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Cat no. AMOUR5LP
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 namemakes a funny kind of sense. --Louis Pattison