For fans only.

Expectation: Passion Pit is an American synthpop band created by Michael Angelakos, the sole member responsible for all recorded material. The group gained significant commercial success with singles such as “Take a Walk” and “Sleepyhead”, and typically explore a heavily electronic approach to indie rock.

TRACK-BY-TRACK

  • Moonbeam – Just an intro, but a pretty one.
  • Somewhere Up There – A sprawling mess of a song seemingly without structure, but also considerably more interesting than most of Passion Pit’s overly predictable verse-chorus formula of the past.
  • Hey K – I’ve never particularly been a fan of Angelakos’s voice, but he seems to be learning how to write melodies that better suit his tone. Its unfortunate that this song is 80% chorus.
  • To the Other Side – There’s a lot going on here, and not all of it works, but the full sound is at least pretty.
  • Tremendous Sea of Love – A wall of ambient sound that, for whatever reason, goes on for four minutes.
  • I’m Perfect – The mallet percussion and other melodic flourishes are interesting, but nothing else is in the slightest.
  • You Have the Right – Angelakos reels in his ambition long enough to put together something coherent, though forgettable.
  • Inner Dialogue – A stuttering mess of melody which is nevertheless contains a few genuinely original and interesting ideas.
  • Undertow – Again, Angelakos manages to pick an idea and stick with it, and the result is a coherent, enjoyable song.
  • For Sondra (It Means the World to Me) – The best thing on the album, and quite likely my favorite Passion Pit song, but still deliberately disjointed in a way that leaves the conclusion somewhat unfulfilling.

Overall: After three consecutive albums of talent stifled by adherence to form, Angelakos has veered wildly towards the other end of the spectrum and produced an exciting disaster of an album. Every song is impatient and jumbled with too many ideas developed in too little time and competing for attention against too wild a mix of details, and the result is something like a kaleidoscopic display of synths and melody with few concrete moments to grasp onto. Thankfully, this manic energy wanes towards the end of the track list, allowing the final stretch of songs to focus and develop to a point where they can actually carry some emotional weight. It still isn’t the project Passion Pit’s potential has always quietly promised, but its at least a step closer.

Score: 5/10

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