Last Life Media
August 24, 2004

Various Artists - We Could Live in Hope: A tribute to Low (Fractured Discs)

Ten years after Low’s first release, I Could Live in Hope, Fractured Discs releases a tribute to that album. The tribute album has covers of all the songs from Low’s best album done by artists who owe thanks to Low for revolutionizing this genre. Some of the more prominent artists on this compilation are Mark Kozelek, Idaho, Migala, and His Name is Alive.

Most of the artists on the song don’t do much to rearrange the songs. Mostly the songs remain in their original format, but are just played and sung by the cover artists. This is fine because these songs that Low wrote were amazing, and to change them and still have the same words can be a dangerous and touchy issue. For example, Mark Kozelek does the song “Lazy.” He changed up the rhythm of the song like he had done and done well with the AC/DC covers, but this time around it doesn’t come out right. The original version of the song that Low wrote is just too perfect. Maybe if the song had not been written by Low first, then it might sound good.

On the other hand, Pale Horse & Rider and The Strugglers do really good cover versions of the tracks 2 and 3 of the album without totally changing the songs. Some of the other groups add other subtle instrumentation and effects to place their fingerprints on Low’s songs. The result is usually a positive one. This can be seen on the songs “Lullaby” done by Kid Dakota, “Sea” covered by misc/Ill Lit, and “Slide” done by A Northern Chorus. Both Daniel G. Harmann and Idaho covered the song “Words.” Likewise, both are great covers, Harmann stuck mainly to the original format, while Idaho took a more experimental approach. Another approach some bands took was collaborating together like His Name is Alive and Nanang Tatang.

Most of the time tribute albums are released after the group has broken up or the members have died. Not so for slow-core legends Low. That’s not to say that Low isn’t worthy of such a tribute. I wouldn’t recommend it to just casual fans, but it has some rare and cool tracks that you can’t get other places.

Chad Brownfield (
Rating: 81

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