Get ready for an emotional rollercoaster because Passion Pit is back with their second album, Gossamer.
Following recent tour date cancellations, lead singer, Michael Angelakos’ mental health was drawn into question. All personal problems aside, specific tracks on this second album look into Angelakos’ mind and pull out what he’s been struggling with since before Passion Pit was a band.
First track and single, “Take A Walk” is an upbeat, seemingly happy tune about forgetting all of the stresses around you by, well, taking a walk. In a private, acoustic session in Boston that I was lucky enough to attend, Angelakos revealed that the song, although seemingly political, is actually little vignettes of specific things that have happened to his family.
Next track, “I’ll Be Alright” is admittedly difficult for Angelakos to talk about. Leaving his story out of it and focusing on the music, the funky beats catch interest from the very beginning, something Passion Pit has maintained since their first album, Manners. Angelakos pleads, “I’ll be alright” over jumbled synth piano and ticking drums.
“Carried Away” features the vocals of a woman (yes, there’s a girl in the band now, not just Angelakos’ androgyny). The track flows so smoothly and easily that it’s easily a favorite.
Slowing things down a little, “Constant Conversations” has a steady groove, catchy chorus of “ohs” and methodic hand claps, and Angelakos’ always impressive falsetto wails.
True to the band’s synthetic dance beats, “Mirrored Sea” provides a mystical element with distorted vocals and a swirling rush of chorus.
“Cry Like A Ghost” is a good riddance ode to someone who only made Angelakos’ situation worse. With “Sleepyhead” like “ahs” and edgy lyrics over a choppy rhythm, the heartfelt lyrical message rings out loud and clear.
“On My Way” and “Hideaway” are reassuring ballads dedicated to Angelakos’ fiancé, Kristina. The upbeat, happiness of the former calls her out by name, while the latter shares a secret spot of wonder.
Taking a break from the synth pop, “Two Veils to Hide My Face” is a short little blip of a cappella beauty that blends and transitions so smoothly in its 33 second length.
Picking back up, “Love Is Greed” questions the human’s ability to feel with a building chorus of “love, love, love.” While the feelings might be uncertain, the pureness of Angelakos’ voice and the twirling, tinkling piano and guitar pop-rock stays true to Passion Pit’s confidence.
Another personal favorite, “It’s Not My Fault I’m Happy” (mostly because Angelakos seems to be of good mental state) is the perfect sing a long as cries of “It’s not right” ring through. The personal level that the lyrics reach on this song is one of the main reasons this band is so easy to relate to.
Closing the album, “Where We Belong” rings in with an almost other worldly sounding intro before the soothing vocals shine through. The distortion on top of the steady beat makes a nice contrast that other bands attempt to replicate.
In conclusion, Gossamer is probably in my top favorite albums of the year. Everything about it, from the fast, danceable songs, to the heart wrenching personal ballads, maintains attention for the whole listen.
Grade – A
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