Two CDs for £9 or MP3 for £3.99
*Buy this CD with another eligible title and pay no more than £9 for both (terms and conditions apply). Just look for any album with this message, put it in your basket with a second eligible title and the discount will be applied at checkout. Offer ends June 30, 2013.
|1. Try To Sleep|
|2. You See Everything|
|5. Especially Me|
|9. Nothing But Heart|
|10. Something's Turning Over|
C’mon, their ninth LP, is not as musically adventurous as previous works, but it is among their most emotionally direct and immediately satisfying. Pinging glockenspiel and aching guitar chords herald the album’s opening and create tenderness so readily that by the time husband and wife Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s vocal harmonies arrive, they’re a mere bonus. Close attention to their vocals on that opening track, Try to Sleep, suggests a very human intimacy that wasn’t present on the worldlier Drums and Guns. Mentions of cameras and allusions to forced insomnia sprout palpable, drowsy warmth, and make this as strong a beginning as the band has ever recorded.
The record continues in this vein, with only occasional lunges into the gloominess with which they’re chiefly associated. Witches stands out as a noisier cousin of Sunflower, from 2001’s impeccable Things We Lost in the Fire, with similarly violent undertones. "When you’ve finally submitted to embarrassing capture, take out that baseball bat and show those witches some pasture," sings Sparhawk, coolly, over quivering, perfectly restrained guitar distortion. Despite the latent anger the words suggest, it’s delivered stridently, with Sparhawk’s time in his garage rock side-project Retribution Gospel Choir unleashing more volume than we might have expected.
They progress through shades of light effortlessly across C’mon. Sunlight stretches over the sweet, slow pop of Done, while something notably duskier envelops the plod of Majesty/Magic, but both show off Low’s now-perfected ability to harness tension and tweak their own performance for maximum impact. The light may even switch to buzzing neon on Nightingale, which could quite easily be rolled out just before closing time at a grubby haunt. Variable as they may be on this strong collection, the elements that bind are the clarity of the performance and the simplicity of the songs – emotionally the band is staring the listener in the eye. ‘Slowcore’ might be what people call them, but Low have grown beautifully beyond that, and will grow more still.
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