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Low, ‘C’Mon’ (Sub Pop)

The deal-breaker for Low – what keeps the Duluth, Minnesota trio a cult band after 18 years (despite the Robert Plant covers) – isn’t their Ozu-paced minimalism, but the vocals of husband-and-wife Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker. Blankly drawn out, they are as unlike expressive human speech as anything in rock. But with coproduction by Matt Beckley (Katy Perry, Ke$ha), Low finally treat that strangeness as a thing of pop beauty, filtered through soulful melodies. Goth-folk slow jam “Especially Me” burns with private anger, while “Witches” sounds like Jimi Hendrix thawing in the sun.