Eric Passmore Pages of the Day

There's mystery behind Pages of the Day, the debut from Ottawa, ON singer-songwriter Eric Passmore, but not the same manufactured mystery crafted by Swedish indie rockers the Tough Alliance and jj. From the medium-shot portrait that adorns the cover to the vase-on-piano arrangements of songs like "Summer Air" and "Over the Phone," and lyrics like, "they say diamonds are forever, could that be for me and you?" it's hard to decipher if Pages of the Day is cleverly tongue-in-cheek or amusingly heart-on-sleeve. It's clear that Passmore's ear for melody and ability to cherry-pick what has made '80s/'90s college rock so heart-warming envelops songs like "Only Going My Way" and "Want Love to Show." Whether he's giving Bob Mould, Evan Dando or Stuart Murdoch a buoyant sheen or playing Air's brand of '70s AM pop with a straight face, Pages of the Day takes away critics' greatest tool ― their ability to categorize ― and that just may be its greatest trait. (Independent)