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56. Low – Laser Beam



Low are hardly known for their blasts of jangly guitar any more than, say, The Strokes are for their sombre marches, but, even by Low’s glacial standards, Laser Beam is astonishingly baron. There almost couldn’t be any less of it: a lone guitar and a single voice is all that’s here, the melody sitting on just one chord for the majority of the song. But it’s that simplicity that gives the song its grace and makes Mimi Parker’s fragile, trembling vocal line so affecting – despite the track’s fairly oblique lyrics, it’s impossible to escape the sadness that hangs off every heavy-headed note. With its hallowed calm and broken chords, Laser Beam feels like a distant relative of Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, but Low are as restrained here as Buckley is histrionic on his recording, and that sparseness and poise make this track even more exquisite.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 30/10/2009 3:40 pm

    There are not enough variations on the term ‘thank you’ to express how grateful I am that you brought Low into my life.

  2. jen permalink
    26/11/2009 8:41 pm

    hear hear

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