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Nutshell Album Review: Passion Pit – Gossamer

The three year wait is finally over for Michael Angelakos and company’s sophomore album Gossamer, and I can confidently say that Passion Pit is still doing just fine musically. After reports of terrible recording sessions and questions being risen about frontman Angelakos’ mental health, the band was still able to produce a seemingly flawless follow up to 2009’s Manners.

Gossamer is opened up by none other than the first single, “Take A Walk”, a story of pain and stress covered up by a beautiful sound. This song has gotten nothing short of the maximum amount of radio airplay possible, and it’s for good reason. No song on this album better encases Passion Pit’s music as a whole and serves as a better transition out of Manners. The second single and second track is “I’ll Be Alright”, a song that describes a lot of the troubles Angelakos suffered through during this album’s creation, while still taking into account the fast paced dance tracks the band became famous for on their Chunk of Change EP. Next is “Carried Away”, a song that instantly made it apparent that Passion Pit did nothing to change their notable sound. It’s a perfect song to come this early in the album, considering it’s just chock full of the powerful synth bass and danceable drum beats fans and critics alike came to know and love. The next track is the album’s third single, “Constant Conversations”. It is a significantly slower song than most things put out by the band, and it almost has an R&B feel. But there is still the usual vocals and synth sounds sprinkled on top to really make this a notable song. “Mirrored Sea” picks up the tempo and shows off Angelakos’ vocal skill with a dreamy musical backdrop.

“Cry Like A Ghost” is a song that is pulled right out of Angelakos’ life, telling the story of various things that directly attributed to the turmoil of creating this album. This track is also a perfect example of the band’s ability to make everything seem happy and exciting, no matter how truly terrible the message is. Next we have “On My Way”, a sound never really heard (or expected to be) on a Passion Pit record. It keeps the varying tempo of Gossamer at the slow side, and it is a truly breathtaking performance by the band as a whole. “Hideaway” is what follows, featuring a minute long intro of build up and sound effects. It turns into a pace building and heart pounding song with an inspirational sound that’s comparable to “Moth’s Wings” from Manners. “Two Veils To Hide My Face” is a thirty second a capella track used to lead in to “Love Is Greed”, a song written about Angelakos’ fiancée Kristy Mucci. It is completed with coffeehouse keyboard parts and a chorus that features melodies you could hear in a candy commercial.

“It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy” is a song very easily dissected from the title. It is the most powerful song on the entire album, but not necessarily by musical force or volume. The message paints such an unbelievable picture of alienation without hope of it ending. This may not be what is expected from a Passion Pit record, but this song is definitely one that stands out. The album is closed out with “Where We Belong”, a bass heavy track full of strings and phenomenal harmonizing.

Passion Pit was able to once again prove to the music world that they are on top of the indie scene. They changed up the game plan for their sophomore LP and it very clearly paid off. After trading in the high energy for a more emotional outcome, the band was able to come up with one of the biggest albums of 2012. Gossamer is easily a 96/100, and it is available now.

Gossamer Tracklisting:

  1. Take A Walk
  2. I’ll Be Alright
  3. Carried Away
  4. Constant Conversations
  5. Mirrored Sea
  6. Cry Like A Ghost
  7. On My Way
  8. Hideaway
  9. Two Veils To Hide My Face
  10. Love Is Greed
  11. It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy
  12. Where We Belong
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Top Albums To Look Out For (Part II)

Due to feedback by readers, there is a need for a second installment of Nutshell’s top albums to watch for in the coming months. So here’s some albums you can look forward to, and (possibly) be hearing very soon.

Arctic Monkeys – The Sheffield quartet announced not long before the release of “R U Mine?” that they wouldn’t be returning to the studio until 2013 to record their fifth LP. Back in February was when Alex Turner confirmed that they were planning to hit the studio this Summer after they concluded their tour, rather than taking the year off. The Suck It And See tour concluded last week, so the Arctic Monkeys could be in the studio as we speak to record their fifth album, which is supposed to mirror the “dirty side” of Suck It And See.

Passion Pit (Gossamer, due out July 24th) – The three year wait for the follow-up to Manners is finally over, and with the release of “Take A Walk” and “I’ll Be Alright” (both of which are the exact same length) are leaving fans hoping for a phenomenal sophomore album.

Freelance Whales – Following up 2010’s debut Weathervanes will not be an easy challenge, but Freelance Whales is very vocal about embracing the second album jitters. All five band members have been involved in the writing process, and band member Jacob Hyman says it “rocks harder and better”. The band is pushing for a Summer release and an early Fall tour, so keep your eyes (and ears) opened.

Broken Bells – James Mercer and Danger Mouse have been raving about their second album since back in 2010, and after Mercer’s reinstatement of an indie king with The Shins’ Port of Morrow, it’s something people can really start talking about. There is already confirmation that the duo has songs in the works, and a few that are done. Mercer also told Billboard a few weeks back that Danger Mouse has been working with U2 in Dublin and The Shins are still touring, but once the dust settles a new Broken Bells record will be recorded, and may be out before Port of Morrow gets followed up by The Shins.

The Flaming Lips – When they aren’t off playing eight shows in a 24 hour period, The Flaming Lips actually have enough down time to put together an album. After debuting a new song on Thursday, frontman Wayne Coyne said that the band has been working on a new LP, and it will be out by the end of 2012.  

If you have any more suggestions of albums to keep your eyes peeled for, comment or tweet it! @NSMusicGroup

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