Low, Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me [Chairkickers] -- 9/12
There are two types of people in the world, people who like Morrissey and people who make fun of people who like Morrissey. Low are clearly members of the former group.
The first song on this short CD single is "Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loves Me," a cover of a song by the Smiths. The song is successful because it doesn't sound at all like the Smiths; it sounds like Low. Morrissey's bleak words of depression and solitude match beautifully with Low's trademark desolate sound. Much echo is added to Alan Sparhawk's vocals, making it sound as if he is singing in an empty cavernous church, his voice bouncing back at him from the cathedral's ceilings. This echo breaks down into distortion when the strings (violin, cello, viola, and bass) swell, building from an almost completely bare section into a loud, angry cry.
The second song , "Because You Stood Still," again uses the guest chamber orchestra, this time is a less utilitarian, more melodic fashion. Similar to the Smiths cover, the tone here is sad and despondent. The rush of strings in the middle of the song is great, but, outside of the use of strings, this is a traditional Low song in every other way, offering nothing new to the ardent Low listener.
As both of these songs would easily fit on a 7", the necessity to releasing this as a CD (and thus charging $7 instead of $4) is the inclusion of the music video for "Dinosaur Act," the single from Things We Lost in the Fire. The video is a "Ray of Light"-paced montage of the process of performing a show overseas in London, from driving to the airport through the snow covered streets of Duluth, to meeting with fans and media before the show, to playing with their baby after the show is over. The pace of the video is slowed down once the song makes it to the chorus, miraculously matching up (almost) with footage of Sparhawk singing the chorus at the London show. The intimacy of the video makes it worth watching two or three times, however, perhaps you've already caught it that many times on MTV2.
The songs here offer no revelations but offer an interesting but minor footnote in the band's continuing history. Packaged in only a cardboard sleeve and highly overpriced, one could call this the "Pampers single" for obvious reasons. If you need to ask whether or not to buy this single, wait for the eventual singles compilation.
- jim steed, 19 October 2001