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One Way, It's Every Way

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Born: Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The project of Adelaide, Australia's Mark Mitchell, Clue to Kalo began as glitchy laptop pop but evolved into a symphonic indie pop band. As a child, Mitchell pretended he was a recording artist, making up songs and cover artwork for fake albums, but didn't want to learn how to play an instrument. He channeled his imagination into writing -- and even pursued a Ph.D. in English -- but revisited making music when a high-school friend showed him computer multi-track recording. Mitchell began experimenting...
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One Way, It's Every Way, Clue to Kalo
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