Things We Lost in the Fire

Things We Lost in the Fire

by Low
     
 

The Duluth, Minnesota, avant-rock trio Low are so consistent in their sound that people often say, "All their songs sound the same, but it's a very nice song." Instead of calling the group samey and repetitious, however, think of them as hypnotic and trancelike. On their seventh album, Things We Lost in the Fire, Low are still following the same basic rock-band…  See more details below

Overview

The Duluth, Minnesota, avant-rock trio Low are so consistent in their sound that people often say, "All their songs sound the same, but it's a very nice song." Instead of calling the group samey and repetitious, however, think of them as hypnotic and trancelike. On their seventh album, Things We Lost in the Fire, Low are still following the same basic rock-band formula (guitar-bass-drums) with their spiritually uplifting vocals at the fore. The Steve Albini-produced disc features more singing than before from drummer Mimi Parker (a very good thing) and some really touching songs about closeness and family (Parker and frontman Alan Sparhawk recently became parents). On the standout track, "In Metal," Parker sings of her desire to protect her infant while baby noises percolate in the background. Both "Whitetail" and "Closer" reinforce the theme of protection and maintaining close ties. Although sonically similar to Low's previous works, Things We Lost in the Fire manages to go a lot deeper emotionally with its rich sonic landscapes and soul-baring lyrics. Some folks find the sweet, even tone to Low's music comforting and healing, while it makes others want to end it all on a dull, gray February day. Whichever camp you fall into, you'll probably want to play this one again -- and again and again.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Over the course of their career, Low's glacially beautiful music has gradually melted into something much more accessible and intimate. The thaw culminates on Things We Lost in the Fire; despite its brooding title, it's the group's loveliest, most approachable collection of songs yet. Voluptuous strings, softly fuzzy guitars, and propulsive percussion suffuse songs like the sweetly melancholy opener "Sunflower" and the slo-mo pop of "Dinosaur Act" and "July" with a warmth and direction that Low's best work has always hinted at. Even the album's darkest moments, such as the tense, implosive "Whitetail," have more emotional urgency, heightened by Alan and Mimi's close, brooding harmonies. Yet Mimi's airy solo on the spare, undulating "Laser Beam" is equally spine tingling. Things We Lost in the Fire also features more of Low's understated stylistic experiments: The slightly jazzy harmonies and tempo of "Medicine Magazines" add a bit of swing to the group's usually steady rhythms, while "Kind of Girl" delves into earthy yet ethereal chamber folk. Breathtakingly gorgeous moments, such as "Like a Forest"'s pealing strings and poignant melody, and "Whore"'s build from delicate harmonies into a gently triumphant swell of guitars, vocals, and sparkling percussion reaffirm that Low have perfected and refined their sound. The finale, "In Metal," evolves from a melancholy ballad into one of the group's sunniest, most kinetic songs, mirroring the overall transformation of their music. A perfect match for its late-winter release date, Things We Lost in the Fire's slowly rising warmth and subtly hopeful tone not only make this Low's most cohesive, compelling collection, but one of 2001's best albums.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/13/2001
Label:
Kranky
UPC:
0796441804627
catalogNumber:
46
Rank:
28441

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