Low, "Things We Lost In The Fire" (Kranky)
It's tempting to speak in exaggerated terms about Low, a three piece band making music that onto itself is deceptively simple and figurative in form, yet it's so very effective, so compelling and inexplicably beautiful and disarming in its essence, you just cannot leave the room without wanting to hold someone, call your mom, weep like an unconsoleable child. There I went and did it anyway but it does kinda prove that Low's strength resides in their special ability, that stubbornly acquired skill to leave out what is not absolutely essential to a song. However, on "Things We Lost In The Fire" they do add some extra instrumentation to the mix on several tracks. Maybe just a tad bit more than on their previous studio album, "Secret Name", but that's just stats. It's still as Low as you can get. There's the solitaire trumpet on "Dinosaur Act", the piano on "Medicine magazines", the strings on several tracks but there's also just the acoustic guitar with nothing but Alan Sparhawk's and Mimi (the most beautiful voice in modern rock) Parker's perfect harmonizing on "Kind Of Girl". Then again there's also the short unnamed ambient-piece right before closer "In Metal" (featuring small sounds made by Alan and Mimi's 9-month old bundle of joy Hollis Mae). In short, the band has expanded its arsenal yet again without losing any of its trademark essentialism. "Things We Lost In The Fire" is an elegant statement of modesty, faith, compassion and loss and is a great highpoint to start the year with.
- AriŽn Rasmijn, 29 January 2001
Things We Lost in the Fire on Amazon.com