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The Invisible Way

3.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

We here at Sub Pop are honored to have our name attached to The Invisible Way, Low s tenth album in 20 years as a band. Rather than put together our own, inevitably-inadequate description of the album, we will let Low s Alan Sparhawk do the talking:

"While driving though Chicago, on tour, we stopped finally to visit Wilco at their studio, The Loft. They had invited us to come check it out several times over the years, but this would finally be the day. It s a great place a sea of instruments in a relaxed, open working environment. It s cool, but what really converted us was hearing the new Mavis Staples tracks they were working on: big, simple, raw, and intimate. Plans were made then and there.

"Don t break my Grammy streak."
We have worked with many of the great engineer/producers. Jeff Tweedy has been on our side of the microphone for over 25 years, however with engineer (and fellow Grammy winner) Tom Schick, he has of late become a formidable and eclectic producer. He spoke a language we understood, but then took us effortlessly into the mystery. We've made many records, and you know our M.O.: slow, quiet, sometimes melancholy, and, we hope, sometimes pretty...

How is this different from any other Low record?
- Mimi sings lead on five of the eleven songs (she usually only does one or two, despite being a fan favorite).
- Piano, lots of piano... and an acoustic guitar.
- Songs about intimacy, the drug war, the class war, plain old war war, archeology, and love.

Thank you for your time again and please enjoy what we made. I think it s beautiful."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 19, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B00ABIRE14
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,152 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
On March 19th, 2013, Low release The Invisible Way, their 10th full-length album, marking 10 albums in 20 years. Not bad for the survivors of an obscure genre (slowcore) from an obscure place (Duluth).

I came to Low in the mid-90's when I was part of an e-mail list (remember those?) for fans of the Cure. I was told if you love the stark minimalism of Seventeen Seconds (check!) and Faith (check!), then Low were the band for you. I stumbled across a vinyl copy of their new release, The Curtain Hits the Cast, and picked it up. Unbeknownst to me, this was quite the rarity, featuring two exclusive tracks. Shortly thereafter, a local record shop had the Over the Ocean single, featuring an incredible hypnotic version of Be There (percussion provided by banging on a clothes dryer). I caught them as they passed through Ottawa, for what was the concert of a lifetime: two stellar opening acts (The Wooden Stars, and the sublime Ida), a tiny basement bar, and a set so quiet that my friend fell asleep four feet from the stage (and singer/guitarist Alan Sparhawk still apologized for being too loud).

What attracted me to Low was their sheer intensity. Each of their first three albums - I Could Live in Hope, Long Division and Curtain - were singular in vision. Slow as anything I had heard, compelling, quiet, sometimes terrifying, with shining moments of absolute beauty. In fact, many of the things I love about Johnny Cash - minimalism, ringing guitars, and haunting vocals - applied equally to Low. They simply came from different genres in different eras.

Over the years, though, like Cash, Low have sought to broaden their sonic palette. The Songs for a Dead Pilot EP stripped away the reverb, offering a new lo-fi approach at the hands of Steve Albini.
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Format: Audio CD
Low have partaken in a long journey since the narcotic rock of their debut 1994s "I could live in hope" but its been one where the direction of travel for their musical trajectory has consistently pointed skyward. The Duluth trio of Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker and bassist Steve Garrington are as sure footed as a Welsh team in Cardiff and have in this lovely, quiet and dense album produced another set of golden wonders. Perhaps it the presence of the Wilco link that is adding a key ingredient. Guitarist Nels Cline played on Low's last album "C'mon" and here the Wilco supremo Jeff Tweedy produces with real understanding of the band's ethos not least for the first time equally sharing the vocal duties between Sparhawks deep mournful voice and the lovely airy beauty of Parker's more sweeter approach which on balance is the predominant colour on show here. Those Low fans seeking a repeat of the the huge power chords of "The Great Destroyer" may not find "The Invisible Way" to their liking as it is mostly populated with acoustic guitar and pounding piano's. This does not however detract from the sheer power of the Low aesthetic for this record is as solid as there previous work but the songwriting just keeps getting better.

The sparse opener "Plastic cup" does have a Thom Yorke feel to it and is driven by Sparhawks lead vocal which proclaims "well you could always count on your friends to get you high/that's right/and you could always count on the 'rents to get you by/you could fly". Even better is the brilliant hynotic "Amethyst" which starts with a solo that Neil Young would have longed to write and Robert Plant will be queuing up to cover.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This band is an acquired taste, and I've become addicted. I started with *Trust*, and I've been picking up their back catalog. I even learned a song ("In the Drugs") for a covers compilation.

This album is terrific, if you like what's being called "slo-core", mebbe if you don't. Jeff Tweedy's production is spot-on, the reverb turned down, Mimi Parker's voice is turned up and turns up more, and "Plastic Cup" is mebbe my favorite song of the year.

Think I'll listen to it in bed tonite, again.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
When you get home and you feel like you are as tight as a drumhead emotionally......just play- what I call #mindpharma music from so many great indie bands! There has been a tremendous resurgence in what was once known as the 90's shoe gazer genre. It has evolved to the point where you can easily lose an hour or two IF you just close your eyes ....and relax your mind and body. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.....then listen! And RELAX! On twitter follow me and I will follow back ( @CU2MRO) as I and a bunch of others are all discovering new bands, s/s'rs, etc. ENJOY!!
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Format: Audio CD
C'mon was my first experience with LOW and an exciting listen it was. After falling in love with Low and `C'mon", I purchased four of their previous albums and was pleased, especially with "The Great Destroyer". Upon hearing of their new release, "The Invisible Way", this past March, I was eager to make the purchase, even with the switch to a new music producer, Jeff Tweedy.

I've read a number of positive comments about Mr. Tweedy's creativity in the studio. However, after my eighth full listen to "The Invisible Way", I am still searching for these clever abilities. "The Invisible Way" has grown on me a bit, but it still just does not carry the excitement and passion of "C'mon" and the thrilling energy of "The Great Destroyer".

One positive note of "The Invisible Way", however, is that Mimi Parker takes charge of half of the album's songs. (Personally, I would love to see Ms. Parker do a solo record.)

If Low cuts another album in the future, and I certainly wish that they will, I can only hope that they return to the thrilling creative energy of their previous producer, Matt Beckley. The Beckley-Low marriage was hauntingly beautiful!
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