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The Glow Vol.2

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 July 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: K
  • ASIN: B00005NB2Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 477,629 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Something 2
2. You'll Be In The Air
3. I Want To Be Cold

Product Description


The Microphones are a one-man band in which Phil Elvrum makes soft, psychedelic nylon-stringed guitar jangle sound both humble and heroic. The Glow, Pt 2, his fifth release, is his most cohesive yet. All the musical elements gel with concept (in this case, fire) and breathe with the sort of spooky, misty clarity that arguably can only be captured in an intimate, non-digital production. The solitary quality of the Microphones could be compared to that of Bright Eyes, Syd Barrett and Graeme Jefferies on Messages for the Cakekitchen. On the soothing opener, "I Want Wind to Blow," Elvrum's plaintive whisper-singing might lull you into a dream--but the bloodcurdling commando-style distortion of the second and title track will shake your senses. The Glow, Pt 2 is like a giant ocean liner on which the songs and all their disparate elements--stark solace with violent, beautiful, otherworldly weirdness lurking beneath--control the ebb and flow of your emotional response.--Cyndi Elliott

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Oct 2005
Format: Audio CD
the first time i listerned to this album i was confused....it sounded out of time and nothing really made any sense to me, there were no chorus's and the music just seemed all over the place, it sat on my shelf for a good 6 months before i gave it another try, a year on and i've not stopped listening, its so amazing, this guy either has no clue about music or he's clicked onto a hidden formula, don't ask me how this sounds as good as it does??
After you've listened to it a few times you'll understand, try listening to the glow pt 2 with headphones, a whole new expierience, if your after something a little different get this album, if you happy with the mainstream stuff that pollutes the airwaves dont bother you'll probably hate it....
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By vincent on 15 Aug 2003
Format: Audio CD
Let me start by saying this: Phil Elvrum, the main man behind Microphones has his own rules when it comes to recording music. Songs may start very silently and almost shy before they explode with incredible bursts of noise. Songs may start at the end and end right in the middle, acoustic guitars swimming from left to right and back again, sometimes in key, sometimes not. Phil may sing, but also shout or cry or do whatever, it doesn't matter because it always goes straight to your heart and sends shivers through your body.
This is music as you have never ever heard before. They say it's from Anacortes, WA in the USA, but i'm not sure. It could also be from a completely different solarsystem.
Do yourself a favour and get this album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Glover on 30 Dec 2009
Format: Audio CD
If you like your music slick and shiny then I advise to leave this album alone, if you like music with imperfections and lo-fi then you are in for a treat with The Glow pt.2, not because it is lo-fi but because it contains some of the most fascinating recordings I have heard.

A large part of the album is just acoustic guitar and vocals ("I want a wind to blow", "I'll not contain you" etc.), but The Microphones (which is basically just Phil Elvrum) also use trembling piano, highly distorted drums and steel drums to great effect during the course of 18 tracks. Rather than having a verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure, songs tend to develop a theme and then lurch to a completely new theme halfway through, often with the new section having a completely new arrangment and feel to the previous one.

The instruments are multitracked in such a way that Elvrum will play a disjointed strumming pattern on one track and then play the missing chords on a seperate track which gives a disjointed and syncopated quality to the rhythms. The record is frequently soft and beautiful and is prone to explode in a quagmire of crashing drums and heavy garage distortion but the core of the writing is underpinned by a strong indie-pop sensibility. All the tracks feel as if they have a sense of ghostliness and sporadic breaks of reverb-drenched piano and Elvrum's wavering vocal help enforce this.

The Glow Pt.2 is a musical feast.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ian Cade on 10 Nov 2004
Format: Audio CD
it is quite hard to put into words just how great this album really is. I have had it for a few years now and yet can still listen to it like i bought it yesterday. the production is so good that thee are hidden treasures that lurk deep in the mix that only repeat listenings will uncover. It is hard to pick out exemplary songs however 'i want wind to blow' shows the massive range on this album starting with gentle strumming then singing the stopping only to restart and burst (this is the only word to describe the transition!) in to the title track. Also 'Map' is perhaps the best example of what people can do with a recording desk if put to it and there are also lovely songs to melt the heart like 'i'll be in the air' It is hard to recomend other albums that sound like this to get you interested as it is such a distinct style so just take abit of a plunge and find that this is the most rewarding £10 you are ever likly to spend on music. I have am still yet to hear another album as good as this!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 33 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Another masterpiece from Phil Elvrum 1 Aug 2002
By Craig Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It has been described as a low-fi (meaning nothing computerized was used) masterpiece, and I agree, having had the opportunity to listen to it numerous times since the day it arrived in the mail. It's definitely a concept album and all the songs flow together wonderfully. Also, it's terrific with headphones. The sonic depth is amazing. It sometimes feels as if the music enters through your ears and swims around inside you for a while, not quite able to escape.
Elvrum is not afraid of experimentation, either. Each song has its own distinctive sound. The dual acoustic-guitar sound at the front of "The Moon" has to be heard to be believed. (For the origin of that sound, listen to "The Pull"--available here for download--as well.) And his creativity will always surprise you. What seems at first like noise, after a few listens unfolds itself like a blooming bud to show you all its layers. You then come to appreciate the imagination--one would almost say "genius"--involved in this recording.
But even such a personal record cannot be done alone--not and remain faithful to its analog roots. Several of Elvrum's friends (mostly other K recording artists) stop by to help out. Most noticeable is the angelic voice of Mirah on a couple of tracks. I have become a Mirah fan--particularly "Cold Cold Water"--through my research on this album. I have, in fact, become rather more well-versed than I had expected in the music coming out of Olympia, Washington, the home of K (and the state capital, in case you didn't know.)
Sort of an Easter Egg: Make sure to listen for the tugboat sounds played underneath throughout the album (very clear during the quiet spots). It's the sonic thread that connects everything.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Finally 26 Jan 2002
By M. Starr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have to admit something before I start this review. It took me FOREVER to get into this album. I tried and tried until one evening it just hit me. I do believe, as others have said, that this is a lo-fi pop record masterpiece. I'm glad I listened to it long enough before I decided to review it. Had I reviewed this album two weeks ago it might not have been the same review. Of course, there are many albums in my collection that took time to become aquainted with. Some are my favorite albums today.
The opening song titled "I Want Wind To Blow" has some very nicely recorded acoustic guitar. If you listen to it on headphones, it's even more interesting as it has been recorded to shift from one speaker to another. At first, I wasn't very comfortable with Phil's voice, but I actually think I'm quite fond of it now. The second song, "The Glow, pt. 2," is probably the biggest surprise on the album. After you've been soothed by "I Want Wind To Blow" The Microphones fuzz out to the max with a wall of guitar effects. Eventually the song turns back into the most notable style of "alternative folk rock" the album is known for. As with 95% of the album, the acoustic guitar work is just superb.
One of my favorite songs on the album would have to be "The Gleam, pt. 2." It has the most bizarre atmosphere I've heard in a while. On one hand it's very beautiful and hopeful. On the other, it's very sad and depressing. It creates a plethra of feeling. "Instrumental"(the second one) has almost the same vibe as "The Gleam, pt. 2" but is a little more uplifting. The piano in this song sends chills up my spine everytime I hear it now.
Although it has taken me a while to come to terms with this album, I am quite happy that it is a part of my collection. The Microphones are definately original. "The Glow, pt. 2" is worth your time and money. It may take you several listens to hear the true beauty of this album. Others may catch it instantly. Some may never give it a second chance. That would not be a wise decision. I'm sure it will grow on you as it has for me. Had I heard this album earlier than 2002, I might have put it in my top 20 list of 2001. That's okay. It doesn't have to be on a "best of" list to be great.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Album of the Decade 16 Oct 2001
By "filthyj" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Okay, that's a tall statement... but I haven't heard a piece of music this amazing in years. It's near impossible to explain this music; it's like being confronted by your fears while having your closest loved ones comfort you, if that helps any. It's at once some of the most intensely beautiful and frightening music ever recorded. It ranges from lullabye to caustic chaos. And there is so much space! Elvrum's songs are spread out and chopped apart so the this album feels more like a giant, sprawling, mutating piece of music rather than a collection of quirky pop songs. It seems like a world lives inside the disc, like it's an actual dream packaged for your enjoyment. I've never heard anything like this. Not even the previous Microphones releases (also great) even suggested a work of this magnitude. Of the hundreds of CDs in my collection, of the many thousands of songs and pieces of music I've heard, "The Glow pt. 2" stands out above them, rising out of the mangled memories of bands and song titles. I can't imagine a better album coming out in 2001, let alone this decade, maybe not this century. "The Glow Pt. 2" rivals every rock album ever recorded.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The first great album of the 21st century 12 April 2008
By Craig Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I can't believe it has been seven years since The Glow Pt. 2 was first released (and six years since I first heard it). Now, listening to the 2008 reissue with 20 additional tracks (available on 2 CDs or 3 LPs), the most amazing thing about revisiting it is not that it still stands up, but that it still seems very ahead of its time, even today. (The extra tunes are interesting in context, but not vital to the casual listener.)

The Glow Pt. 2 has long been described as Phil Elverum's masterpiece, and I have to still agree. Its songs flow together wonderfully whether you listen to them individually or in mind of the improvised concept (tied together sonically by the tugboat sounds played underneath throughout -- they're very clear during the quiet spots).

And listening with headphones enhances the experience. In fact, I would have to say that the sonic depth is so amazing that headphones are vital to experiencing the full majesty of The Glow Pt. 2. And Elvrum's sweet, high voice adds to the effect. On no other album have I felt as if the music entered through my ears and swam around for a while, not quite able to escape.

This is all because Elvrum (later Elverum) was not afraid of experimentation. Each song has its own distinctive sound. The dual acoustic-guitar sound at the front of "The Moon" has to be heard to be believed. (For the origin of that sound, listen to "The Pull" from It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water.) And his creativity is always surprising. What seems at first like noise, after a few listens unfolds itself like a blooming bud to reveal all its layers. Only after repeated listens do you come to appreciate the imagination -- one would almost say "genius" -- involved in the making of The Glow Pt. 2.

But even such a personal record cannot be done alone -- not and remain faithful to its analog roots. Several of Elvrum's friends helped out. Most noticeable are the angelic voices of Khaela Maricich (of The Blow) and Mirah on a few tracks. I became a Mirah-phile through my research on this album. In fact, over the past six years, I have become rather well versed in the K catalog -- from Little Wings to Tender Forever, from Beat Happening to Old Time Relijun -- and it all started with this album.

For a while, Elvrum seemed to embrace his soundscaping abilities, agreeing to produce albums for his friends (Mirah's C'mon Miracle and Jason Anderson's New England come first to mind), but after the release of the more ambitious (but less accessible) Mount Eerie, things took a different turn. He changed the name of his band to the name of that album, and the music became more stripped down and even indie-er than ever before once he opened his own label, P.W. Elverum and Sun. (For example, one of the first Mount Eerie releases, Eleven Old Songs from Mount Eerie, merely contained Elverum's vocals accompanied by an old Casio keyboard.) The last we heard from "the Microphones" was a live album that managed to consist of all new material (Live in Japan February 19th, 21st, and 22nd, 2003) and a 7" single containing a couple of daily-life-oriented protest songs ("Don't Smoke" and "Get Off the Internet").

But, though Elverum is currently serving a different muse than the one who led him to create The Glow Pt. 2 (and I don't fault him for that -- you've got to follow your bliss, and he does it to the hilt), it's nevertheless great to be able to go back in time, so to speak, and recapture the days when a guy with a vision, immense creativity, and some friends combined to make the first great album of the 21st century.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
In Phil We Trust 28 Sep 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
You there! Yes, you! The one with the credit card and eager appetite for adio exellence. I'm not sure how you arrived here, a mouse click away from purchasing The Glow, Pt.2, or what your personal taste in music is, but I can assure you, you've happened upon something entirely new. However, don't be surprised if what you hear seems eerily familiar. The Microphones consist of a number of extremely talented people, but at its heart, the Microphones are Phil Elvrum, a studio whiz kid and straight-up musical genius out of Anacortez, WA. The Glow, Pt. 2 is more or less an account of Phil's struggle to connect with his environment within the confines of his body. The music is generally calm and moody with occasional instrumental outbursts all layered and manually put to tape. Elvrum's lyrics paint sprawling landscapes of the Northwest hardly containable in the form of song as his voice seems to wander aimlessly, nailing each melody with intentionally impresise presision. The best I've ever heard somebody describe the music of the Microphones was, "it sounds like a guy lost in the woods." Guitar strumming moves from one ear to the other as organs meld with Elvrum's vocals, all the while a distorted fog horn recorded from a tugboat leaving the port drones off in the distance. It is immediately apparent that Elvrum has captured the world around him with The Glow, Pt.2, the struggle arises when he faces where he belongs in that world. This is not emo. This is not music to listen to while you're locked up in your room. This is music for human ears. Listen to The Glow, Pt.2 while you are locked up in your body.
And do see the Microphones/Mt.Eerie in concert if you have the chance. Whatever Elvrum decides to do, it won't dissapoint.
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