Proving, from an instrumental perspective anyhow, that he didn't need those other two - Sting and Andy Summers - it was a solo album in the truest sense; with the drummer playing all of the instruments and performing all of the vocals.
Very much of its time, Klark Kent is dominated by new wave, post-punk sounds, with touches of reggae and two tone interspersed. Quirky, off-kilter, and darn right strange from the off, Klark Kent gave Copeland free reign to do whatever he damn well pleased, and it shows.
It kicks off with 'It's Gonna Rain', a mid-paced dirge that showcases Copeland's characteristic monotone voice and monstrous drumming. With a sound and style that is consistent throughout bar the odd experimental left turn, it's surprisingly catchy. One of those early singles, 'Don' Care' follows, and with its tell tale line; "if you don't like my arrogance, you can suck my socks!", it's obvious that the charismatic performer couldn't care less what anyone thinks.
Instrumental 'Grendelinquelt' features some Police-like chorused guitars, while 'Old School' is relentlessly propulsive, and 'Excesses' has echoes of The Police in its timing and beats. The Edge-like guitars of 'Kinetic Ritual' meanwhile prove that while primarily known as a drummer, Copeland is no slouch on the six-string either - or the kazoo, for that matter, which mercifully, U2 have yet to employ.
There's rock n roll soloing in 'Thrills', more kazoo in frenetic single 'Too Cool to Kalypso' (another of those early singles), and primitive Casio keyboards in 'Strange Things'. 'Love Lessons' meanwhile has those big Police harmonies and is one of the more accessible tracks on the album, while an unlikely Christmas song 'Yo Ho Ho' props up the latter half of the album.
Eccentric to the last, 'Someone Else' might just be the most bonkers song of all. Avantgarde percussion, hauntingly reverbed vocals and disorienting melodies are interspersed with horns and big guitars, to create something as unsettling as it is hypnotic.
Overall it's a fun listen, and while Klark Kent is missing the huge hits that he'd go on to create with The Police, Copeland has crammed the album with earworms. A infectious, if sometimes baffling listen.
Stewart Copeland’s 'Klark Kent' is available now on 2LP, 2CD, and digital formats. Order here.