Disappears - Low - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Disappears - Low

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:4 Release Date:2015-11-22

As part of a David Bowie museum exhibition in Chicago last year, hometown shoe-gazer band Disappears covered Bowie’s 1977 classic Low, the first of Bowie’s Berlin-era albums.The band covers the songs with a mix of accuracy and invention, and I give them credit for the gargantuan balls to take on this task. However, it’s hard to cover any album, let alone a song-for-song live take on the entire album in track order.

It helps that half the tracks are largely instrumental, but by the same token, the studio played a large role in making those songs. Live, and with a paucity of instrumental options, many of the songs sound sparse and hollow, lacking the layers and the evocative impression that made this album so powerful. Thus, you have a recording that is more novelty than anything else, and one that falls short of being anything other than an earnest attempt at homage.

I’ll readily admit; I picked this up out of sheer curiosity. Given that, it’s hard to recommend against giving it a listen, at the very least, for those same reasons. On the other hand, something as narrow and confined in appeal is more for completists than it is for the casual fan of either Bowie or Disappears. As a fellow huge Bowie fan, as I presume the band is, I doubt they see this recording as much more than a heartfelt thank you note to Bowie. As thoughtful as thank-you notes are, it can also be said that they are usually forgotten soon after being read. Or listened to, in this case. Take that for what it’s worth. 

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