Low, I Could Live In Hope (Vernon Yard Records / Yard CD 6)
This music combines rainy days, lonely nights, and dreary winter mornings into one brilliant package. The music of Low is soft, plaintive, melancholy, desolate, and a tad disturbing. Sometimes it's plodding, sometimes it just seems to flow, and the rest of the time, it just rings on and on. The most dominant instrument in Low's sound is the bass; it adds to that "lowness" of the music, no pun intended. It just seems to weigh you down, like a thick, warm blanket. Meanwhile, the gentle, echoing guitar ring out into the silence. The striking, yet minimal percussion provides a stark contrast.
Everything about Low's music screams "minimalism." Low will not hesitate to play the same chiming note over and over, the beat unwavering, while the bass just flows on. At first, it's easy to dismiss this approach with a flippant "anyone can play a single note for 5 minutes." However, listen to Low's music and you'll see why it's so successful. The music just seems to meld together, with subtle changes as the reverberating notes combine and clash with eachother("Lullaby"). At times, the approach reminds me of The Cure's "Faith." The result is far from boring; it's wondrous and engaging, drawing you in as the music surrounds. The lyrics are very simple and stark, keeping in mood with the music.
Alan Sparhawk's voice is hollow and worn, which fits perfectly with the conjured atmosphere. However, the true effect doesn't hit you until his wife, Mimi Parker, joins in with her wispy, eerie voice. The full effect of their harmonies makes the music all the more powerful, especially on the opener "Words."
I love listening to Low. I find it to be the perfect music for those lonely nights in my apartment, which are quite frequent. This music is perfect when you just want to be alone, the lights turned down, while the world rushes around you. This music is not for everyone, but provides a rewarding listen for those who are willing to hear.
Written by Jason Morehead.
I Could Live in Hope on Amazon.com