Low - c'mon


    Recorded in a church in the band’s hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, C’mon announces itself with “Try to Sleep,” a lighthearted tune that envelopes the listener in warm layers of vocal harmony, jangly mallet percussion and banjo arpeggiations.  The song’s cheerfulness is a far cry from the haunted torment of “Pretty People” and “Monkey” – the opening tracks from Low’s two previous studio efforts.  Where those compositions went for a Debby Downer approach that emphasized words like “death” and “kill,” “Try to Sleep” eschews those themes of cessation for ones of renewal.  When you also considers the implications of past album titles (2007’s Drums and Guns and 2005’s The Great Destroyer ), it’s fairly obvious that the band is making a concerted effort to pull its listeners out of the doldrums.  C’mon spends a majority of its first half validating that mission: “You See Everything” is a breezy pop tune that accentuates Parker’s pacifying voice and sprightly acoustic guitar strums, while “Done” pairs Wilco guitarist Nels Cline’s lap-steel sighs with lyrics about the need to soldier onward (“I’m weary and stumbling / in the desert heat / where raindrops / they burn up / before they reach / your cheek”).  Sparhawk sounds vaguely Michael Stipe-ish on the smoldering heat of “Witches,” where stream-of-consciousness vocals and guitar fuzz recount the need to stand up to “guys out there trying to act like Al Green.”  Given the context, we can only assume that Sparhawk is referencing the former professional wrestler and not the soul singer of the same name.


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