Album Review: Passion Pit - Gossamer

2 August 2012 | 9:51 am | Callum Twigger

Gossamer can be swallowed, but its passage is not particularly significant.

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Five years removed from MGMT's reinvention of accessible electronic music, Passion Pit's Gossamer has had a spectrum of influences to gestate on. Choosing a safety-pin approach to making music, the Cambridge, Massachusetts five-piece's second album is very much a reincarnation of M83's unadventurous stadium electro. For an ostensibly contemporary style, Gossamer's synthwork feels sterile, like perhaps listening to a bottle of Listerine: after working through the album for the third time, my ears are thoroughly disinfected with the tingly, minty sensation you get after brushing your teeth.

Constant Conversations is the track that Passion Pit probably aimed at radio/Spotify/whatever kids listen to music these days: underneath the wah-wahs and electric piano, a jazz heart beats listlessly. Mirrored Sea is more exciting, edging toward an 8-bit, Donkey Kong Country simple sound. Cry like a Ghost hears “My life's become some blurry little quest”. Profound? Blurry, perhaps, but not quite. Leading man Michael Angelekos recently told Pitchfork about his struggle with bipolar disorder, and the album's strength is in flourishes of mania. Love Is Greed works so many instruments (I think that's a glockenspiel!) into a basic, major chord track, it's as if the lead-man was challenging himself to lose control. But he doesn't, and the production on Gossamer is sharp as chilblain.

Hideaway is simply caliber M83: synthesizers laden with so many carbs and proteins, it's obesity. It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy's tempo rises with more vitality than the rest of the album, but to call it a breakout would be calling a hill a mountain. Gossamer isn't a bad album. Rather, it should probably be titled something like 'Glossier' instead, because it's saccharine, high-density electronica without much fiber or substance. Gossamer can be swallowed, but its passage is not particularly significant.