Passion Pit // Gossamer // July 23 // Columbia
It’s pretty much self explanatory that music has to go along with the lyrics if you want to deliver some kind of lasting message. Even once heavily experimental bands are doing it and just look at the results. Amazing. Passion Pit are stuck on the other side of the field with couple of other bands that seem to enjoy creating some sort of clash between meaning and delivery. Gossamer breaks its spine by trying to be reach both at the same time.
Let’s face it, Passion Pit’s debut LP Manners was music for Hipster tweens. This sort of stuff sounds like MGMT biggest early career hits being covered by Foster The People. Their second LP cranks these aesthetics to 11 and delivers a record that sounds like it was made by gummy bears dipped in sugar. It sounds so happy to the point where it’s more or less impossible to enjoy. It becomes embarrassing just a couple of songs in. I’ll Be Alright deals with the sort of cut up vocal samples that were cool back in 2007, Cry Like A Ghost sounds like something you would hear on X-Factor while Love Is Greed features female vocals that sound like they’re gurgling glucose while singing “love, love, love, love”. Gossamer is naff and embarrassing to absorb front to finish not because the pop songwriting is piss weak but because it sounds like a music made for someone who considers Owl City to be too Adult Contemporary.
It’s even worse then that Gossamer just happens to be a record about a break up. the subtle hints are in the song titles: Love Is Greed, It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy and Two Veils To Hide My Face. It’s hard to take any of the lyrics seriously when Passion Pit’s leader Michael Angelakos himself sounds like a child who just lost a candy. His woe-is-me delivery and lyrics like “no one loves me” and “it’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair” make this a rather annoying listen. There are groups that can pull this kind of soundclash, Of Montreal being the first one that comes to mind as their surrealist lyrics at least go well with their psychedelic sound and work together to create a rainbow coloured acid trip. Gossamer on the other hand is a basic synthpop record with lyrics that make anything written by Justin Bieber sound like philosophy. It’s like the instruments and the human element are working hand in hand to sound like they have absolutely nothing in common. They succeed then as Gossamer is not only one of the worst things to come out on the pop front this year, it’s also a break up album that won’t get a single drop of empathy from anyone who listens to it.
Gossamer might be a break up record but it feels like it was written by someone who is way too young to have any sort of relationship with another human being. It’s the sort of record that will make you sick in your mouth because the delivery, vocal pitch and themes make this more suitable for My Little Pony soundtrack rather than actual human ears. Passion Pit would sound more grown up if they wrote songs about fireflies. If there ever was a band that could do with a mature album, we’re looking at them as Passion Pit’s second album is literally the very opposite of what it should’ve been.