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|Passion Pit||Primary Artist|
|Julian Tepper||Background Vocals|
|Jeff Apruzzese||Group Member|
|Paul Hogan||String Arrangements|
|Matthew Stephen Young||Programming|
Posted October 1, 2010
Posted October 1, 2010
Passion Pit unabashedly uses technology to digitally create a soulful atmosphere for this newest album, Manners. Authentic and stimulating, this album provides an array of music for thought. A quirky combination of vocals reminiscent of Journey and more modern techno beats, Passion Pit really wants the listener to enjoy music. The lead singer Michael Angelakos lends high vocals to the tracks that adds some pop music flavor to an otherwise very "indie" album. Strong synthesizers drown out the lyrics to many of the songs, but they do contribute to the whole album's eighties retro ambiance. Although a few of the tracks seem to run together stylistically, the best dance beats and catchy tunes are featured on "Folds in Your Hands," "To Kingdom Come," and "Little Secrets." Throughout the album, Passion Pit creates melodies by manipulating their techno beats and weaving together their heartfelt lyrics to not only create music but meaning in their songs. Although most of the tracks on Manners are not necessarily ready to go mainstream, the band does have potential to be a cult hit like Girl Talk, especially with the YouTube success of "Sleepyhead" and MTV's streaming of their newest video for "Little Secrets."
Interestingly, Passion Pit uses some of the same techniques as the pioneers of technosonic music from the early twentieth century. Naturally, some of the inspiration behind Manners can be attributed to technology and its vast resources for creating digital music. In fact, according to the band's biography, "Angelakos' creative well was simply in need of a severe refill, so he started toying with the plug-ins and infinite possibilities of a computer program" (www.passionpitmusic.com/bio). As a reminder of the work of Pierre Henry and Karlheinz Stockhausen, Passion Pit's music and other electronic music today can be traced back to the earlier styles of mixing sounds to create music. Similar to the French style of "musique concrete," they sampled natural sounds and voices; combining the former with the Electronische style of digital sound, Passion Pit creates stellar tracks like "Little Secrets" and "Sleepyhead." On the chorus of "Little Secrets," the band actually sampled a children's choir from P.S. 22 in New York City for its refrain (www.passsionpitmusic.com/bio). At a little under three minutes, the album's debut track "Sleepyhead" is the shortest on the album but by far the most interesting with its technological composition. Beginning with the sound of music rewinding, the song uses looping to create an almost otherworldly atmosphere, especially as the digitally altered voice sample also plays backward making its words unintelligible. In "Sleepyhead," everything really is going to the beat as chimes, voices, and synths work together to create a feel-good piece of digital music.
Overall, Passion Pit delivers an interesting and easy-to-like first album. Using old techniques with new technology, the band creates a flavorful combination of fun and musical intensity. Sampling mixed with techno beats and synthesizers make Passion Pit's music relaxing but danceable. With stand-out tracks like "Little Secrets" and "Sleepyhead," the band really makes dance music enjoyable. Clearly not just another DJ or band without soul, Passion Pit actually uses its "good manners" to make you hear what they have to say.
Posted October 21, 2009
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