JANN KLOSE – Surrender

Honey Rose 2023


Defying pandemic gloom, American minstrel kicks his troubles away to capture the spirit of time.

Jann Klose has done a lot of a soul-searching since 2008’s "Reverie" – the cosmopolitan’s third full-length trip into recorded sound and the first to present him as a truly introspective troubadour – yet the following decade and a half saw this artist gradually getting rid of initial ethereality in favor of earthly delights, alone and in the company of Gary Lucas, and “Surrender” can signal a point of no return, a closure of sort, for him. Still sweet in terms of tunes, if robustly delivered, Klose’s sixth solo effort may struggle to spin timelessness but it perfectly captures, and savors, sacred moments of life, rendering sonic intimacy with his listener simultaneously scary and soothing. Not for nothing the record cover finds Jann set against black background and emerge into the light: such a bold abandon is appealing indeed.

From the weave of acoustic strum and electric lace of titular opener onwards, the singer’s marrying worry to warmth to banish shadows from the fold and embrace freedom of the upbeat urban flow, and allow choruses to be filled with his wide-eyed charisma before the cut’s tick-tock groove and Klose’s vocals gel into an irresistible streetwise brew which will also bubble in the existential disquiet of “Flesh And Blood” to see Jann’s voice soar above orchestral sweep to a great effect. However, for every hint at grandiose scope of the music on offer, there’s a ballad in which more than two is a crowd, so the uplift of “Love You The Most” – an impassioned duet with Alicia Madison – bears reprising in an unplugged form and repeating in Spanish, the single “Sugar My” borders on sublime, especially when it kicks into gear for a refrain, and the exuberant “Pilot Light” brings back a whiff of folk-informed flight.

That’s how the throbbing, dance-inducing “Do You Want To Be Lonely” eschews nostalgia and looks into the bright future, while the polyphonic “All The Way Down” defies its own title by reaching for sunshine, and though the verses of “Here In My Heart” attempt to pitch murk in the number’s optimistic view, the transparent “Stay The Same” seems to bid farewell to the change only to locate the performer’s true self in this piece’s cinematic swirl. No wonder, then, that the album’s final track, discounting bonuses, is the effervescent, scintillating “Even If It Takes A Lifetime” which closes Jann Klose’s platter on a high pop note. On a genuine note of surrender.


March 3, 2023

Category(s): Reviews

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