Album Reviews

Album review: Low – C’mon (Sub Pop)

By | Published on Friday 18 March 2011


The magisterial moperockers recorded this, their ninth album, in a church and separating the quasi-spiritual, devotional atmosphere that infuses the entirety of ‘C’mon’ from its place of origin proves difficult. This, however, should not be seen as a negative: Low’s sound has always been a tremulous, stain glassed one, the sound of a group reaching towards the high and the holy.

‘C’mon’ isn’t radically different from their previous output; Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker still harmonise eerily over crystalline guitars and Phil Spector style drums. Again, this is a positive. Low, at this stage, fit like a beloved pair of Levis. Album highlight, ‘Nothing But Heart’ is indicative of the whole of ‘C’mon’ – group incantations (“I’m nothing but heart” they repeat over and over) bellow and disintegrate whilst Arcade Fire listen back to their own brand of faux-churchy OTT bombast and wonder how they got it all wrong.

It’s not all reverb and portent though; the closer ‘Something’s Turning Over’ is a charming slice of 60s pastoral, while opener ‘Try To Sleep’ is a minimalist xylophone workout.

‘C’mon’ turns out to be hugely listenable, but difficult to pin down. The record’s obvious quality transcends language, pointing as it does, towards faith and something untouchable and unspeakable. Easily the second best record recorded in a church to come out this year (the first being Tim Hecker’s superlative ‘Ravedeath, 1972’). JAB

Physical release: 12 Apr