Low, Paris '99: Anthony, Are You Around? (P-Vine Records Japan)
Since it's a Japanese import, Low's new live album will cost you an ugly penny, but if you consider what you're buying, you'll find it's a bargain. Superior in many aspects to the band's other live album (One More Reason To Forget), Paris '99 is a great sounding, beautifully packaged document of a band at its absolute strongest, playing a wide variety of its best songs and playing them with striking emotion.
Recorded during the band's tour for Secret Name, Low lean heavily on that material, beginning the show with the stunning, aching "Home," and pacing it like the album, alternating relatively faster and louder songs with more somber ones. Paris '99 includes versions of several well-placed Low rarities as well, including "No Need," from the band's 1997 split single with Dirty Three and "Joan Of Arc," a song that appeared only on a UK seven-inch single. Also notable are a pair of oldies in "Rope" and "Lazy," songs that show clearly how amazingly this band has evolved over less than ten years.
The 80-minute show closes with closes with the lovely, classic-sounding "Will The Night," Low's stab at a '50s styled pop song that embodies the band's warm and wonderful energy, the transcendent fellowship of two voices and a chemistry so pure it's marvel to hear.
- Josh Modell