Wednesday, May 30, 2007


With the exception of the untitled and unlisted track preceding "In Metal" on Things We Lost in the Fire (and no, that won't get its own entry) Low don't really do interludes. What they have instead are fragments of songs that serve the same purpose as actual interludes do. I actually prefer the approach, although it's one they haven't really done since Secret Name.

While the difference I'm talking about might seem blurry to some, a good interlude like Slowdive's "Cello" feels complete. It's a short piece, a between-course mint. "Same," along with "Streetlight," "Home," "Dark" and a few others, feels more... absent-minded? Incomplete? Distant? It has much the same role in a album, of course - in "Same"'s case giving us a breather between the romantic conflageration of "Stars Gone Out" and the aforementioned endurance test of "Do You Know How to Waltz?" but it never quite feels like its own song. That's not to say that "Same" and its brethren feel like they could be fleshed out into a full song with more time and space - I'm not sure how you follow up or expand Alan's flat declaration that

I'm tired of waking up with the same clothes
And the same holes in my skin
And the same notes, the same hair and the same words
To the same songs in my head

without taking away from the effect they have. The stasis of the arrangement - just vocal-shadowing guitar, Zak or Alan on keyboard and eventually a backing "ooooh" from Mimi - only makes "Same" seem more out of it, more separate from yet essential to the rest of the album. There aren't even any drums, nothing approaching a pulse. It takes two minutes but sometimes it feels longer than the song that follows it, fitting for what Alan called "the writer's block song."

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