- Sweep me off my feet
Take me up and bring me back.
Oh, where I can see
Days pass by me
I have no head to hold in grief.—"I Want Wind to Blow"
The Glow Pt. 2 is the fifth studio album by The Microphones, the now-defunct project of Washington singer-songwriter Phil Elverum, released September 25, 2001. The album's name and titular track is a reference to the fourth track on previous album It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water, and was made during a time of hardship for Elverum - his old band had split, and Phil himself had split with his girlfriend. As such, the lyrics on this album deal with the aftermath of these events and serve as an introspective of Elverum himself. What makes The Glow Pt. 2 so distinct from many other folk records is Phil's adoption of lo-fi; songs can go from quiet to very loud in a near instant.
The album cover is based off of an antique Dutch cookbook: Calvé-Delft's Winterboekje, published all the way back roughly 1940. The album itself is long, around 70 minutes with 20 tracks, spanning a diverse array of sound.
With cutting and emotional lyricism and innovative songwriting, The Glow Pt. 2 was acclaimed upon release and is still raved over to this day, while also proving to be hugely influential since. Many have noted that The Glow Pt. 2's impact has had a similar effect to The Velvet Underground & Nico's impact; much like how the latter had lead many to believe that even the most basic of songwriting can bring critical favour, the former has since seen many budding musicians recording acoustic songs with low-end equipment in similar hopes. The Microphones would have one last release, Mount Eerie in 2003, before Phil began the new project of... Mount Eerie. However, it wasn't until 2020 that the Microphones name was revived.
- "I Want Wind to Blow" (5:32)
- "The Glow Pt. 2" (4:58)
- "The Moon" (5:16)
- "Headless Horseman" (3:08)
- "My Roots Are Strong and Deep" (1:53)
- "Instrumental" (1:38)
- "The Mansion" (3:52)
- "(Something)" (1:38)
- "(Something)" (2:42)
- "I'll Not Contain You" (2:50)
- "The Gleam Pt. 2" (1:57)
- "Map" (5:00)
- "You'll Be in the Air" (2:41)
- "I Want to Be Cold" (1:41)
- "I Am Bored" (1:36)
- "I Felt My Size" (2:24)
- "Instrumental" (1:52)
- "I Felt Your Shape" (1:54)
- "Samurai Sword" (4:07)
- "My Warm Blood" (9:28)
My tropes are strong and deep:
- Accentuate the Negative: The lyrics on this album are very bleak.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: "Headless Horseman" and "Samurai Sword".
- Arc Words:
- The lyrics of "There's no" appears multiple times throughout the album.
- There are quite a few references to warmth in the tracks.
- Blood gets mentioned quite a bit.
- Bears Are Bad News: "Samurai Sword" uses bears to symbolise hostile relationships.
- Bungled Suicide: Implied in "The Glow Pt. 2".
- The album and title track are a reference to "The Glow", the fourth track off of the fourth album.
- "The Gleam Pt. 2" references "The Gleam", also from the previous album.
- The lyric "Oh, what a loss" from "Headless Horseman" makes a reappearance in "I Am Bored", along with the headless imagery of the former.
- A snippet of "I Want Wind to Blow" plays (under effects) in "My Warm Blood".
- The line "I have no head to hold in grief" in "I Want Wind to Blow" is a reference to "Headless Horseman".
- "The Glow Pt. 2" has the lyric "My blood flows harshly". The last track on the album, "My Warm Blood", has the lyric "My blood barely flows".
- Dark Reprise: "The Glow Pt. 2" for "The Glow". The latter had an optimistic ending, while the former definitely doesn't.
- Downer Ending: "My Warm Blood".
- Emotions vs. Stoicism: "The Glow Pt. 2" begins with Phil describing himself as being forced towards the latter after revealing his emotions brought cold reception. This stoicism nearly tears Phil apart.
- Fading into the Next Song: "Samurai Sword" into "My Warm Blood".
- Gratuitous Panning: Utilised frequently. It's most apparent in the first "Instrumental".
- Gray Rain of Depression: "I Want to Be Cold":It's raining on me
And I don't want it to stop
I don't want to breathe anymore.
- Headless Horseman: "Headless Horseman" has Phil use such symbolism for post-breakup depression.
- Hydra Problem: Referenced in "I Am Bored":It didn't show its head until mine was torn and thrown at you
And back it grew
- Insignificant Blue Planet: "I Felt My Size" references this.
- Leave the Camera Running: A good portion of "My Warm Blood" is just ambience with snippets of the opening track making appearances.
- Loudness War: What makes this album, a folk record, so notable.
- Motif: A sample of a foghorn plays at certain parts of the album, most notably in "My Warm Blood".
- Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: Phil sings like he's a lost soul.
The thunder clouds broke up, and the rain dried up, the lightning let up...
- "I Want Wind to Blow" refers to Phil's old band, The Thunder Clouds:
I've got a grizzly look in my eye.
- "Samurai Sword", a song that uses bear-related imagery:
- Sequel Song: "The Glow Pt. 2" to "The Glow", from the previous album.
- Siamese Twin Songs:
- "I Want Wind to Blow" and "The Glow Pt. 2".
- Lyrically, "Samurai Sword" and "My Warm Blood".
- Shirtless Scene: "The Glow Pt. 2" provides a unique example. Instead of being invoked for Fanservice, it serves as imagery for Elverum's depression:I took my shirt off in the yard
No one saw that the skin on my shoulders was golden
Now it's not
My shirt's back on
- Shout-Out: In "You'll Be in the Air":
- Spiritual Successor: Considered to be this to the classic In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel: lo-fi folk albums with depressing subject matter. However, The Glow Pt. 2 is much more lyrically-focused than its spiritual predecessor.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: Inverted with "I Want to Be Cold" and "Samurai Sword" - very heavy songs.
- Title Drop: "The Glow Pt. 2":The glow is gone.
- Vocal Range Exceeded: A rare non-comedic example. Phil's voice audibly breaks on the emotionally charged bridge of "You'll Be in the Air."
- We All Die Someday: Many of the songs deal with this, and in all of them Phil sees this trope as a relief:Because we both knew we're just floating in the same space over molten rock
And we felt safe and discovered that our skin is soft
There's nothing left except certain death
And that was comforting under the moon
- We Used to Be Friends: "The Moon" is about Phil trying to amend ties with a former friend/lover.