by Low


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No one has ever listened to Low expecting boundless good cheer, but the dour beauty of their best work -- Secret Name, Things We Lost in the Fire, and Trust -- made something deeply rewarding out of the fragile sorrow of their spare melodies and Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker's voices. However, the bigger and more sonically diverse sound of Low's two albums with producer Dave Fridmann, The Great Destroyer and Drums and Guns, tended to reinforce the increasingly dark and chaotic tone of the group's songwriting, and what once seemed quietly sad now seemed more than a bit troubling. So it's both surprising and reassuring that Low's ninth studio album, C'mon, is also the most hopeful music they've released in quite some time. With the lovely tranquility of the opening tune, "Try to Sleep," and the easy charm of "You See Everything" (which sounds like some lost gem of mid-'70s soft rock), C'mon is as languid as ever for Low while at the same time suggesting these musicians are looking for some light at the end of the tunnel. C'mon was co-produced and mixed by Matt Beckley, who has previously worked with Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, and Vanessa Hudgens; he's an odd choice to work with Low, but thankfully, he's not afraid to let the album's darker and more contemplative songs sound as dramatic as they should, while adding just the right touch of polish on "Especially Me" and "Something's Turning Over," where the pop undercurrents that often run beneath Sparhawk and Parker's songs bob to the surface. (Beckley also does fine work with Sparhawk and Parker's vocals, which are in splendid form here.) C'mon, like Low's albums with Fridmann, stands apart from the stark minimalism of this band's earlier music, with a number of additional musicians contributing to the sessions (including Wilco guitarist Nels Cline and violinist Caitlin Moe), but this material more successfully adds dynamics and color to Low's melodies while retaining the power of their elemental approach. The dark clouds that have haunted Low are still clearly visible on "Witches" and "$20," but the slow, noisy build to the climax of "Nothing But Heart" is a testament to the very real heart and soul behind their music, and C'mon, while well short of sunny, is an album devoted to the search for answers amidst the darkness, and it's a powerful, deeply moving work from a truly singular band.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/12/2011
Label: Sub Pop
UPC: 0098787090529
catalogNumber: 905
Rank: 81851

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Low   Primary Artist
Nels Cline   Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Alan Sparhawk   Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Group Member
Mimi Parker   Percussion,Vocals,Group Member
Ryland Steen   Percussion
Steve Garrington   Organ,Bass,Piano,Group Member
David Carroll   Banjo
Caitlin Moe   Violin
Chris Price   Keyboards
Hollis Sparhawk   Background Vocals
Cyrus Sparhawk   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Low   Producer,Art Direction
Jeff Kleinsmith   Art Direction
Alan Sparhawk   Composer
Mimi Parker   Composer
Eric Swanson   Engineer
Matt Beckley   Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
Brad Searles   Cover Photo
Caitlin Moe   String Arrangements

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C'mon 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
poughkeepsiejohn More than 1 year ago
When you think of shoegaze bands, you think of moody, insular and introspective music. You certainly don't imagine these groups as you would, shall we say, charging arena bands and muscular stadium rockers. Could you imagine The Jesus And Mary Chain filling up Yankee Stadium, for instance? Yet, groups like this have defied the odds and managed to make music with a lasting power (and yes, they're still together). Did anyone think that The Cowboy Junkies would still be around 20 years after making the ethereal "Trinity Sessions"? They're still making compelling music. Which brings us to Low, who have been around since the days of Nirvana's "Nevermind" (and what's more, they're on SubPop Records). Their music could certainly be called shoegaze but they prefer to call themselves "slowcore". "C'Mon" is their ninth studio album and it was recorded in an abandoned church in Duluth, Minnesota, which gives the album something of a beautiful atmosphere. This is all the more amazing when you consider that Matt Beckley, who had worked with teen idol performers, had produced it. Yet, "C'Mon" is a brilliant record. Singer-drummer Mimi Parker and singer-guitarist Alan Sparhawk know how to create more with less, that is more emotion with less histironics. A great example of this is the eight-minute "Nothing But Heart", which only has four lines of lyrics in it and still manages to build up dramatically with fuzztone intensity and gorgeous choral arrangements without being bombastic. Much of the album sounds like a throwback to the delightfully laid-back folk tunes of the 1970's, particularly the instantly memorable "You See Everything", the melancholy "Especially Me" and the hypnotic "Nightingale". If producer Matt Beckley sugar-coated this album, it sure doesn't sound like it. There is, however, an element of hopefulness on "C'Mon" that wasn't on too many Low albums. Still, when your first song, namely "Try To Sleep", has a line that goes, "You try to sleep/But you never wake up", how much sunshine are we talking about here? "C'Mon" is a warm, ethereal and compelling album that draws you in, whether you're in the mood for it or not.