Michael Angelokas’ Passion Pit is back with a second album. It’s only been three years, but three years in today’s pop culture is almost a lifetime. To give you a clue, the last time Passion Pit was fresh on the scene they were a group discovered on MySpace. At the halfway point of the band’s debut album, Manners, the group was generating buzz with Sony using their song to promote Little Big Planet 2. So yes, it’s been a while for Michael Angelokas’ Passion Pit, but when you listen through the music we get an idea of what’s taken so long.
On the surface, the new album from Passion Pit, Gossamer is a bright and sunny pop album that’s like Naked + Famous but with more twists. But when you dig down deeper and really listen to what Angelokas is singing about, this album is somewhat depressing. He’s singing about being mentally deranged and a plethora of other topics that run perpendicular to all of the sounds on the album. Even when he’s singing something of an outside tale in “Take a Walk,” (it’s a song about a man struggling with money and becoming more and more distant with his family at the same time) the message is gloomy while the messenger is a vibrant pop song. Gossamer does this over and over, its repeated, intentional irony.
If you compare this album to the band’s work three years ago, the new album is clearly the better record. The sounds are similar of course, but the songs are catchier and the production is more advanced. While the debut album was a good record, it had a lot of hit-or-miss moments. There would be a great song and then there would be some moments of boredom then a good song would come on. The new album from Passion Pit doesn’t do that, it grabs you by the ears and shakes you with “Take a Walk” and doesn’t stop until the end of “Where We Belong.”
A combination of Angelokas’ crazed lyrics and precision-based vocal on top of production that has the capability to set trends, Passion Pit’s new album receives high marks. It’s not for guitar-wielding metal heads, but it is for fans of indie-pop. People who like Foster the People and Naked + Famous are probably already hip to Passion Pit too, but this album should replace those albums in their playlists until something better comes along.