TITLE: I Could Live in Hope
YEAR RELEASED: 1994
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nah
LINEUP: Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker, John Nichols
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: It started as a lark, but it became a serious project with some fantastic tracks right out of the gate.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Issuing a five song EP first (with tracks later repeated on this and their second album), then releasing this, their full length debut, Low turned the alternative world on its head. Slowly and hauntingly, Low became the exact opposite of grunge.
Alan Sparhawk’s lachrymose baritone is joined by his wife Mimi Sparhawk’s harmonies to provide an eerie set of harmonies, and the simple instrumentation (guitar, bass, a brushed floor tom and cymbal) evoke a mood. The songs are not dirges, though. These are mood pieces that evoke sadness and hope, and the tempos only add to the atmosphere.
At times, the songs drag on a bit too long (three tracks over six minutes long that could have been trimmed) but there’s nothing that’s totally a throw away. This is a great debut from an important band in alternative circles.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Sparhawk and Nichols were in a standard grunge band, and they formed Low out of rehearsals where they were improvising quiet sounds.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A: A statement of quiet, slow purpose.