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Low-The Curtain Hits The Cast

Written Before Listen

Well, the news is true. Mimi Parker has officially passed away due to a long battle with cancer. This review is dedicated to her and her family. Low was a band I got into with their last album HEY WHAT last year. I liked how noisy and catchy it was while being ambitious. On the other hand, Low is more known for their 90s work so to celebrate the life of Mimi Parker, I will review one of their 90s albums. Without further ado, let’s get into it.


Steve Fisk was the producer for this record. Alongside this record, he has done production work for artists like Nirvana and Car Seat Headrest. His production style on this is a lot like the production work he’s done for them. Very raw, straight to the point but filled with personality. The drums take part of the atmosphere, the vocals are airy and the guitars are probably the focal point. I will say that the production of this record made the album the captivating record it is. It’s shining throughout the moody tracks so it gives you the focus, but doesn’t distract you from the dark-sounding aura to it.


Sometimes, the simplistic songs are the ones that hit. The opening track “Anon” is all about the fear of decreased health and looking back at it now, it’s very haunting to hear. “Over the Ocean” is feeling on top of the world but less in a positive way and more in a looking way. The song “Coattails” only has one lyric, “He rides on coattails”. So much with 4 words, you can symbolize with. “Standby” is another song with minimal lyrics. Hell, all of these songs have minimal lyrics, but they hit.


The Low sound in general reminds me of bands like Galaxy 500 or even Sigur Ros, but looking into their actual influences, it makes sense. The darkness of Joy Division stands in their music, the ambiance, and texture of Brian Eno, the psychedelia of Spacemen 3, and course, The Velvet Underground. It all makes sense. I think most slowcore acts back in the day were influenced by similar artists but what Low does with it is have great textures, great harmonies, and pure bliss. It makes their style easy to get into but also easy to look in depth with.

Vocal Performance

As there are two vocalists in the group, both have their unique contributions to the group. Alan Sparhawk has a very calming voice and has more of the melodious runs in the group. Then there is Mimi Parker. Her vocal contributions are fucking beautiful. A song like “The Plan” is made by her vocals and I don’t think I’ve been close to tearing up writing a review in my life. Her voice is so beautiful man. I will say, I think Low’s appeal is intentional for the vocal performances. It’s what makes no matter what they make euphoric.


This album came out in 1996. A year when critically acclaimed commercial artists were tuning it down. OutKast made ATLiens, Tool showed that metal isn’t always aggressive, and Even Weezer made Pinkerton. Low wasn’t mainstream, They were taking the dream aesthetics of indie rock at the time and turning that into a sound that was surrounding bliss. It wasn’t the most ambitious thing, but this album made me think…this came out in the 90s.


I wanted to listen to the stuff Low released in the 90s ever since I heard “Hey What”. I’m really glad I did. This is equal if not better than HEY WHAT and If you remember, I loved that album a lot. They are both different in their way, but I think both albums have their charm that I truly appreciate. Rest In Peace Mimi Parker.



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