Review Summary: Passion Pit is like the filling in your éclair, the cheese in your toasty or the cream with your strawberries.
Sweet and scrumptious are two very apt words when describing the sound of Passion Pit. The Boston based quintet has hit the nail on the head with their debut album, Manners
with the perfect mix of pop, electro and dance. Manners
is a synth bonanza. The beat pulses while the melodies and harmonies soar to the highest of falsettos. Passion Pit is trying to find pop bliss, and they discover it with quite an ease.
Synth-pop is quite a hard art to master, though Passion Pit seem to find it easy, which is exemplified by tracks ‘Little Secret’ and ‘Sleepyhead’. The sound is gorgeous, as the infectious synth work straight away goes to work on ‘Little Secret’ while also using a children’s choir to sing out some of the chorus lines, and what a chorus it is. While ‘Sleepyhead’ is different in its approach, as quite an eerie sounding melody takes hold, until the sparkly synth kicks in again to make one of the best builds you will find in pop music. Lyrics are obviously not Passion Pits main objective, though the theme in the lyrics from ‘Sleepyhead’ conveys quite a strong message, and are open for the listeners interpretation:
“They couldn't think of something to say the day you burst
With all their lions and all their might and all their thirst
They crowd your bedroom like some thoughts wearing thin”
If you like one Passion Pit song, you will basically love every single track, as Manners
is just full of electro/pop gold. While some may think that everything being so catchy and sweet may become old over time, it is not the case as Passion Pit’s sound as it is quite unique and different. This is so, as Passion Pit can write a good hook, and they know how to use it. This is exemplified through songs such as 'The Reeling', full of enthusiasm, yet soothing synth beats, you are taken on a delightful journey, with the help of a children's choir giving the backup vocals to a glorious chorus, which all eventually builds into a lovely ending of chopped up synth work and falsetto vocals.
What Passion Pit do well is obviously the pop hook with the added aid of electro stylings, though in some cases they are able to get out of their comfort zone and convey a complete different sound, and they do this so well. 'Moth's Wings' is probably the best example of this, as it begins with a more indie/rock felt guitar, and the piano work makes it sound like the track would fit nice and snug into the middle of an Arcade Fire album. Passion Pit don't stray off their proven electro/pop formula much, but when they do it just works.
While getting many comparisons to artists MGMT, Hot Chip and the like, Passion Pit seem to standout above the rest as they produce a much more enjoyable, listenable and more fun sound than anyone else has really created before. Every song may not have pop – sugary awesomeness like ‘Little Secret’ or ‘Moth’s Wings’, but that doesn’t matter as Passion Pit give a huge amount of enthusiasm and energy into their sound, so that every song has something that the listener will like.