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Thursday
Mar212013

LOW - The Invisible Way

With piano playing a bigger role in most of these songs and Mimi Parker taking the lead on more tracks than is typical for the band, Jeff Tweedy's guiding hand as producer for these sessions proves to have been the perfect choice.

"There’s a neat loop formed by The Invisible Way. While calling back to the group's roots as slowcore pioneers, the disc is mostly an unplugged affair. And where recent albums dabbled in distortion and synthesizers, Invisible is all about acoustic guitar and piano. It’s also about that singular, heart-stopping Low hush. 'Amethyst' converts piano chords into soft, wet snowfalls, even as it lets single notes poke out like naked twigs. Wilco's Jeff Tweedy produces Low for the first time here, and it can’t be a coincidence that there’s a marked, if stark, country-rock tint to Invisible. On 'Holy Ghost,' Parker comes on like Emmylou Harris at her most wounded; 'Clarence White' nostalgically pays homage to the late member of The Byrds (along with, weirdly, Charlton Heston). 'Four Score' weaves a symphony out of whispers, while 'Mother' twangs plainly and poignantly." - A.V. Club

"The Invisible Way is very good—and not just 'good for a band that's 20 years old.' In fact, if you compare it to, say, U2’s Pop, the Rolling Stones' Undercover, or R.E.M.'s Reveal (all albums made around their makers' respective 20th year together), it's pretty clear that Low haven't succumbed to a lot of the weaknesses and flaws that tend to crop up in long-running acts; maybe that's one of the silver linings of never becoming world-conquering and mega-rich? The Invisible Way foregrounds piano and acoustic guitar, not instruments Low have traditionally relied on, and the result builds on 2011's tender C'mon. Where Low was once mostly spare, severe, and forbidding even when harmonizing beautifully, now they are warmly idiosyncratic songwriters that can still stun with slow-motion spellbinders like 'Amethyst' as well as the faster-paced but equally charming likes of 'Mother' and 'To Our Knees.'" - Popmatters

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