Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Album Review: Low - Christmas

Since its release in 1999 this has often been held up as an example of one of the few non-cringey Christmas albums. Low feature combination of traditional Christmas songs and their own, generally superior Christmas-related originals. Just Like Christmas is the cheesiest/cheeriest moment here, featuring sleigh bells and a boppy beat.

The mood is taken down a million notches with the funereal-paced, Biblically-themed Long Way Around The Sea. It’s pretty much as perfect a Low song as you could fine, with glacial tempos and traumatized vocals soundtracking the birth of Jesus. They drench Little Drummer Boy’s parum-pum-pum-pums in MBV-style fuzz.
If You Were Born Today is another slow one with religious overtones and a menacing edge to it, even when they get to say “joy to the world and peace on the earth”. They do sparse versions of Blue Christmas (made famous by Elvis Presley) and Silent Night, before finishing on 2 more originals.

It’s a true soundtrack for Christmas, when all the franticness has ended and the dust has settled and we are left with a true Christmas, whatever that might be. Is it the empty feeling of wondering what the last couple of weeks were all for? Maybe. It’s 8 songs that connect on a human level that might just be the best Christmas present you could hope for.