Quick Review (LP): Smart Flesh by The Low Anthem

The Low Anthem
Smart Flesh
Nonesuch; 2011

My Rating: C (51/100)

Best Tracks: "Ghost Woman Blues", "Love & Altar", "Golden Cattle"

Brace for sleep…

– I love this band’s sound. It’s like the perfect combination of Low’s dark trance-rock and Hem’s chamber americana.
– "Boeing 737" is mighty, but its trajectory is all ahead. I guess I would have preferred they throttle back on it at some point.
– Dig the opener. The clarinet was tragically under-used for 50 years of rock and roll.
– In general, they can’t go wrong with slow songs, mandolin, sustained piano, and clarinet, but even a few of those are a little too sleepy.
– Religious themes going on with some of the song titles. I suspect this album is heavy on the lyrical content, but it’s darn hard to access.
– I dig "Wire" in and of itself, but I question it’s setting in the middle of the record, after "Matter of Time" and before "Burn." The record really starts to drag in the middle.
Ian Cohen of Pitchfork does a great job of summing up what’s wrong with this record. BTW, it pains me to use the word "wrong," because I really want to like this record.
– Overall, it lacks in the songwriting department, and certainly isn’t brilliant like OMGCD. Check out the tracks I mention. The rest can be left behind.

Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (5/5)
Consistency (3/5)
Consequence (4/5)
Songs (3/5)

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