By Ellen Eldridge
Seeking a sound that hangs low? Low’s new release, C’mon, hits like a thunderstorm’s rain breaks through a hot day’s humidity. The feeling of pregnant clouds expanding to release comes across in the vocals starting with the first track, “Try To Sleep.” To say this album shines would be to add irony to its deep, sullen mood. The fact that C’mon was recorded in an old Catholic church aids to the charm of songs like “Witches,” which is easily one of the best tracks on the album because of its haunting dynamic sound including tinny banjo by David Carroll, lap steel and guitar by Nels Cline, and violin by Caitlin Moe (of Trans-Siberian Orchestra).
“Especially Me” cascades smoothly into its cathartic glory with the female-led vocals by Mimi Parker. Much of the spirit of C’mon as a whole can be felt on this track. The rise and fall of the melody in time with the strong bass drum led pulse makes this track grind into the listener’s head like water dropping one by one sinking the dark meaning into the skull with a dull ache.
Immediately after, “$20” strikes with the repeated lyric “my love is for free” in direct contradiction to the song’s title. This kind of disdain hits home with those who truly look for the hidden, and often biting, meaning in a song. The slow, drawn out repetition again makes the listener pay attention to the irony and sarcasm. Singer-guitarist Alan Sparhawk said of this track, “If I could only have one song that would say everything that a person would hope to say after they’re gone, I would say that’s one of them.”
For a band that has been around since 1993, Low’s latest solidifies the reason for the longevity. Those who haven’t yet heard the legacy of music created should definitely start with C’mon. It’s intensity and passion will make those in the audience feel a bubble ready to burst. Those growling, fuzzy guitars at the beginning of “Nothing But Heart” followed by the line, “I would be your king but you wanna be free” resonates the overall mood and quality of this record.