Relaxing, subdued, and unobtrusive, the six slow-paced instrumentals on Things Shaped in Passing work best as background music that doesn't demand too much attention or emotional commitment from the listener. Fans of bands such as Mogwai, Sonna, and the Album Leaf may appreciate the album's reflective tone, the interplay between the individual musicians (including James Haas' atmospheric use of lap steel guitar), and the way the songs unfold gradually without obvious attention-grabbing hooks. However, some listeners may find the songs to be too diffuse and wish this gentle music wasn't quite so genteel. While this album doesn't quite stand out from other post-rock instrumental recordings, it does have its own quiet charm. The passive wording of the title Things Shaped in Passing provides a clue about how to best appreciate the songs on this album: just sit back, let the sounds wash over you, and accept the music's structure as something that develops slowly and naturally over the course of time.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Todd Kristel