It’s been about 258 years since Kooley High’s eternally forthcoming 9th Wonder-helmed album was first floated over social media. Last year, sensing that the fans needed something to hold them over, Kooley released Heights, a fantastic seven-track EP that represented, even in the wake of Rapsody's massive departure, some of the group’s strongest work. Now, with a new album release still unannounced, they’re stretching the lifespan of Heights with a string of music videos that are nearly as good. Now, Kooley has offered a new clip for "Alone."
I’ve said it before, but Heights offered some of the most well rounded writing from Charlie Smarts ever, and “Alone,” among other tracks, put that on full display. From the opening, Charlie’s first verse sets the tone for a song that could give “Days Passed Me By” a run for consideration as the most reflective, measured song in K-High’s catalog:
“Celebration is allowed with the faces in the crowd,
But what you think about when champagne is fizzled out/
Is the one that got away, every day they missing now,
Now I’m drinking Guinness Stout, the weight of infinite doubt/ on my shoulders…”
The shooting from Barrett Phillips here is visually beautiful—a given for Kooley High at this point, a testament to the care the crew puts into its presentation and music. On “Alone,” Phillips’ decision to lean on shots of low-lit alleys and street lamps perfectly matches the song’s pensive tone, as does the choice to subtly (or not-so-subtly, for those paying attention) insert the letters “A-L-O-N-E” throughout the video.
But there were some edits that simply left me scratching my head. As the track closes with Charlie somberly reflecting on an American history of slaves, wealthy inheritances, and guns, it seems a bit jarring to cut to Foolery smirking on a rooftop in broad daylight, for example. Some of those trademark moments of Kooley light-heartedness, while fun in their own right, detract from the video’s otherwise apropos content—dark, moody, and intimate footage that, considering the song’s message, would have been better left, well, alone.