Unless you sit and listen intently to this third offering from The One AM Radio, it might get away from you. Easier said than done, however, as This Too Shall Pass sounds something like Elliott Smith on prozac: all the tranquility without any of the gloom. Smith’s bottomless emotional depths characterized his otherwise mellow work, but there’s no such distinction with The One AM Radio. This Too Will Pass simply floats delicately from one song to the next. But what Hrishikesh Hirway—the band’s lone composer—lacks in feeling, he compensates with intimate, multi-instrumental soundscapes that drift in lo-fi bliss.
“The Harvest” and “Coming Back” accomplish a more earthly than dreamy feel, lulling with convoluted stream-of-consciousness lyrics. But when Hirway closes the gap between unplugged strings and programmable beats, the mood shifts to a Postal Service-like atmosphere. “In The Time We’ve Got” and “The Echoing Airports” waft lazily on Hirway’s whispery delivery and well-structured arrangements, exemplifying his knack for electronic folk.
Although at times the mood lacks identity, This Too Will Pass succeeds by exploiting the contrast between Hirway’s sedated vocals and the synthesized beats. (Jonathan Stumpf)
The One AM Radio plays the Palace Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 9 PM. $5.