Review: Passion Pit
Passion Pit makes solid disco for the 21st century.
Tue May 12 2009
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5
There's something cyclical about pop music, perhaps even more so with buzz bands. Vampire Weekend still can't avoid Graceland-era Paul Simon comparisons. Arcade Fire: the Cure, Bowie, Roxy Music... When approaching fast-rising acts, experts stumble over each other to point out influences, like drunken baseball fans in pursuit of a record-breaking home-run ball. Something about a hotly tapped band reminds us of the exceptional that has come before. Thus, let it be said: Passion Pit may be the 21st century's Bee Gees.
Of course, it's not that simple. The Boston quintet's explosive synth bursts have more in common with Justice than the brothers Gibb, and Michael Angelakos's electronica experiments—his Chunk of Change EP was recorded in his college bedroom, with one song, "Sleepyhead," making the cut for Manners—are more in line with Panda Bear. But Passion Pit's dance music is mass appeal at its finest. Halfway through "Little Secrets," bombarded by Angelakos's piercing falsetto and a drumbeat steadier than a Navy SEAL sniper, we know we're in for a sort of neodisco extravaganza. It all comes to a head on "The Reeling," a single imbued with dark lyrics ("Is this the way my life has got to be?") and a fiery, body-moving chorus. Disco with a hardened soul, it may be Passion Pit's "Stayin' Alive." And if you're a dancing man, you just can't lose.—Colin St. John