Review : Passion Pit - Manners
PastemagazineA little blast of euphoria
In the last several years, the indie universe has expanded—shambling white-guy rock will always have its place, but dance music now occupies the same hipster-certified space. No new band connects the dots better than Passion Pit, a Boston-area quintet with a giddy melodic sense and an unabashed love for synth pop.
Lead singer Michael Angelakos and his merry sidemen play with a verve that traces back to disco; Passion Pit’s falsetto vocals sound like Bon Iver being sampled and sped up by Kanye West. It’s easy to say that Passion Pit makes dance music for people who hate dance music, but these guys also make dance music for people who like dance music, so here’s the new paradigm: They make dance music for people who like music.
Their sparkling debut album, Manners, is—like the band’s live show—a keyboard bonanza. Beats tend to pulse. Melodies and voices tend to squeal. The 1980s provide a sonic touchstone, but (refreshingly) not in a campy way. Pop bliss is the goal here, just as it was for Ric Ocasek back in the day. Passion Pit will do whatever it takes to reach our pleasure centers—more than once, the band utilizes what sounds like a kids’ choir. A hackneyed trick? Yep. Still effective? Definitely....full text
PrettymuchamazingThe way I see it, Passion Pit is like the friend you have who’s always excited about everything. When he talks to you about something, you can’t help but get really excited about it too. But at the same point you’re worried about spending more than about 30 minutes with him, since that much undiluted enthusiasm just makes you go bonkers.
Such were my fears going into Manners. I had been spinning the Chunk Of Change EP for months – the setlist from the EP release show is hanging on my bedroom wall (no big deal). I’ve seen them 3 times live (highly recommended) and am pumped to catch them next time they’re in Boston in June. Each time they performed, the set was tight – six or seven songs packed into a half hour set that cranked it up to 11. I loved every song on the EP and thought there was no way that the band’s first album could come close to the standard that had been set. I set my expectations low, ready for disappointment....full text
ClashmusicIn a way, Passion Pit’s debut album begins not with its first song, the effervescent ‘Make Light’, but with one buried at track nine. ‘Sleepyhead’, said offering, acts as both bridge and tunnel: a towering link to the past, almost ostentatious in its meticulous brilliance, and an invitingly dark passage to a future yet to be written.
The track is the sole survivor from this album’s preceding release, the ‘Chunk Of Change’ EP. It’s been given a polish, but the song is essentially the same piece that stood out on the six-tracker when its reception triggered no little spouting of hyperbole, kicking up a cloud of buzz that shielded this album’s development ‘til the time was right. Ubiquitous ones to watch, Passion Pit have kept their cards close ever since the turn-of-year silly season reached fever pitch – others have gone giddy through the purveyance of purple prose, but the band – and particularly lynchpin Michael Angelakos – has remained calm, collected, confident that their music will do all the necessary talking....full text
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