On The Great Destroyer, Low's seventh album, it seems that their signature slow-core sound has been significantly updated--it might even be defined as a rock record. It's a fantastically rich album, produced by Dave Fridmann, and an early contender for Best of 2005.
This may be an attempt by Low to shrug off the ridiculous 'slowcore' tag they've been labelled with, or it may simply be that someone's decided it would be funny to spike Low's tea with amphetamines. Either way, The Great Destroyer is the result, and it's the best album you'll likely hear in 2005. Gone are the funereal, pin-drop arrangements of "Trust"; instead we have lush dense songs filled with keyboard drones, apocalyptic drums and squelchy fuzz bass -and that's only the first track.
Dave Fridmann's trademark production will no doubt leave some fans wondering if this is the same band they've loved, but they needn't worry- as always, the rough/ smooth combination of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker's vocals provide the focus of the band, sounding as warm and lush as anything on the chorus of the single "California", and totally heartbreaking on the poignant high point of "When I Go Deaf" and "Broadway"- a perfect counterpoint to the music that in lesser hand would sound overwrought. Although there are epic moments for those who prefer Low's soundscape past, an added dash of Flaming Lips style-magic on every song will be welcomed by nearly all. An essential purchase for everyone. Thom Allott