Low Things We Lost In The Fire

Partners in life and music, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have taken another step toward perfecting Low's sombre beauty. Following up their best album to date, Secret Name, and their Christmas album, Low return with their most direct songwriting and purest pop creations. Sparhawk and Parker's toasty warm vocals weave together with stunning clarity, moving each melodic progression so gently that we are allowed to savour every nuance. Even bassist Zak Sally allows each note to reverberate with a texture that brings depth to the pared down arrangements. Like the organic beauty found under a microscope, Low lets the songs hang in the air, creating an unseen tactile atmosphere for their classic pop compositions. The songs have never been so consistently sweet, as Low's trademark vocal harmonies and sparse arrangements summon pure bliss. Credit should be given to Steve Albini, who also recorded Secret Name, for capturing every sonic detail, as every snare rattle and vibraphone hum speaks volumes. (Kranky)