AOTY 2021
Low - Hey What
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2021 Ratings: #49 / 682
Year End Rank: #4
User Score
Based on 783 ratings
2021 Ratings: #42
Liked by 90 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Skinny
To be making music that can truly surprise you 13 albums and 28 years into a career is a testament to Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s continued dedication to their craft.
100
The Irish Times
The sweet, singular beauty of the vocals shines through and is complemented rather than obscured by spiky blasts of disorientating distorted noise. These startling juxtapositions create a soundscape unlike any of their previous albums – which, quite simply, conclusively prove that Low are undeniably one of the best bands in the world.
91
Beats Per Minute

Low’s thirteenth album HEY WHAT is both crushing and crushingly beautiful at the same time.

90
Clash
A very clever album that plays with musical codes and conventions brilliantly to create something greater than the sum of its parts. This could be the bravest Low album in recent years.
90
Uncut

It is easy to make music that is difficult and it is easy to make music that is beautiful. But it is quite the trick to be both at the same time, and on Hey What, Low mark themselves out as masters of the art.

90
Northern Transmissions

Perhaps most amazing about HEY WHAT is how it uses musical elements that are purported to be inaccessible and uses them to convey common sentiments and give them a resonance that would be diluted by a more “traditional approach.”

90
God Is in the TV

Low’s 13th album confounds and delights from first and repeated listens.

86
Paste
Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s 13th album in nearly three decades—and first as a duo—is a visceral treatise on modern-day existential dread.
85
Under The Radar

HEY WHAT reflects on Double Negative’s despair and emerges with a defiant affirmation that our lives are worth living, and worth fighting for.

84
Pitchfork

On the follow-up to 2018’s astonishing Double Negative, Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk push deeper into abstraction, finding fresh angles on the themes that have animated them since the beginning.

83
A.V. Club

On HEY WHAT ... Sparhawk and Parker have found a sonic sweet spot between the beauty and the noise.

80
Rolling Stone

The songs on Hey What, the duo’s 13th full-length, sound both heartbreaking and uplifting, often at the same time.

80
Mojo

After almost 30 years documenting the bittersweet mysteries of life, this one’s for the angels.

80
The Arts Desk
Although Hey What is 47 minutes long and includes 10 tracks, it comes across as shorter due to its homogeneity. That’s not to say it all sounds the same, but that it has the overarching feel of a suite where the individual songs equate to movements within a long-form piece.
80
Slant Magazine
The album seamlessly blends the nightmarish and the romantic, interweaving our perennial hopes and the terrors we can’t shake off.
80
The Guardian
The veteran group continue the scorched digital manipulations of 2018 masterpiece Double Negative, but their vocals are left pristine and beautiful.
80
Exclaim!
It's safe to say that no one is making music that sounds remotely similar to what Low is giving us.
80
NME
In 2021, Low aren’t merely playing rock music gently and slowly: now they’re attempting to rewrite the language of the genre.
80
FLOOD Magazine

Sparse and haunted, experimental and futuristic, HEY WHAT might lack the warm-but-downtrodden majesty of, say, Things We Lost in the Fire, but the cold, cruel world of this record is no less enthralling.

70
AllMusic

Hey What isn't an optimistic album, but it is one born of the need for hope in the face of long odds.

70
Loud and Quiet
It’s a richly imperfect LP, whose broad contours one can just about discern, but onto which an infinite number of meanings can be projected; for that, it’s a record worth cherishing.
70
PopMatters

Despite these intriguing connections between words, music, and the band’s history, Low’s commitment to an ebb-and-flow sound is both HEY WHAT‘s primary signature and chief shortcoming.

70
Spectrum Culture
On their 13th album, Low doesn’t sound sure which tack they’re taking but, even in the malaise, they make it sound amazing.
70
musicOMH

It is neither their most immediate nor their warmest album, yet its provocations are effective, and become curious and complex in light of the melody and harmony that sits above them.

60
American Songwriter

Not surprisingly, Hey What makes for the attention-grabber its title implies.

TreyLikesBands
70
Low's Newest Release "Hey What" Will Leave You with a Bare Bones Sensation.

Something lays in the glitchy landscape. It’s a fuzzy, inconceivable blob of polygons, completely untouched by human sight. We know something is there, but we are so apprehensive that we become numb to the fear. Low’s “Hey What” evokes just that: an incomprehensible fear.

And yes, that was just my reaction. “Hey… what?”

Low’s last work, “Double ... read more
365WHATAPPLE
40
Ngl this album fucks! But sadly with the weakest stroke game ever.
Schmedess
87
HI...... WHAT?

WHAT DO YOU WANT
SnowyFighter
71
HEY I DONT KNOW

Low is a band that I know kinda fits into the Slowcore genre, but have since switched up a bit. This new album from them is pretty decent. I think I’m a bit conflicted with some things, but overall the experience was nice for sure. The thing I noticed that didn’t make this score higher is some of the weirder production choices. Some of it gets so overbearing that it’s weird, but other times it’s really cool, so it’s kind of a mixed bag. I also ... read more
cosmonauts
73
well i guess it's not for everyone, it's nice but very tedious at the same time and i felt very bored listening to it sorry.
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Added on: June 21, 2021