Gossamer – Passion Pit

Dreamy vocals and spectacular electronic production made Passion Pit’s debut Manners one of the finest albums of 2009. Find out if their second effort Gossamer is just as awesome after the jump.

On first listen it’s abundantly clear that none of what made Passion Pit’s sound so immediately infectious three years ago is gone. If anything, the Columbia five-piece have made their sound even better. I’ll Be Alright, is already the best and most complex song the band have done to date. Super exciting synths and Michael Angelakos’s typically beautiful falsetto makes it a damn fun song.

That is, on a superficial level. Fundamentally, Passion Pit have always pushed their music further than how many have perceived it. Lyrically, Angelakos tackles dark topics with unflinching honesty (even if they are somewhat hidden behind the joyous music).

Gossamer looks at alcoholism, inequality, suicide, mental illness and domestic abuse, all behind this crazily ethereal pop backdrop. It’s a strange contrast and challenges you as you listen, immerse yourself in the band’s message or enjoy the pop bliss. Angelakos also looks at himself in varying lights. On My Way is positive and defiant but Cry Like A Ghost is a depressing story of the end of one of his relationships.

However, it’s not all brilliant on Gossamer. While we can easily admire the band’s preparedness, as always, to try to convey some real emotion and content in their lyrics, many of the lyrics lack subtlety. Sure, the album is introspective but much like the lyrics, the sound of the album (but for the R&B-infused Constant Conversations) is rather samey.

It’s hard not to enjoy listening to Gossamer and it’s even harder not to respect the courage Michael Angelakos shows in his honesty. However, it’s what we expected from Passion Pit. This courage doesn’t translate into the group taking a few more risks. It’s a good album but not one that neither lives up to tracks like Sleepyhead nor one that will be the group’s landmark album in the future.

8.2/10

 

About Michael Crewe

He writes about all the artists you’ve never heard of and never will again. He loves film noir, Southampton football club and Jeff Winger. You can join the world's least effective cult by following him @michaelcrewe or contact him via michael@canyouhearthis.co.uk

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