Category: Klark Kent

Klark Kent – Kollected Works

Klark Kent - Kollected WorksEven if you were unaware that Klark Kent is, in fact, a pseudonym for Stewart Copeland, it would be difficult to listen to Kollected Works without thinking of The Police. The heavy reggae/ska influence and experimental attitude so prevalent in The Police’s early work (and almost entirely excised by the time of Synchronicity) are found in spades here. Copeland founded the Police and was responsible for most of the early songwriting, until Sting’s prolific nature (and, let’s face it, greater overall songwriting skill) took over. These recordings date from that earlier time, with most of them seeing original release around 1978/9 as an outlet for Copeland, already feeling boxed in by the band.

While the music itself has a lot in common with early Police, the lyrics really do take a different path. The more socially aware nature of the Police material gives way instead for the absurd or the downright silly. And even the production is more absurd, with voiceovers from a secretary pool and kazoos in the mix. If you’ve heard Police songs like “Any Other Day” (from Regatta de Blanc) you’ll be aware of Copeland’s, shall we say, unique vocal stylings. While I normally wouldn’t want an album full of Copeland vocals, the combination of vocals, lyrics and production on the Klark Kent material works.

If the songs have one failing in common, it’s that they lack polish. Most tend to just sort of peter out, rather than have any kind of proper ending. Just as Sting’s Police re-makes have lacked the depth of the original recordings, Copeland without Sting and Andy Summers feels somewhat shallow. But I’m a sucker for a one-man album, myself. For me, an interesting odyssey into original territory trumps careful, planned production any day.

rating: 4 out of 4Ultimately, I think it goes without saying that if you’re a fan of Stewart Copeland or The Police (especially the more obscure tracks and B-sides) you need this album. Reggae and ska fans will find plenty to enjoy here as well, perhaps more than on any Police material. Also, if you enjoy experimental music-making, you should give Kollected Works a listen.

Order this CD

  1. Too Kool To Kalypso (2:28)
  2. Strange Things (2:42)
  3. Thrills (2:23)
  4. Excesses (3:02)
  5. Love Lessons (3:30)
  6. Office Girls (2:18)
  7. Away From Home (2:57)
  8. Don’t Care (2:10)
  9. Grandelinquent (3:10)
  10. My Old School (2:45)
  11. Ritch In A Ditch (2:29)
  12. Theme For A Kinetic Ritual (4:21)
  13. Stay Ready (3:03)
  14. Office Talk (6:50)
    Guerilla (hidden track – 3:29)

Released by: I.R.S.
Release date: 1995
Total running time: 48:08