Album Review: Passion Pit – Gossamer

By on Monday, 23rd July 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

They may have cancelled the next few shows on their world tour so their leader can deal with his self-admitted mental issues, but fans of hipper-than-hip, Massachusetts outfit Passion Pit can take solace in the release of the band’s new album ‘Gossamer’, out today on Columbia.

When a band delivers an excellent debut there is a certain amount of pressure when they’re recording their next. So many bands, in my opinion, have fallen at this hurdle but I was sure Passion Pit was to become another member of this club with their 2009 debut ‘Manners’. After all, it showed all the signs: a child of the MySpace music generation, hype surrounding the band before their debut was even released, as well as critical success when the album dropped. Not to mention the fact that you couldn’t be in my car during the summer of 2009 without hearing ‘Little Secrets’ or ‘Moth’s Wing..’ (However, this isn’t much of a compliment for the band; my car mix-cds would often include such classics as ‘Here Comes the Hotstepper’ or ‘Return of the Mack’ and I’m not even ashamed).

But for one time in my life, I am happy to say I was wrong; Passion Pit’s sophomore effort is as impressive as the first and it’s not even hyperbolic to suggest that they’re so multi-genre, they’re in a genre of their own. ‘Constant Conversations’ is a prime example of this; imagine an r&b, R. Kelly-esque song written by Rufus Wainwright but with instrumental duties handed to Phoenix and vocals and harmonies given to Ra Ra Riot. On paper I’m aware I’ve made it sound like a god-awful track, but on record it just works. Listen to it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ja5rhsCJ6U[/youtube]

This is Passion Pit in a nutshell; originality. Lead singer Michael Angelakos’ versatile falsetto and depressing lyrics contradict the upbeat electro instruments for a truly unique style. “It’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair / still I’m the only one who seems to care” from ‘It’s Not My Fault I’m Happy’ stand out as my favourite couplet and perfect example of Angelakos’ manipulation of music and lyrics.

Lead track on the album ‘Take a Walk’ is not content with being the best track on the album, it also has an utterly fantastic video to accompany it. (We featured it as a Video of the Moment last month here.) Filmed with a helicam, the video and the song remind fans why they fell in love with the band 3 years ago. Catchy synth riffs, and a lot of them. If you’re not humming these songs for days at a time, then there’s something wrong with you.

When listening to Passion Pit’s debut back in 2009, you were blindsided by an amazing Cranberries cover at the end of the album. Their version of ‘Dreams’ was an absolute treat and was the perfect contradiction with the lyrics from the rest of the album. I thought this was an intelligent end to a CD and thought a similar thing might occur, however this has not carried over to ‘Gossamer.’ Overall, it’s a perfect sequel to ‘Manners’. Expanding and improving on everything that made their 2009 debut such a breakthrough hit, the band’s distinct sound is still relevant and its number one selling point.

9.5/10

‘Gossamer’, the sophomore effort from Passion Pit, is out today on Columbia.

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2 Responses

[…] Irish band's excellent second album, their first with London independent label Dirty Hit… Passion Pit's high flying 'Gossamer' Tom has a listen to Passion Pit's highly anticipated second r… Delphic's return, and a chat with James It's been over 2 years with no new material from […]

[…] Irish band's excellent second album, their first with London independent label Dirty Hit… Passion Pit's high flying 'Gossamer' Tom has a listen to Passion Pit's highly anticipated second r… Delphic's return, and a chat with James It's been over 2 years with no new material from […]

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