Album Review: Passion Pit – Gossamer.

Gossamer – Release date: July 24th, 2012

Score: 7.5/10

Gossamer is a pretty misleading title for the new Passion Pit album.  As a fabric, gossamer is light, sheer, and gauzy.  As an album, Gossamer is driven by spastic synth beats and Michael Angelakos’ signature falsetto voice.  Gossamer, as an album name would be better suited to chill-wave or shoe-gaze.  Its easy to envision a group of hipsters standing around, staring at their shoes, listening to Gossamer.

Album name aside, Angelakos has a lot to live up to.  His first EP — Chunk of Change morphed from a belated Valentines gift into a stepping stone for a full length debut.  Manners — the first full length from Passion Pit had received positive reviews nearly across the board.  Rolling stone wrote “Passion Pit’s full-length debut proves he isn’t fronting: It’s a shiny bouquet of synth-pop roses, with perfumed Eighties keyboard whooshes and modern stutter beats crooking a finger toward the dance floor.”

Avoiding the sophomore slump is no easy task.  Passion Pit has taken more risks with this album, between the schizophrenic “I’ll Be Alright” and the R&B jam “Constant Conversations” there is a variety that can entice many different listeners.  Overall, a great album with very few dropping off points.

 

Gossamer track by track.

1. Take a Walk

The first single off of Gossamer has hooks that will reel you in from the opening seconds and then beat you over the head with drum beats.  Lyrically it can go one of two ways:  following an immigrant chasing the American dream to only end up in financial ruin or as 3 seperate characters that have no other option but to “take a walk” when that they’ve worked for doesn’t go as planned.

2. I’ll Be Alright

There is a huge juxtaposition in this song between the intro/bridge versus the verses/chorus.  The beginning sounds very much like a mosquito would bouncing around on Red Bull and the chorus is incredibly easy to sing along to.  I’m unsure whether I think this song is completely brilliant or totally nuts.

3.  Carried Away

 This track could easily have fit anywhere on Manners.  It pretty much instantly induces foot tapping with its barrage of synths & the chorus is so sticky sweet that you can’t help but smile.

4.  Constant Conversations

Probably the biggest surprise and departure from the PP style is this R&B  jam.  That Red Bull mosquito has now been squashed and the beat has totally  slowed down.  This song is unlike anything Angelakos has put out, and his falsetto sounds right at home on this ballad.

5.  Mirrored Sea

If there was a song on this album I wanted to skip, this would probably be it. It has a tough spot to fill on the album, coming right after Constant Conversations.  Where most of the songs have multiple layers, Mirrored Sea comes across as very flat.

6.  Cry Like A Ghost

More Passion Pit signature sound.  The verses build up really well to the chorus and the lyrical content is fitting for anyone who’s been in that up & down relationship (probably everyone).  The phrasing on this song is impeccable, and while it is very much electro-pop, you can detect a hint of hip-hop on this song.

7.  On My Way

If this album were a movie, this is the point where the guy finally gets the girl.  To me, this song almost has a Disney like quality, especially when you hit the chorus.  You’re just cheering for Kristina to forgive him, and for Angelakos to truly be on his way —  animated bunnies, bluebirds and all.

8.  Hideaway

I had to stop and restart this song a few times just to make sure it wasn’t my computer speakers causing the crackling.   It’s probably not a positive to have me thinking my computer is flat busted because of a song intro.  The crackling continues throughout, only to have verses and choruses layered over.   The effects are distracting and takes away from an otherwise good song.

9.  Two Veils To Hide My Face

There isn’t much to be said about a song that only lasts 33 seconds.  Consider it cleansing your palette with a short sing along.

10.  Love Is Greed

“Say you want love, a love so tough / But even all this truth don’t seem / As though they’re adding up, oh /Haven’t you already had enough / Whats this suffering remind you of?”

The anti-love song.  Or the anti “brand of love that can be written into a hallmark card” type of song.  It all sounds so sweet.

Love bashing truly sounds…lovely.

11.  It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy

I can’t quite decide my feelings on this song.  I like it, but I don’t love it.  It isn’t a song that I want to skip over, but it also isn’t a song I want to skip to.  It is easy to sing along to, but also easy to forget.  I like the tone of the verses, its refreshing to not have the falsetto all over the place.  The chorus is definitely infectious as well.  I’m sure over time this will grow on me.

12.  Where We Belong

For the first three and a half minutes, this song is battling its demons out.  Then it turns, ending with   “All I wanted was to be happy and to make you proud”  — a sentiment we can all relate to.

 

–TWTHS

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