Double Negative

Low - Double Negative
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2018 Ratings: #17 / 678
Year End Rank: #4
User Score
Based on 280 ratings
2018 Ratings: #32
September 14, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sub Pop / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Guardian
This ranks alongside the likes of Anselm Kiefer and Cormac McCarthy as a document of contemporary social collapse, and as such is the most important, devastating album of the year.
100
musicOMH

Double Negative is an album that will endure for a long time. It’s a thrilling development that proves how Low continue to release music of extremely high standards, restlessly creative and never content to stand still.

90
PopMatters

Double Negative sees Low continue their tradition of producing highly emotional music and delivers their most powerful, direct, and moving work yet.

90
God Is in the TV

Double Negative by Low is simultaneously like nothing they’ve ever done before, and exactly like everything they’ve ever done before.

90
Tiny Mix Tapes
What Double Negative seems to be doing is provoking the listener to actually feel the songs, not by way of the old associative emotions — the you’s and I’s, the easy reactions — but through the deconstruction of what’s habitual, returning music to what it actually is: this other form of communication.
90
Drowned in Sound
It is an astonishing album, cohesive but wide ranging, sometimes presenting Low as they were, more often seeing the trio forge on until guitars dissolve, words dissolve, flesh dissolves and everything becomes pure light.
90
The Line of Best Fit
The album marks an extraordinary point in the trio’s career – an album rich in darkness and in texture, finding Low in experimental sublimity, further reminding us that their range has only gotten exceptionally larger and better over time.
90
Clash
‘Double Negative’ is a quite stunning artistic statement, one which at first seems like it might just be admired rather than enjoyed. But, given time, the scale of Low’s achievement reveals itself. A dystopian masterpiece.
90
Spectrum Culture

Considering the trying times we live in, it’s inspiring that Low have managed to cope by learning how to fully – and artfully – embrace their inner austerity and hopelessness.

90
Uncut

Double Negative is their biggest step forward to date, an album that scrambles their sound completely; it sounds nothing like Low and everything like Low. More than that, it captures what it means to be alive in 2018, when developments in technology create rather than alleviate suffering, when each day seems to present a fresh new hell, when it takes immense will power to maintain equilibrium and hope.

87
Pitchfork
The austere trio has profoundly warped their slowcore sound to create an ambitious, modern wonder of an album, an exploration of the song as an imperfect conduit of feeling.
80
Under The Radar

While a somewhat disorientating experience, this is Low's most challenging and interesting record for sometime.

80
The Skinny

Double Negative is a magnificent and courageous record, if you’re ready for it.

80
FLOOD Magazine
The band sounds as good as ever here, and pleasures abound—whether they’re leaning into their mighty roar or savoring their vocal chemistry in passages of hushed murmurs.
80
Northern Transmissions
While this record isn’t that accessible, it proves over time to be really powerful to hear.
80
The 405

With Double Negative, Low maintain all fronts of their fanbase. All the elements of the bands chilling atmospheres are here.

70
Loud and Quiet
As if galvanised by a world that’s once again collapsing, they’ve pushed their sound even closer to the edge of disintegration.
70
Exclaim!

Yes, Double Negative asks much of listeners, but what you get in return is positive to say the least.

70
Crack Magazine

From the moment it begins, Double Negative sounds like being inside a violent storm, holding up a mirror to the turbulence of the world right now.

70
AllMusic

Double Negative is a brave and thoughtful collection of songs that lets Low's beating heart scream for its life against a world without compassion, and if it isn't much fun, in 2018 it's truly necessary.

67
A.V. Club
The result is fearless and impressive, but often lacking in the kind of inviting musicality that encourages repeat listening. It’s a headphones record that holds its audience at a distance: admirably fascinating, but rarely addictive.
dearsongs
81
Wow, didn't expect this. Haven't really got into a Low album since Things We Lost in the Fire.

Washes of static ambience, at time claustrophobia, pretty much always beautiful. Makes sense this was recorded at Bon Iver’s home studio.

Love me some concept albums. Good stuff!
zachthesnack
71
With Double Negative, Low delicately crafted what is without a doubt one of the most stunningly produced records of the year. Though stylistically it wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, It is hard to deny the artistry and sheer amount of effort that went into putting this record out. This sounds like the product of a band striving to be as close to their concept of perfection as possible and they did a bang up job.

p.s. Quorum came on at full blast in my car and it made me feel dizzy :)
MarkCooper
76
Pretty surprising sound from Low, at least I think. I haven't listened to any of their releases since their 2003 album, but I can't imagine they sound too much like Double Negative. A shockingly good album from such an old band.

Favorite Tracks: Tempest, Dancing and Blood, Disarray
thisisabtlgrnd
91
It's like listening to the entire universe disintegrate before you, with angels singing eulogies over top.

Favorite tracks: Disarray, Fly, Rome (Always in the Dark), Poor Sucker, Always Trying to Work It Out
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#1/Uncut
#19/MOJO
#50/Rough Trade

Track List

  1. Quorum
  2. Dancing and Blood
  3. Fly
  4. Tempest
  5. Always Up
  6. Always Trying to Work It Out
  7. The Son, The Sun
  8. Dancing and Fire
  9. Poor Sucker
  10. Rome (Always in the Dark)
  11. Disarray
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton, domvic, Emszi, bgod
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Added on: June 12, 2018