Albums of the Year (#8): Low – C'mon

Now in their eighteenth year, C'mon showed that Low have plenty left in the tank

Feature by Darren Carle | 01 Dec 2011

The title of Low’s ninth studio album doesn’t overtly hint at the beauty hidden within its grooves, but after the dark, political soap-boxing of predecessor Drums and Guns, it certainly promises something more positive and affirming. “Normally we would make things a little uglier but this time we wanted the songs to be what they are,” says frontman Alan Sparhawk. “Some of the tracks are very intimate; they’re almost love songs.”

It’s a direct, if somewhat unfashionable proclamation, but then perhaps that’s always been part of Low’s appeal. The palpable beating heart of C’mon coupled with the relatively lush production of pop maestro Matt Beckley merely focused an aspect of the Minnesota trio’s psyche that they had skirted around for some time.

“Over the years I’ve learned to trust where my writing leads me,” says Sparhawk. “I tend not to overthink things because if you do, you kind of lose your footing.” It’s perhaps this more than anything that has made C’mon appeal to those outwith Low’s usual fan-base. Songs such as Nothing But Heart and the majestic Especially Me are as lyrically direct as they’ve ever been, emphasising the less-is-more ethos that habitually finds Low at their best. It lends itself to an album that has immediate impact whilst staying with you long after finale Something’s Turning Over bows out in typically gorgeous form.

“I kinda figured nobody would remember it,” laughs Sparhawk when told C’mon is one of our albums of the year. ”It came out quite early [in the year] and there have been other records that made more of a splash for sure. But it’s definitely an honour. We loved making it.” That much seems evident, and for a self-proclaimed album about that elusive and unquantifiable emotion, it’s surely all you need.