Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

The Low Anthem: Smart Flesh

Graeme Thomson, Uncut, March 2011

THERE'S AN OLD BUDDHIST PROVERB that goes something like this: "Before you speak, ask yourself, 'Will it improve upon the silence?"' It's not a question you can imagine, say, Robbie Williams pondering at length, but it sounds very much like the kind of question Rhode Island's Low Anthem asked themselves before embarking on Smart Flesh, the follow-up to their breakthrough album, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. A rootsy evocation of mythical America brimming with banjo, pump organ and a wonderful tumble of voices, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin was pitched somewhere between Fleet Foxes, Little Walter and Walt Whitman. Self-released in 2008, one year and a clutch of swooning reviews later it was remixed, re-ordered and reissued to enormous acclaim.

Total word count of piece: 848


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.