Passion Pit - Gossamer | Album Review | By Volume

What is this life, why do we strive? Fast on a wheel, too fast to feel. One day, my love, this life will slow. Sam Brookes - One Day
gossamer

Passion Pit

Gossamer

Still exciting, but this time, gorgeous.

Comments (0)
Author: on July 17, 2012
8.5
Frenchkiss / Columbia
July 20, 2012

All the way back in the year two thousand and nine, I listened to Passion Pit’s Manners, and it annoyed the ‘passion’ right out of me (’til, I recall, it was recovered by Aim and Ignite). I’m all for embracing the hyperactive but for heaven’s sake I can’t stand up straight with all the things you’re throwing at me, man. So now, I have the difficult job of determining whether it’s me that’s changed or Passion Pit (hint: the latter), because vocalist Michael Angelakos sounds like a human being to me this time round, and I can finally hear those elusive hooks! Gossamer‘s album art looks to me like that of Manners would if you stripped it of all the pointless messy colours getting in the way. I think that’s a sign.

Not that there’s a shortage of ideas, or tempo, or excitement. I recognise this band, for sure. They still throw electronic twists at melodic, upbeat pop; they still layer harmonies and love their little glockenspiel twinkles behind the bassline. But I can hear it all! And what’s more, it turns out that Passion Pit have this intangible atmosphere (look at that art again: it sounds like that). The looped chaos of “Mirrored Sea” is positively inviting in a way that much pop thinks impossible, and that sensation seeps into the other eleven tracks here with infectious ease. “On My Way” fidgets beautifully, placating the restless summer vibe without losing any of the record’s spirit. “Hide Away” stomps on a desperate rhythm but still twinkles underneath the thunder, and closer “Where We Belong” plays an emotive vocal against a broken beat to glorious effect.

Gossamer is packed throughout with subtle adornments that render it absolutely heartwarming. It’s a pop album in every facet of its sound – melodic, upbeat, clean – but it’s nowhere close to by-the-numbers. Though it never finds itself too ponderous, you can cling to real human energy in its choruses, where Angelakos carves out gem after gem. Gossamer is an album constructed from a looseness: always comfortable but never lazy, always slightly odd but never dangerously weird. Holding it all together? Those melodies, like “Cry Like A Ghost”‘s stabs of “Sylvia!”. And so, with a gentle simplification, Passion Pit sound almost twice as dynamic and resemble a pop band worth getting excited about. Gossamer evokes one of those rare feelings of completeness: a summer album which is both intelligent and impulsive.

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