PIT – Gossamer (Columbia)
Everybody can find a reason not to like Passion Pit: "Dude
sings in that stupid falsetto," "dude sold out,"
"dude, I don't like synth-pop, I've told you before,"
on and on, et cetera and et cetera. Passion Pit, for whatever
reason, is not cool. Like a lot of bands that aren't cool,
they've sold a hell of a lot of records and are very, very
popular. But among keen circles of hip people in dank corners
of the Internet, Passion Pit is a joke which provokes bile
at the sound of their name. This hatred usually bypasses the
typical guilty pleasure stage into full-on disgust. Why is
everyone so keen on beating on PP?
But I digress… Gossamer, the band's second
album, finds them within comfortable ground sonically but
now using their music as a medium for serious introspection,
conflict, and redemption. It's one of my favorite things
about music: The use of rock and roll to absolve demons.
The lyrics on Manners were fairly bleak and self-deprecating
yet mostly passed under listeners’ radars. Since then,
singer and lyricist Michael Angelakos has come out as bi-polar,
making critical analysis of their lyrics a common practice.
On standout single "I'll Be Alright" Angelakos
yelps the title as a plea and as a chance for salvation;
if he can sing it and believe it, then you can too. "Carried
Away" is a hit waiting to happen (I'm truly shocked
that it wasn't the single!) but the real highlight of the
record is "On My Way," where Angelakos proposes
and asks his future wife to "consecrate this messy
love." It's another beautiful moment of hope in this
dark record. The second half loses a little bit of the momentum,
but I'd still call Gossamer a triumph, a full-bypass
of the "sophmore slump," and a desperate and deserved
cry to be taken seriously. – Layne Montgomery
is an independently published music fanzine
covering punk, alternative, ska, techno and garage
music, focusing on New Jersey and the Tri-State
area. For the past 25 years, the Jersey Beat music
fanzine has been the authority on the latest upcoming
bands and a resource for all those interested in
rock and roll.