Passages Through

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Passages Through isn't a standout in the disassociative world of slowcore, low rock, or whatever you want to call it. It's not different enough from the other records combining slow, trancelike rock with spectral vocals and spacy instrumental textures that had appeared in the decade or so prior to its 2003 release, and the eight songs on the disc are themselves not different enough from each other. Within the limitations of its niche, though, it's acceptably dreamy pop music, albeit pop that often goes to the furthest edges of what might hold the attention of song-oriented listeners. The languorous, breathy female vocals are seductively smoothing, sometimes on the edge of audible comprehension ("Close Your Eyes"), and it's nice the way the guitars ping back and forth like meteors bouncing across the sky in the long fade to "Wings of Light." Folkier moods prevail elsewhere, though executed in a way that seems determined not to raise the temperature; it's easy to imagine "Hold Me Under" or "Slowly Wrapped Up in Flight," for instance, appealing to Nick Drake fans. The drowsy mood does start to get numbing by the time the record nears the finish line, though the last cut, "Tell Myself," is the most pop-friendly with its harmony vocals.

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