But Things We Lost is Low's finest, heaviest album. Sounds are more finely detailed and firmly presented. The album smolders with the almost spiritual tension of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker's voices. Skeletal brushstrokes and surgical snares -- though now even rising to a resounding clang, such as on "Dinosaur Act" -- yet again anchor minimalist melodies, but Low no longer project reserve and detachment. Like a garden wake, Parker exudes hope more forcefully than ever before and wraps visceral eulogies such as "Sunflower," "Whore" and "In Metal" in warm harmonies.
Anyone who accuses this music of being numb(ing) doesn't realize it's that way because it's so naked it can be chillingly revealing. Low ache with an intimacy some people just aren't prepared to share. Here's hoping their fire continues to burn for the rest of us.