It’s been three years since electropop lovelies Passion Pit released a studio album. We’ve heard the band’s upbeat, sickly-sweet synth melodies, and have even delved into some of their “Little Secrets.” It’s hard to listen to their debut album Manners without at least cracking a smile at vocalist Michael Angelakos’ shining falsetto, or the sunshine-and-dance grooves crackling through your headphones. Although the band maintains this demeanor for parts of their new album, Gossamer, the overall tone is lacking the spry, bubbly attitude of their past effort.
Not to say that Manners didn’t have its slower songs, but Angelakos still injected a charismatic flow into every track regardless of its tempo. Songs such as “Cry Like a Ghost” show Angelakos diverging from his roots, mellowing his trademark high-energy vocals down to a slow-burning croon. While this shows his growth as a singer, his usual eccentric pipes become missed after awhile, especially when his warbles border on monotonous, causing the tracks to become repetitive.
Thankfully these tracks are mostly broken up by the band’s more familiar style of energetic beats. The first three tracks off Gossamer — including the album’s singles “Take a Walk” and “I’ll Be Alright” — ease the listener into the album with the expected danceable drum beats and synth riffs. After that, the album switches between the aforementioned mellowed down tracks and a new take on the band’s usual style. Both “Hideaway” and “Love Is Greed” combine both spectrums of Angelakos’ evolving voice while still keeping a light-hearted, mood-lifting appeal. Other tracks such as “It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy” intertwine the moody and slow melodies with strident and sprightly tones.
Overall, Passion Pit’s evolution can be clearly seen through the album. While the high abundance of glossy dance tracks are missing, Gossamer serves as a glance into the band’s future, as their ability to plunge themselves into deeper, resonating material further distinguishes them from being just another typical indie electropop band.å
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