The Fold

This Too Shall Pass

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The Fold are the freshly scrubbed face of emo, a completely mainstream and radio-ready pop/rock band outfitted with just enough of the signifiers of a currently salable subculture to give the quartet a hint of street cred. This Too Shall Pass is the 2006 equivalent of the pseudo-psychedelic bands MGM tried to hype into "the Bosstown Sound" in 1968, a prepackaged attempt to make Boston the next great freak city after San Francisco, or of those early-'80s hard rock bands who dressed up in new wave finery in a bid to get onto MTV. In case that sounds too harsh, it must be said that This Too Shall Pass isn't a bad record at all; indeed, it's filled with some extremely catchy tunes, particularly the soaring opener, "Gravity," and the unapologetically poppy "The Title Track." It's just that the album sounds entirely stage-managed and predetermined, as if the songs were written to schematics aiming for maximum "alternative" radio airplay. It all sounds completely bloodless as a result.

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