Clue to Kalo

One Way, It's Every Way

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Triangulated somewhere between the Flaming Lips at their most spacy-philosophical, Badly Drawn Boy's commingling of glitchy electronics and bedroom indie pop, and the Olivia Tremor Control's fondness for album-length suites, the second album by Australian singer/songwriter Mark Mitchell under the project name Clue to Kalo largely avoids the weaknesses of those three often-inconsistent artists but never quite comes up to their heights. One Way, It's Every Way is a ten-song suite that Mitchell describes as a "musical palindrome," and in the sense that the album's songs tend to turn in on themselves and the same life-and-death themes keep reappearing in the lyrics, it's an accurate description. But it's a fine line between cunningly constructed and disturbingly samey, and over the course of ten songs layered with jangly psych-pop guitars, ghostly keyboard filigrees, and vocals delivered in a hushed near-whisper, Mitchell is often in danger of crossing it. The songs that do the most to throw a few changeups into the sound, like the polyrhythmic groove of "Your Palsy to Protect You," are the ones that come across best.

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