Album Review – Lou Barlow


Lou Barlow -‘Goodnight Unknown.’ (Domino)

It’s been four years since Barlow’s last album, Emoh….well, sort of. In that time, he’s reunited with Dinosaur Jr. to make two fine albums in the form of Beyond and Farm, as well as re-issuing three of Sebadoh’s albums. He’s clearly had fingers in several pies.

So, of his own stuff, what gives? Well, Dinosaur Jr. are back on noisy turf (hooray!) and it seems that this is Barlow’s acoustic side coming through. Not that he hasn’t experimented with acoustic-sounding stuff before. It’s a grower of an album – my initial reaction was well, this is nice but nothing more. The free track made available for promotional purposes ‘Gravitate’ is good, but not the strongest track on the album, by a long shot.

But on listening to this album again, whilst it isn’t up there with Bakesale or the like, this is a really nice collection of songs. I have found myself warming up to it, the way that after the fifth play the harmonium on ‘Gravitate’ starts to prove itself beautiful. It showcases that Barlow is a very good singer-songwriter and also shows just how well his voice has matured. Closer ‘One Note Tone’ sums up the album well; a melodic, acoustic pop song that nonetheless has a great deal of the energy of prime Dinosaur Jr. because of his asscoiations with leftfield indie-rock it’s sometimes been easy to forget that Barlow can write honest, heartfelt pop songs (see also ‘Forever Instant’ recorded with the Sentridoh).

So…give this several listens. It may not win barlow many new fans, but it should be heard, and given the chance that it deserves.


Lou Barlow’s official website/Sebadoh website/Lou Barlow myspace

The return of Lou Barlow – solo artist


Lou Barlow is not a man to let the grass grow between his feet.

Not content with having rejoined Dinosaur Jr for two albums now, and the reissuing of albums by his (originally) post Dinosaur jr act, Sebadoh, he is due to return as a solo artist with a new album, on Domino, in October, entitled Goodbye Unknown.

This track has been made available as a free mp3. See what you think…

Lou Barlow – ‘Gravitate.’ mp3

…so will we see a return of Folk Implosion too? Time will tell…