by Al Kaufman
Lowry is one of those bands that is a music critic's worst nightmare, and I mean that in the best way.
Lowry has an unclassifiable sound that leads the listener reaching for comparisons that fade away a minute later. Yet, taken as a whole, Love Is Dead has a wonderful cohesiveness to it.
Lowry often has a lo-fi, gentle yet lush sound. It is the type of sound that draws comparisons to Death Cab for Cutie and the Shins. Listen and you will find Americana, electronica, folk, and straight ahead pop. Songwriter and lead singer Alex Lowry has no time for typical verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus songs. Opening track "Whiskey" plays like a suite with various movements. It flows from techno-hush to majestic piano flourishes. "Wicked Witch of Bushwick" sounds like a Jayhawks meets Ben Folds in a Crosby, Stills and Nash tribute song, and includes the lovingly sung refrain, "I'm running from you now, you wicked witch."
Heidi Sidelinker's harmonies are a wonderful compliment to Alex Lowry's nasally vocals. "One Thing" is a cross between Simon and Garfunkel and a Gaelic folk song the likes of which Fairport Convention used to sing.
I haven't even touched on the banjos, electric guitars, and other sound melanges that are meticulously crafted throughout the album. They ensure that little treasures are discovered upon each additional listen, of which there should be many.