Slow Time (Western Vinyl)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., June 23, 2017
Rob Lowe pushes musical boundaries. Over the past decade, the keyboardist has guided local instrumental standouts Balmorhea through intricate post-rock compositions. On Slow Time, Lowe debuts solo with eclectically complex pop. He surges suave, smooth Seventies R&B and pop, but its beauty lies in Lowe's subtle stylistic melding and the controlled ebb and flow of tempos that pace the nine-song cycle. Lead track "A Dream a Lie" hints at a funky jazz rhythm behind high gloaming vocals into the swoon of "Walk Away." Lowe's lyrical inexperience shows, but he works in impressionistic images, his layering of harmonies serving as another instrumental flourish. Arthur Russell may be the best parallel to Lowe's wild combination of beat-oriented rhythms and haunting vocals, intoxicating and daunting in the same breath on tracks like "Cover You," while "Spring the Lock" transforms cheesy piano pop references into fascinating pastiche.