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Low – C’mon

Sub Pop

Low - C'mon

There’s always a tension going on between artists and their audiences growing up. Back when we first encountered Low they were playing deliberately quietly, persistently black and white. As if something of a damp night in Manchester at the end of the 70s had been caught and refracted in a puddle in Minnesota. In a few years we all stopped being so bloody miserable; us, them, everyone. Although God knows there was plenty to be miserable about.

Some people went off and had kids. We thought that was the last we’d see of them, but no, they carried on doing the things they tended to do. A bit more colour came into the world. Although when we look back there had always been flashes of it like tawdry costume jewellery lost and forgotten in the coal cellar.

And so we find Low brushing off that cheap glitter one more time.

We’ve become used to them being a bit louder and brighter. Their pop-rock roots admitted with a shrug and a “so what?” The ballsy radio friendly-ness of “Witches” gets tangled in a thicket of childhood masculinity, handed down from father to son. You can almost imagine them playing it in a stadium wearing mirrored Ray Bans while Robert Plant nods appreciatively backstage and calls his agent.

The art-house skeletal mini-epic still abides in the house of Low. “Majesty/Magic” is somehow too mature and muscular for mere gothiness. By the end they’re fairly stomping those bespoke overdrives while harmonising that title incantation. And we might hear early Fleetwood Mac in the track “Nightingale,” but we’re too hypnotised by the fact that he seems to be singing “Notting Hill” even though he patently isn’t. And it’s kinda nice.

It’s not really until they break out into the eight-and-something minutes of “Nothing But Heart,” opening with a textbook exercise in loud/quiet, that we remember why we might want to keep an ear out for the Low camp. It’s a builder, pure and simple. Nice rolling undercarriage and the sort of refrain you can put up on the wall in your newly decorated drawing room. After all, we’re not that young anymore.

Something’s turning over.

-Iotar-

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