Hrishikesh Hirway—aka The One AM Radio—returns with another disc of sensitive, slightly knob-twiddled indie rock that will make the girls’ hearts melt and everyone else slightly bored. That said, Hirway has made some strides forward since his last disc, the middling A Name Writ in Water. Primarily, his singing has improved greatly. While on his previous effort, he definitely had what Randy Jackson might call “pitch problems”, here he is effectively on key. But it’s too bad the songs are such a snore. While they feature even more organic instrumentation than before, they all exist in that tepid, midtempo, watery, emotional area that is being done much better by similar artists. Everything here is gentle to a fault—guitars, percussion, beats, strings. There is frankly too much of this kind of stuff around, and unfortunately Hirway offers very little to distinguish himself from the largely anonymous pack. It would do wonders for Hirway to open himself up compositionally and move away from the almost rote production choices. Until then, This Too Will Pass from my CD player forevermore.
// Notes from the Road
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