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The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

If there’s one thing about albums coming out this year, it’s that I’m finding myself frequently pleasantly surprised by something I wouldn’t normally give the time of day too. I guess my attempts at being a reviewer can only be a good thing, then, as it’s a bit like I’m forcing myself to expand my tastes and horizons.

The Low Anthem and their modern country-ish balladeering. Definitely not something I’d usually purchase without hearing first but in this instance I am very glad I did.

Comparisons to other alt-country & folk rockers such as Band Of Horses and bloody Fleet Foxes are obviously inevitable within the first few listens, but upon listening more and more, you see there is something generally a bit cheery, uplifting and above all, hopeful about some of the tracks on the album (Champion Angel with it’s harmonica tinged anthemics being a prime example).

The real pay-off comes in the 2nd half of the album as delightful synthetic swoops come to play over the slow alt-country and harmonica, creating a sound that’s an absolute pleasure to listen to. Perfect for those Sunday morning come downs maybe?

It’s this hopefulness contained within the album that really carries i forward and stops it from plodding on like so many other similar bands albums. The real downside is the beginning of the album, where most bands place their strongest tracks there, The Low Anthem seem to have stuck their worst at the 2nd and 3rd tracks in. The throaty singing style doesn’t quite work (especially when he’s so good at singing ‘properly’ on the other tracks), and it unfortunately drags the otherwise deft musicianship down with it.

In all, this is actually a very beautiful record to listen to (minus those two awful ones obviously) and definitely one to help gently nurse off that hangover.



04/08/2009 Posted by | Music, Reviews | Leave a comment