Low
Hey What


3.5
great

Review

by Alec L. Critten USER (11 Reviews)
September 11th, 2021 | 17 replies


Release Date: 09/10/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The noise is here to stay (but that's not necessarily a bad thing)

HEY WHAT is a more refined take in the sonic netherworld that Low's previous album Double Negative established - it's quite impressive how Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker (now working as a duo without a bassist) have managed to perfectly combine their distinct harmony-based musical approach from earlier records with the newer abrasive soundscapes. "Days Like These" is a great showcase for the merge of styles, with the sudden switch from calmly-strummed guitar to hyper-compressed vocals. The segues on the first half of the record are brilliant - the transition of the pulsing synth finishing "White Horses" suddenly blooming with the shimmering yet rhythmic pads on "I Can Wait" is a brilliant sequencing choice. The latter track is just gorgeous as well. The denouement on "Hey" is particularly beautiful and lush; while some of Double Negative's outros seemed to just wander off into the distance (such as on "Dancing and Blood"), this track takes full advantage of its eight-minute runtime.

The record does notably taper off towards the end, though - "There's A Comma After Still" doesn't really provide the sense of reprieve that "The Son, the Sun" provided on Double Negative. The overblown crunchy guitars of "More" seem very oddly placed on the record after the relatively-quiet and contemplative atmosphere on "Don't Walk Away", and the transition is jarring in the least-complimentary sense of the word. "The Price You Pay" builds and builds, but doesn't quite reach the high it's suggesting.

It’s astonishing to see how Low has turned their sound inside-out on their past two records while still managing to sound like no one else. Although HEY WHAT is contextually best explained in Low’s discography as Double Negative Pt. 2, it is by no means derivative or unengaging. Its shortcomings are noble mistakes, respectable artistic choices that just aren’t as rewarding as intended. The record’s high points, though, see Low at their finest – showcasing hymnal-like vocals and masterfully restrained songwriting, just with compelling overblown sound instead of haunting silence.



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user ratings (84)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Sunnyvale CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
The marriage of heaven and hell (or something like that)...



Comments:Add a Comment 
eureka
September 11th 2021


24 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This wasn't meant to be a full review, since there isn't too much to say contextually that wouldn't have been said about Double Negative, but I did want to share some of my thoughts on this record (Sput also wouldn't allow me to put all of these words into a sound-off anyway). Overall it's enjoyable - not as innovative as DN but still worth your time (and this record's best tracks are phenomenal).

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2021


9223 Comments


Good review, pos, I may check this one out.

Bandcamp has published an extensive retrospective on these guys:

http://daily.bandcamp.com/lists/low-discography-list

Digging: Buried In Roses - Buried In Roses

Snake.
September 11th 2021


23466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice



their best since trust probably

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2021


25603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Really cool album once you accept and absorb the abrasive(ness)

Digging: Anette Olzon - Strong

Squiggly
September 12th 2021


296 Comments


Damn good review, though i disagree about the back half- The Price You Pay is one of the better songs on here imo.

Digging: Turnstile - Glow On

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2021


21498 Comments


Oooooooh

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2021


15110 Comments


Waiting for this to get a review. Nice work too. Try to keep up the good work - promotion season happens (usually) around Feb and March. That goes for the other guys with the goods too.

Pikazilla
September 12th 2021


18811 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Low do not disappoint as per usual

Pikazilla
September 12th 2021


18811 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ello good folks

loveisamixtape
September 12th 2021


10813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

liking the album way more than the singles. hey and all night are my initial favs

TheBarber
September 12th 2021


3972 Comments


surprisingly fun record

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2021


25603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Yeah loving this more with every listen.

loveisamixtape
September 13th 2021


10813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

vocal melodies overall are growing on me. i am pretty sure that’s what wasn’t clicking before. a fast grower

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2021


25603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

I wonder how many people bought this on.vinyl and returned it the day after claiming it has a lot of "surface noise"

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2021


8827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this do be real gud yeah

Digging: Full of Hell - Garden of Burning Apparitions

zakalwe
September 13th 2021


34590 Comments


Shite

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2021


25603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

I can sense your unconditional love for this band from here zaka



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