20 Watts

20 Watts’ Best of 2009: #6 Passion Pit’s Manners by dana20watts
Passion Pit’s Manners is #6 on our Best of 2009 list

PREVIEW: LISTEN to Passion Pit on their MySpace
TOP TRACK: “Sleepyhead
Music-wise, 2009 could easily be deemed “the year of the synthesizer.” Countless artists have somehow incorporated the music machine into their tracks, from Lil Wayne and Kanye West — whose recent singles sound like T-pain’s spawn — to electro-pop bands like Phoenix, MGMT and, of course, Passion Pit.
Passion Pit’s highly anticipated debut album, Manners, was released in May 2009, a year after their EP Chunk of Change created a ton of buzz in the indie music scene. The album’s first single, “The Reeling,” peaked at number 29 on the Billboard charts in October. It’s easy to see why, since the song encompasses what Passion Pit is all about. The European-esque electronic background music has a hint of ‘80s pop mixed in, that when combined with lead singer Michael Angelakos’ falsetto and a chorus that won’t get out of your head, it’s hard for people to ignore the band.
The rest of Manners will not disappoint, since most of the tracks have the same fun, electro-pop sound as “The Reeling.” Tracks like “Make Light” and “Little Secrets” are dance favorites. The best thing about the album is that every track is fun and refreshing. It managed to escape the trend of many new artists who have one good song, and then fail to release anything like their debut single.
There are also a few more laid-back songs on the album, such as personal favorite, “Eyes As Candles.” If you’re one of those people who like ballads, “Moth’s Wings” and “Swimming in the Flood” could constitute for a slower vibe- although they definitely have a little more zing that the normal, self-pitying ballad.
It would’ve been smart for Passion Pit to put one of these songs last on their album, so listeners could catch their breath from how hyped this CD makes you. But I have a little inkling that most people don’t mind going a little crazy to some good music. If you’re one of those people who like to listen to new tunes to prepare for a night of mayhem, pop in Passion Pit’s Manners. I guarantee a good night will follow.
— Dana Mikaelian

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