Low Millions – Ex-Girlfriends

Music Reviews Low Millions
Low Millions – Ex-Girlfriends

“It’s a beautiful night,” sings Low Millions frontman Adam Cohen on the sweet-and-catchy “Hey Jane.” “But I’m alone,” he adds, summing up in two short lines Ex-Girlfriends’ aesthetic—gorgeous melodies suffused from beginning to end with almost-unbearable melancholy. The album’s 11 songs chronicle one doomed relationship after another (just look at the litany of women’s names in the song titles: Eleanor, Jane, Julia, Nikki).

It’s hard to fend off the notion that Cohen’s striking a pose here, a sweeter version of the cad Greg Dulli so skillfully inhabited on Afghan Whigs’ Gentlemen. He’s sexy, he can croon, he sounds all too sincere, but how do we account for all this romantic carnage? That tension between what you hear and what you suspect gives Ex-Girlfriends its tension. Cohen’s narrator doesn’t spend much time inspecting his role in the failure of his relationships (so there’s the problem); in fact, the lyrics are the album’s weak link, with undeniably affecting lines like “My love is every single song on the radio” serving as stand-ins for any sort of genuine reflection.

But when attached to hook after hook, nestled in well-crafted songs and delivered with SoCal harmonies and layers of guitar, they hit you square in the gut. And then there’s the hang-dog sincerity in Cohen’s voice, cooing things like “I won’t call you baby.” You know damned well he will, but resistance is futile. Woe unto his future exes.

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