Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Low's Last 4 Albums

Low have released eleven studio albums since forming in the early 1990s. I have four of these albums in my collection - the most recent four, as it happens:
  • Drums and Guns (2007)
  • C'mon (2011)
  • The Invisible Way (2013)
  • Ones and Sixes (2015)

Now, I appreciate that Low probably released loads of great stuff in that fourteen-year period that, to date, I've completely ignored (cue people on Twitter telling me I simply MUST buy a copy of Things We Lost in the Fire), but I love that run of four because it displays an admirable tendency to completely flip everything on its head from one album to the next.

Here's a quick breakdown:
  • Drums and Guns is all electronic-sounding with clicky beats and (appropriately, given the album's title) a strong focus on rhythmic elements.

  • C'mon (my personal favourite) had a much more natural sound; drum machines were out and real drums were in as the band showed off their knack for making slow, spacious, beautiful music.
  • The Invisible Way was Low's alt-folk album - Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy was the producer, which should give you a rough idea of how it sounded. Critics noted at the time that drummer/vocalist Mimi Parker had been given a lot more singing to do this time 'round.

  • Ones and Sixes came out this year, and it's stylistically somewhere in between C'mon and Drums and Guns. The synthetic drum sounds are back, and menacing electric guitar riffs are the order of the day (No Compendre almost sounds like Lose Yourself by Eminem).

See what I mean? Four albums, four completely different sounds. I've spent some time trying to puzzle out the meaning behind the title of the still relatively new Ones and Sixes, and while I'm still not 100% certain, I'm beginning to suspect that it's some kind of reference to the dice that Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker roll every time they decide to make a new album. I bet they've got some kind of Dice Man system that dictates the genre and sounds they choose for each new release.

No comments:

Post a Comment