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A collection of steadfast mid-paced songs, Hi-Lo is a major misnomer in that there are precious few highs.
Fiona Reid, 25 May 2000
A collection of steadfast mid-paced songs, Hi-Lo is a major misnomer in that there are precious few highs. The single 'Something's Wrong' is representative, as well as a statement of fact, containing the lines "I feel I'm in a cage, can't go on, too numb to manage rage"- the music is novocaine-injected, with very little emotion coming through even when the lyrics demand it.
The brothers Wall are obviously being extremely careful not to brew up any kind of a storm; on 'Getting Wild' you hope they'll do just as the name suggests - you long for a guitar squall to break the torpor, but it never comes. Maybe in live performance some of these songs would rock, but the album itself is beset by undynamic programming which blights almost every track.
Any song here would be fine in itself - I'll admit howling at the sky isn't always the most powerful form of expression and subtlety can be much more effective, but some form of contrast is called for.
One standout track is former single 'Broken Boy', an ode to malcontentment that has dark and dusty charm. That aside, Hi-Lo is a very frustrating album.