Subject: Low review
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 18:08:41 CST
From: Josh Kortbein 
X-UIDL: 36cf65119c699f34dfb133d7fa59bf29

I STILL haven't gotten to hear _Christmas_, but here are some comments
that aren't as related to the EP.

Though Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker (who are married) are both
Mormons, Zak Sally isn't. I don't know what sort of faith he
professes, if any, but I'm pretty sure it's not Mormonism.

"Christian rock" is especially un-apt, even given the qualifications
you make, if only because _Christmas_ is slightly un-representative.
"If You Were Born Today (Song for Baby Jesus)" has appeared in
other places, like on the live album _I Could Live in Hope_. There
are also a few noticibly less-subtle Christian sentiments expressed
on the last album, _Secret Name_, like in "Weight of Water" and
somewhere else I can't remember right now.

On earlier albums, though, the Christian slant is generally not there,
or more there in the ear of the listener, than in the music. On
_The Curtain Hits the Cast_, for example, you can hear "Over the Ocean"
as a Christian song, I've been told. More palpable, though, is the
pervasive sense of spirituality. That feeling certainly has something
in common with traditional religious music, but I think it's also
something that stands apart from religious belief.

Last night while up at 4 AM and bored I tried developing a desert
island discs list. I had to go over my list of CDs, to remind myself,
in order to hit 10. The first three came to me immediately. The
fourth, Massive Attack's _Protection_, came to me with a little
prompting, and I wasn't as dead-on sure.

The first three? Low's _The Curtain Hits the Cast_, and Miles Davis's
_Kind of Blue_ and _Bitches Brew_.

In each, though certainly with less frequency than when listening
to Low, there are, for me, moments with the same sort of calm,
stark, almost reverential "spiritual" quality. This isn't the same
thing as the kind of uber-experience I can get from other music -
even other parts of these same recordings - which is why I identify
it more with the "spiritual" experience than with something more
specifically aesthetic.

So, in closing: you still must hear _The Curtain Hit the Cast_. :)


Most of my hunches concerning mathematics are pretty bad.
    - Jon