God damn Passion Pit, ya know. They’re just having so much fun making another Passion Pit album, it’s impossible to hate them.
They even seem to KNOW that they’re like Phoenix but not QUITE as good, and this makes them even more endearing. “Droll” is an operative word I’d use. While it’s been publicized that The Go Team! has lost some personnel, I guess it’s these unbridled pop queens that will expedite our relishings of gleeful harmonies moving forward.
The Arcade Fire is a band I’d like to mention here as especially being something Passion Pit is NOT: conceitedly melodramatic. Kindred is a classic case of how music is ART: there is no scientific MISSION, you don’t always have to be brooding about the injustices committed by one man, or one aristocracy; if beauty falls into your lap, you’ll just be happy, that’s just the way it is. They sound like an obnoxiously happy musical hive that’s experienced pain, that’s experienced let-down, but has woven itself into an underdog labyrinth of re-up, and there isn’t a trace of anger in the emergent message. The end result reminds me a lot of the smooth, soulful palatability of Tegan and Sara’s breakthrough satellite radio hit “I Was a Fool.”
But don’t get too easy: Kindred will break your heart, too. Don’t believe it, just listen. Supernova production knack adorns the hypnotizing synth sounds in “Where the Sky Hangs,” and the dueling melodies chafe one another just enough to imbue some darkness upon the occasion: not to make things somber, but just to ascertain that this is an authentic life lived, reflecting the world’s fast-moving calamity, along with the celestial joy it can bring.
As bar music, this stuff stands as forerunning. It’s equally relaxing and vitalizing. As music for solitude, though, and if there is a knock on what the band is doing at this point stylistically, it does play somewhat as a manifold-synth birthday party: and it can’t always be the band’s birthday. So certain moments of this cheeky indulgence threaten at points to tip the music into kitsch, which would be bad, but Passion Pit also understand how to structure a song, with brevity, with truncations, with an echo of undeniable authenticity.
Hip-hop unquestionably informs “Five Foot Ten (I),” and the product will get your head nodding. Which brings me to an interesting point: music is product, that’s just the way it is. Nothing is ever finally morally free from reality, and Passion Pit understand this: at a certain point you have to get away from theory, if you’re prone to pining over it, and just go with the m.o. that God, Allah, Brahman, whoever gave you. This is what this band’s really good at doing: the statements never feel stale, and true to form of pop greatness, the band often sounds almost indifferent to potential notions of their own success. They’re just lost, and found.