Low Things We Lost in the Fire
- Released: January 22, 2001
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: Kranky
Spin - 4/01, pp.158,1618 out of 10 - "...Fuller melodies without upsetting their delicate filigree....Low create the uncanny confluence of melody and melancholy..."
Entertainment Weekly - 2/16/01, pp.98-9"Advancing from slo-core to just plain beautiful, [Low] build their latest around carefully harmonized vocals and pellucid guitar hooks that rarely lapse into merely languid melodies..." - Rating: A-
Alternative Press - 4/01, p.784 out of 5 - "...An ezquisite lethargy prevails....Pianos and violins providing tasteful accents..."
Magnet - 1-2/01, pp.98,100"...Low is the heaviest band in rock....'Heavy' as in a measure of tension and philosophical gravity that relates to the way it 'feels'..."
The Wire - 1/02, p.40Ranked #19 in Wire's "50 Records of the Year 2001".
CMJ - 2/12/01, p.4"...An understated stunner....Low's music needs neither force nor speed to deliver its emotionally exacting message."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/02, p.69Ranked #18 in Mojo's "Best  Albums of 2001".
Mojo (Publisher) - 2/01, p.98"...Quintessential Low: stately, sepulchral, notes perfectly judges and elegantly sustained, stalked by metronomic sadness....these are the best songs of [their] quiet career."
NME (Magazine) - 12/29/01, p.59Ranked #24 in NME's 50 "Albums Of the Year 2001".
NME (Magazine) - 2/3/01, p.349 out of 10 - "...There is life here, wide-eyed and immeasurable. [It's] music that can both swell the heart like a gospel tune and capture the amplified absence of a funeral parlor. It's difficult to imagine a more perfect expression of their vision than this."
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Low: Zak Sally, Mimi Parker, Alan Sparhawk.
Additional personnel includes: Daniel Huffman (guitar, loops); Marc D'Gli Antoni (piano, keyboards, samples).
Recorded at Electrical Audio, Chicago, Illinois and Third Ear Studios, Minneapolis Minnesota.
Personnel: Daniel Huffman (guitar, loops); Ida Pearle (violin); Tresa Ellickson (viola); Bob Weston (trumpet); Zach Wallace (double bass).
Audio Mixers: Low; Steve Albini .
Recording information: Electrical Audio, Chicago, IL; Third Ear, Minneapolis, MN.
Photographer: Tom Herbers.
Over the course of their career, Low's glacially beautiful music has gradually melted into something much more accessible and intimate. The thaw culminates on Things We Lost in the Fire; despite its brooding title, it's the group's loveliest, most approachable collection of songs yet. Voluptuous strings, softly fuzzy guitars, and propulsive percussion suffuse songs like the sweetly melancholy opener "Sunflower" and the slo-mo pop of "Dinosaur Act" and "July" with a warmth and direction that Low's best work has always hinted at. Even the album's darkest moments, such as the tense, implosive "Whitetail," have more emotional urgency, heightened by Alan and Mimi's close, brooding harmonies. Yet Mimi's airy solo on the spare, undulating "Laser Beam" is equally spine tingling. Things We Lost in the Fire also features more of Low's understated stylistic experiments: The slightly jazzy harmonies and tempo of "Medicine Magazines" add a bit of swing to the group's usually steady rhythms, while "Kind of Girl" delves into earthy yet ethereal chamber folk. Breathtakingly gorgeous moments, such as "Like a Forest"'s pealing strings and poignant melody, and "Whore"'s build from delicate harmonies into a gently triumphant swell of guitars, vocals, and sparkling percussion reaffirm that Low have perfected and refined their sound. The finale, "In Metal," evolves from a melancholy ballad into one of the group's sunniest, most kinetic songs, mirroring the overall transformation of their music. A perfect match for its late-winter release date, Things We Lost in the Fire's slowly rising warmth and subtly hopeful tone not only make this Low's most cohesive, compelling collection, but one of 2001's best albums. ~ Heather Phares
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