The One AM Radio - The Hum Of The Electric Air! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The One AM Radio

The Hum Of The Electric Air! (2002)


What do you say about music that is amazing?

What do you say about music that moves you, that touches you, that opens your eyes?

What do you say about the One AM Radio?

The brainchild of Hrishikesh Hirway, the One AM Radio has been kicking arond the east coast for a few years, and has put out a few records here and there [most notably a split 7" with ex-Chisel frontman Ted Leo], but this is the band's first proper full length.

Musically, I'm stymied as to what to compare this album to. Vocally, Hirway tends to sound like a more somber Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian at times, and at others he sounds like a less eerie version of Brian McMahon [of Slint/The For Carnation]. The music slides along over twelve distinct tracks, some as stripped down as just vocals and guitar, some containing swirling keyboards and samples. A few songs ["Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind" and "Gravity"] have a bit of a trip-hop breakbeat feel to them as Hirway croons lines like "You lost the language right out of your mouth / An instinct to scream, but no sound would come out." Virtually every song on the album seems to deal with loss in some form, whether it be a lover, friend, or possibly family member. Hirway's lyrics are obtuse without being confusing, and heartfelt without being cliche. I could see sloppy comparisons being made to Jonah of Far/OneLineDrawing/New End Original, but this is way better. This is as good as it gets, folks.

Violinist Jane Yakowitz rounds out the duo, adding a much desired female presence. Even though she doesn't sing on the recordings [well, the liner notes say she does, but I have yet to pick out her voice anywhere], her violin lines just burst with feminine emotion on tracks such as "I Think This Is My Exit."

It's hard to write a review for a really, really good CD. The One AM Radio's "The Hum Of The Electric Air!" is just that - a really, really good CD. It's nearly flawless. Open your mind and buy this, you can thank me later.