Friday, 5 April 2013

Album review: LOW - The Invisible Way

Highlights: So Blue, Holy Ghost, Just Make It Stop

No surprises. Low’s The Invisible Way sounds like a Low album, which pretty much means you have to meditate yourself slightly into a lethargic mood and remember that subtlety, understatement is the spice of life. Or maybe not life, but surely this new Low album. Which is a good new Low album (as any sensible person would guess), but here’s an interesting thing you should know: the fact that these are slow-burning, measured compositions that never scream at you on first listen, doesn’t really mean that they will grow on you later.

Which is somewhat frustrating for a record like The Invisible Way. Because you hear the lovely opener, “Plastic Cup”, and feel that at some point the hidden depth will come through and melt your harsh and irresponsive senses. But, much to your frustration, that never happens. “Plastic Cup” just remains the lovely opener it in fact is. So the best songs really are the ones that strike you immediately. Of which this time there are three: the intense, emotional, piano-based “So Blue”; the exquisite and mesmerising “Holy Ghost” that has a truly timeless feel to it; and the almost-upbeat “Just Make It Stop” which is in all fairness a rather catchy pop song. Slowcore this is not. 

The lowlights are virtually nonexistent, as ever, with only the overlong “On My Own” collapsing into an uninteresting, unimaginative groove and a repetitive chant. Doesn’t quite work. Overall, though, this is a classic case of a very good album that is reveling in its own goodness and neither needs nor wants to be any better. Or worse. A classic 7 then.


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