Klark Kent

Kollected Works

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The work of Klark Kent almost inevitably brings up a question: Is the world really ready for a record that combined the musical sensibilities of the Police and the lyrical concerns of Weird Al Yankovic? Former Police drummer Stewart Copeland claims to play all the instruments on this set of bouncy, quirky pop songs, and there is a distinct sonic resemblance to his old band. The songs themselves are mostly novelty numbers, enjoyable for their content the first time you hear them, and for the sheer quality of the musicianship and production when the surprise wears off. The snotty "Don't Care" and the punk ska "Too Cool to Calypso" both are very successful as comedy numbers, but have plenty of musical weight behind them. "Excesses" could have even been a lost Police track, a creepy cautionary tale about vaguely realizing that you've developed some very self-destructive habits. The instrumental tracks are surprisingly good as well, and it's surprising that Copeland used an alias for much of this material -- it's so good that most artists would be proud to be associated with it. There are touches of the trademark Copeland musical eccentricity, such as the kazoos that fade out "Theme for a Kinetic Ritual" and the hammering drums on the bizarre sci-fi cowboy epic "Stay Ready," but most of the material on Kollected Works is inventive new wave pop of the highest order. Note: Keep that CD in the player, as there's a bonus track at the end.

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