Low, Songs for a Dead Pilot
from CMJ Issue 543, 27 October 1997.
With a tone as cool as the water in Lake Superior, Duluth, Minnesota's Low returns with Songs For A Dead Pilot. Even more taciturn than previous efforts, this 36-minute CD'S six cuts take the band's sound to its next logical step - lower than Low. Rumor has it the trio practices in guitarist/singer Alan Sparhawk and trappist/singer Mimi Parker's kitchen, which is where the group recorded its latest endeavor. As one might expect, the casual atmosphere allowed the pair and bassist Zak Sally to open up and stretch out their already minimalist sound. Keyboards have been tastefully added to "Be There" and the intriguing addition of strings (Where would they fit? The dining room?) on "Condescend" is a revelation, making it abundantly clear how compatible chamber music and Low's own sound really are. The experimental "Will The Night" sounds like a silent movie soundtrack, while Parker's lovely voice moves listeners on "Condensed" and "Born By The Wires"; she's joined by Sparhawk on the eerie "Be There" to great effect. The only question left for these three is: How Low can you go? Seemingly, the sonorous well of inspiration is bottomless.
- TAD HENDRICKSON: CMJ New Music Report Issue: 543 - Oct 27, 1997