Columbia Records 
Fire Note Says: Passion Pit gives us a cathartic dance pop album with Gossamer!
One can listen to Gossamer on two different levels, on the one hand, Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos has crafted a fist pumping dance record. On the other hand, once you dig deeper, it’s actually a dark cathartic record that deals with loss, depression, fame, partying, and probably a whole bunch of other things that I am missing. That’s the thing, it’s wrapped up in this ultra shiny exterior, so it’s really hard to discern exactly what Angelakos is singing about. That’s probably the point, it’s a confession, he’s telling you these things while he is distracting you with something else, so that it flies right past you. It’s a nifty little trick and one that is used throughout the record.
This record has many high points, the opening squiggly synth swagger of “Take A Walk”, but it’s the bedroom slow love braggadocio of “Constant Conversation” that really caught my ear. On an album full of fist pumpers, that’s the one track that that stands out, perhaps it’s because it’s so different than the rest of the album. Angelakos would do well to include more songs like this on future albums, if for nothing else than to mix up the pace. “On My Way” is another high point, it’s almost a dance pop Beach Boys track, another avenue worth pursuing in the future.
I can’t help but make comparisons between Angelakos and Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes. Both are wrestling with many of the same issues, yet for my money Barnes does a better job at pulling this stuff off. More than likely that’s because he has been making records a lot longer than the Passion Pit singer, and he has the experience to craft these issues into album form, while Gossamer plays more like a collection of singles. The album goes in multiple directions and really lacks a bit of focus and shape. That will come with experience I have no doubt. Gossamer is a step up from Manners, Passion Pit’s 2009 break thru, but for all the accolades they are piling up in advance of this album, there still aren’t quite there yet. Gossamer shows loads of promise, and Angelakos is clearly a force to be reckoned with in the studio, but to my ears, it’s still a collection of songs and not a definitive album statement. I feel like Passion Pit is going to deliver that, but they aren’t quite there yet.
Key Tracks: “Take A Walk”, “Constant Conversation”, “On My Way”
Bands With Similar Fire:
New OrderPassion Pit: Manners [Fire Note Review 5/20/09]
Passion Pit: Chunk Of Change EP [Fire Note Review 10/31/08]
Passion Pit Website
Passion Pit Facebook
-Reviewed by Kevin Poindexter