Passion Pit - Gossamer - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Passion Pit - Gossamer

by Greg Spencer Rating:8.5 Release Date:2012-07-23

To fully understand and appreciate an album like Gossamer, you have to know the backstory of frontman and songwriter Michael Angelakos. He's suffered from being bipolar since the age of 17 and has had to deal with various personal episodes, and the pain he's suffered in his life runs all the way through this record. To an extent, the record is an optimistic one, but it's the subtle lyrical shifts and the illusive undertones which make Gossamer an enchanting listen.

Opening track 'Take a Walk' seems to deal lyrically with an immigrant coming to the US with his wife who struggles to adapt to the feeble economic climate. You get these deep and quite disheartening lyrics over an upbeat and buoyant musical arrangement. Lyrics like "Honey it's this loan/ I think I borrowed just too much. We had taxes we had bills/ We had a lifestyle of fun/ But I swear tonight I'll come home/ And we'll make love like we're young" have a great take on the American dream, which it seems like Angelakos is dealing with in this song. It's a fantastic single and cheerful opening to the record.

The songs are very personal. On 'I'll Be Alright', we hear someone who doesn't want pity or sympathy, he just wants to be left with his own burdens and demons. It's a very honest portrayal of somebody who recognises his own issues and puts them firmly on the table. He sings: "I'm so sad, lonely that it's time for me to see/ reality from what I dream and no one believes me/ My pain is wasting and I feel like I'll explode." These lyrics strongly convey a sense of alienation, loneliness and despondency in a very powerful and real way.

We also see a loving and sensitive side of Michael Angelakos with 'On My Way', an ode to his girlfriend where he tells her: "Just believe in me, Cristina/ All these demons, I can beat them." The song is actually quite heartbreaking and profound. If you had preconceptions of this record being a fluffy affair with no substance, this is the point in the record where they go out the window.

What's great about this record isn't just the honesty you get with the lyrics but the musical arrangements on each song which are always inventive and conjure up colourful images that leave you wanting more. There are a couple of tracks which feel a little out of place and unfortunately feel quite mundane, like 'Mirrored Sea' and 'Cry Like a Ghost' which just aren't up to the same high standard set by the rest of the album.

Gossamer is a captivating record and for people who are not fans of the genre, it will simply open your eyes. Tthere's so much texture and character to the songs, it's impossible not to engage with the record, and it's a pretty phenomenal experience.

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