006 John Peel Sessions. This newer version is a gentler affair but remains a great song.

All the songs on here are class and "Sky at night" is the perfect title for this album. Walk out and look at those bright stars, ignore the light rain, breath out into the cold night air and reflect; then ask yourself when was the last time you last heard an album this good?
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Well done the Financial times is all I can say. It's not a paper that is regularly posted through the letterbox but an off chance reading of it at a public library turned up a short review of "I am Kloot's" new album "Sky at Night" which ended with the plea that it is "time surely for this Manchester band of everymen to have their day in the sun too". The FT is emphatically right "Sky at night" is a revelation and an album of consummate song-writing and big songs. Unbelievably this is the fifth album for this three piece Mancunian band who comprise John Bramwell (guitar/vocals), Peter Jobson (bass)and Andy Hargreaves (drums). They formed in 1999 and sadly over that period have been so far below the radar that a Lockheed Blackbird would have had trouble spotting them. Dear old John Peel tried his best to promote the band but we didn't listen properly.

"I am Kloot's" predicament has some similarities to there mentors and great chums in Elbow who also struggled to gain their rightful recognition for far too many years until they unleashed the wonders of the "Seldom Seen Kid" one of the greatest albums of the last or any decade for that matter. Since 2001 "I am Kloot" have had a big Elbow connection with Guy Garvey producing their debut and for their latest Garvey has enlisted fellow band mate Craig Potter to help at the mixing desk. It appears that the newly found "Elbow Magic" has rubbed off and resulted in another brilliant Kloot album but one this time that represents a real leap in consistency and maturity.

Clearly the two big songs on here intended to draw people in are the opener "Northern Skies" currently subject to blanket playing on Radio 2 and the penultimate song the jaw dropping "Radiation". Both songs are very different with the former having a countryish feel and makes for an ideal single with a brilliant video featuring Christopher Eccleston to accompany it. "Radiation" starts off as altogether more sparse and beautiful affair that then breaks into huge almost ELO like orchestration midway and superb vocals by Bramwell where he repeats the lines "Everything we ever thought, we'd ever want, me and you, well it just came through" over a pounding backdrop. In short it's a storming song and massive highlight. Yet my true favourite's on the album are the slow burners like "I Still do" which is achingly beautiful and destined for classic status, equally the Richard Hawley style piano ballad "Its just the night" has a lonely desolation and sadness which captures perfectly a gin soaked evening which has gone wrong. "The moon is a blind eye" pulls on every emotional pulse in your body, while "Lately" is slightly bluesy but the huge wall of backing harmonies are pure "Abbey Road" and the late Dr Winston O Boogie would have loved to tackle this head on. Finally "Proof" seems to have been on every album they have recorded including a more raw version on the 2006 John Peel Sessions. This newer version is a gentler affair but remains a great song.

All the songs on here are class and "Sky at night" is the perfect title for this album. Walk out and look at those bright stars, ignore the light rain, breath out into the cold night air and reflect; then ask yourself when was the last time you last heard an album this good?
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on 28 September 2010
This was one of those albums I bought on reviews alone. I have to admit, more often than not, im left disappointed. So it was with surprise and joy that I discovered Sky at Night to be a thing of pure beauty.

Im no wannabe NME reviewer, so i'll keep it simple. I was instantly gripped by the beautiful melodies and the poetic lyrics. The singer sounded like someone who had really lived a life and had more than enough skill to express it lyrically.

Each listen bought more depth to the surface of the songs. Some tracks such as 'Still do' made my heart swim and bought tears to my eyes.

I am a fan of the more melancholic brand of music - the type that speaks to the listener and not necessarily intended for stadium appeal (the band may disagree!), such as Doves, Smiths, New Order etc . . . This was a fantastic addition to that glorious 'tradition'.

Hats off to the group for not succumbing to current trends, and just relying on real quality songwriting.

There's not one duff track on the entire album, and as I previously mentioned, the lyrics are astounding.

Its so great to find a new band of such quality -i'll be investigating their back catelogue with great eagerness!
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on 17 May 2010
A mature, beautiful record. Each song's a little snapshot of a mans life. Honest and real. Fantastic arrangements, the 3 piece augmented by Guy Garvey's backing vocals, graceful string arrangements and sensitive atmospherics all there to enhance the poignancy of the storytelling.
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on 26 October 2010
It's seldom I put an album on these days and want to play it through again immediately after the first listen. While their debut album had established itself as a personal favourite, subsequent releases have felt a little disappointing, not measuring up to the freshness of that first output. Sky At Night is a welcome return to form, beautiful and bombastic, a great week day wind down album (and as a designer, nice cover art as well :)
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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2010
Another band put under more noses thanks to the Mercury Prize shortlist. I bought this on the strength of seeing I Am Kloot performing at the awards ceremony, and generally have not been disappointed. Refreshingly, this is thoughtful, introspective music - the sort that doesn't really do big business these days - and the pared down sound to voice, bass and guitar lends an intimate and genuine feel to most of the songs here. Elsewhere, the occasional lush instrumental backing adds a further dimension, but it's not over-done.

Only 3 stars at the moment because just on a couple of listenings I think it's a bit uneven as an album. There are a few standout tracks where the lyrics and vocals just come together beautifully, but elsewhere the material seems to be directionless and a few songs don't deliver much of a punch. It's a short CD - under 40 minutes, but I'd rather have quality in places than 70 minutes plus of stuff you wish was just over. Certainly the tone of I Am Kloot here is reflective and more than a little bit mournful, but there's nothing wrong with that. Worth investigating.
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on 29 June 2011
There's something about John Bramwell's voice that almost makes me crave listening to this album again and again. No silly American accent here, just good northern vowels backed up by good northern "soul". This album has wheedled it's way into my life and I love it. If you're in a rush and just need your life enhancing for 2 minutes and 51 seconds, listen to "Proof".
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on 10 September 2010
I've long been an admirer of the songwriting skills of John Bramwell, who is in my humble opinion one of our most skilled lyricists. With me also being a fan of Elbow (this was co-produced by Guy Garvey and Craig Potter), I was eager to get my ears around this album to see how the partnership fared (mates don't always make great working partners...trust me!!).

I think 2010 has been a pretty damn good year for music (well, the type I like anyhow!) and I've been impressed with The National, Cherry Ghost, Laura Marling, Joanna Newsom, Tracey Thorn amongst others....but SKY AT NIGHT absolutely blew me away. The songs have a warm depth, lyrically profound as you would expect, but with a more 'complete' sound than on previous IAK offerings. It is an obvious comparision, but the arrangements and layering of sound is very Elbowesque, but for me, it's less dramatic and more melancholic..if that makes any sense!

Stand out tracks for me....I STILL DO, which is has a gentle unasuming flow to it..absolutely beautiful, and THE MOON IS A BLIND EYE.

All in all...an absolute GEM of a album, and I hope this is the one that gives them the rewards they deserve. After all, critical aclaim don't pay the rent....BUY THIS ALBUM!!!
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on 16 April 2015
I have only recently heard this band and purchased this album and what a good choice but I have to ask the question Why does this band get no air play I get fed up listening to the same old music played because of play lists on the radio
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