Review Summary: gayer then a somber greeting card, gooier than frozen chocolate: Chunk of Change!
Before Passion Pit was a hip, Bostonian, wonky pop outfit (2009), there was Michael Angelako and his girlfriend: she the inspiration for the first four tracks on Chunk of Change
, he the artist weaving quirky lyrics with equally quirky music fit for dance pits. A late Valentine for his love, CDs were burned, buzz spread at Emerson College, and the band was formed from one of Angelako's campus laptop performances. Impish backstory aside, the EP was officially released on September 16, 2008, preceding PP's 2009 full length debut.
Live the group has become a five-piece, but tracks like opener "I've Got Your Number" feature indulgent layers of glistening synths, handclaps, and Angelako's beautifully deranged falsetto (prey to your interpretation) expelling have you seen me cry / tears like diamonds
and batting a thousand / but a home-run crack at love
. The catchy number closes with an informal keyboard solo. It's the Passion Pit formula: catchy hooks and lyrics repulsive or decadent depending on your emotional condition.
"Sleepyhead" is the acclaimed single (a post-Valentine addition), making it into commercials and a special Itunes promotion, but its success isn't at the expense of the rest of the EP. Each track bears its own solid hooks and killer melodies. Some like "Live to Tell the Tale" and "Sleepyhead" perceivably stronger than others, but I'm not picking favorites ("Live to Tell the Tale!"). Even the "ridiculously g*y" (sibling opinion) "Cuddle Fuddle" has charmingly burrowed itself inside my brain, rapunzel rapunzel let down your hair
. There isn't a track worth skipping. "Better Things" bears explosive dance-floor energy, and singing along where my voice can keep up I can only wish I could shake with the grace of a lady.
In conclusion, the biggest hazard of this exuberant EP is the potential for terrible dancing in response. Fortunately most of my dancing takes place in secluded areas (driver seat/bedroom), but when I see this group live (March) I look forward to breakin' it down.