Gossamer (album)

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Gossamer
Studio album by Passion Pit
Released July 20, 2012 (2012-07-20)
Recorded 2011; Gigantic Studios
(Manhattan, New York City)
Genre Synthpop, indie pop, indie rock
Length 47:28
Label Frenchkiss (US), Columbia (UK)
Producer Michael Angelakos, Chris Zane
Passion Pit chronology
Manners
(2009)
Gossamer
(2012)
Constant Conversations
(2013)
Singles from Gossamer
  1. "Take a Walk"
    Released: May 8, 2012
  2. "I'll Be Alright"
    Released: June 12, 2012
  3. "Constant Conversations"
    Released: July 9, 2012
  4. "Carried Away"
    Released: January 8, 2013
  5. "Cry Like a Ghost"
    Released: March 27, 2013

Gossamer is the second studio album by American indie pop band Passion Pit, released on July 20, 2012 by Columbia Records. Recorded in Los Angeles and New York City in 2011, the album was produced by Chris Zane, who also produced the band's debut album Manners (2009), and lead singer Michael Angelakos.[1]

In an August 2010 interview with the NME, Angelakos stated that work had already begun on the follow-up to Manners, and that the band intended to release the album in the spring of 2011. "It's gonna be a really fantastic, exciting, beautiful, gorgeous record. An absolutely beautiful record. I'm so excited", he said.[2] The album's title was announced on April 24, 2012, along with its release date of July 23, 2012.[3]

Singles[edit]

"Take a Walk" was released as the album's lead single on May 8, 2012.[4] The accompanying music video, directed by David Wilson and supported by The Creators Project, was shot in Philadelphia from the perspective of a bouncing ball using helicam technology.[5][6]

Second single "I'll Be Alright" was released on June 12, 2012.[7] It received exposure being featured on the critically acclaimed video game FIFA 13 soundtrack, and received "Best New Track" status by Pitchfork Media.[8]

"Constant Conversations" premiered on July 9, 2012.[9] It was released as the third single from the album in July 2012. Constant Conversations was reviewed and featured as "best new track" by Pitchfork. It was released with the review as streamed content.[10] American rapper Juicy J officially remixed Constant Conversations.[11] The remix still features the vocals of Angelakos, however the song structure was rearranged.

Carried Away was released as the fourth single from the album in 2013. The music video, directed by Brewer, was released on February 14, 2013. It featured American actress, director, and spokesperson Sophia Bush.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 76/100[12]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[13]
The A.V. Club A−[14]
Chicago Tribune 3.5/4 stars[15]
Clash 6/10[16]
Drowned in Sound 8/10[17]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[18]
NME 8/10[19]
Pitchfork Media 8.4/10[20]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[21]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[22]

Gossamer received positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 76, based on 36 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[12] The Guardian's Caroline Sullivan commented that Angelakos' "ability to create sunlight and sparkle with an arsenal of sequencers and computers remains consistent, and is the album's real point of interest."[18] Russell Warfield of Drowned in Sound opined that "while retaining [the] overactive production style, Angelakos manages to make Gossamer feel more effortlessly human, more like the self-realised artistic vision of an individual than Manners ever came close to being."[17] Pitchfork Media's Ian Cohen described Gossamer as "an overwhelming album about being overwhelmed, a bold and ultimately stunning torrent of maximalist musical ideas, repressed anger, and unchecked anxiety." He continued, "Anyone can manufacture hope through a slogan, but there's an empathy and humanity that simply can't be faked as Angelakos tries to figure out how to stay atop his life. It's hard to think of a more noble goal for a pop album."[20] The A.V. Club's Ryan Reed found Gossamer to be "more elegant than its predecessor" and concluded, "Throughout Gossamer, Angelakos sounds broken and confused, wrestling with his demons, cage match-style, on an oversized stage [...] But despite the emphasis on struggle, Gossamer couldn't sound more assured."[14]

James Christopher Monger of Allmusic stated, "Though the environment that birthed the appropriately titled Gossamer may be a bummer, the end product is winningly majestic as it is obviously spun by the most malevolent of spiders."[13] John Calvert of the NME wrote that "one quibble is that Gossamer never really comes down off its Haribo rush, which gets exhausting. That said, when they do ease up, as on the boudoir-funk 'Constant Conversations', it resembles the two-a-penny synthpop that clogs the blogosphere."[19] Rolling Stone's Jon Dolan expressed that the album is "roomier and more varied" than its predecessor Manners.[21] Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot viewed Gossamer as "a soul record disguised as buoyant, uptempo dance-pop. It shares characteristics with The Weeknd's introspective take on R&B, the twisted nostalgia of a Kanye West jam [...] and the stomping relentlessness of a Katy Perry single."[15] Benjamin Aspray of PopMatters felt that the album is "as scrappy, outsize, and infectious as anyone could hope for, and as shrill and cloying as anyone could expect."[23] Sam Walker-Smart of Clash called the album "a colorful twelve-track ode to joy", but noted that "the album's main fault [is] how every track merges into one big goofy smile-a-thon while never delivering a number as exciting as previous hit 'Sleepyhead'."[16] Slant Magazine's Kevin Liedel critiqued that "much of Gossamer plays as though it were constructed (however poorly) from ['Sleepyhead''s] template [...] The band, in effect, seems to be desperately chasing a winning blueprint", adding that apart from the song "Constant Conversations", Gossamer is "true to its name: colorless and precariously thin, with precious few bright spots."[22]

Accolades[edit]

The album was listed at number eighteen on Under the Radar's Top 100 Albums of 2012, and the magazine commented, "Fueled by the confession, guilt, and cathartic honesty of frontman Michael Angelakos, [Gossamer] is one of the most lyrically painful records of 2012. It also happens to be one of the year's most musically euphoric, stacked to the brim with electro-pop."[24] Gigwise named Gossamer the twentieth best album of 2012 and opined, "Rarely has an album been better named; Gossamer is delicate, light, and oh so finely spun. It's despondant while having no time for despondancy; sadness lurks underneath but only to remind us that there are so many other things we could be doing, emotions we could be feeling."[25]

Rolling Stone placed the album at number thirty-nine on its 50 Best Albums of 2012 list and stated it is "shinier, busier and even more hysterically earnest than their debut: Angelakos' falsetto ricochets like laser light, chipper gals coo smoke-machine choruses amid hot electronics and cool string arrangements."[26] PopMatters ranked it at number sixty-six on its list of The 75 Best Albums of 2012, writing that the album's title "speaks volumes about the contents, a thinly veiled peak into the psyche of singer/songwriter Michael Angelokos."[27]

Commercial performance[edit]

Gossamer debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 37,000 copies, a career best.[28] In the United Kingdom, the album sold 2,444 copies to enter the UK Albums Chart at number fifty-six, one position lower than its predecessor, Manners.[29]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Michael Angelakos

No. Title Length
1. "Take a Walk"   4:25
2. "I'll Be Alright"   4:23
3. "Carried Away"   3:42
4. "Constant Conversations"   3:56
5. "Mirrored Sea"   4:06
6. "Cry Like a Ghost"   4:23
7. "On My Way"   3:47
8. "Hideaway"   3:51
9. "Two Veils to Hide My Face"   0:34
10. "Love Is Greed"   4:20
11. "It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy"   5:06
12. "Where We Belong"   5:00

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[32] 12
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[33] 149
Canadian Albums Chart[34] 17
Irish Albums Chart[35] 33
New Zealand Albums Chart[36] 31
UK Albums Chart[37] 56
US Billboard 200[28] 4
US Alternative Albums[34] 2
US Rock Albums[34] 2

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
Australia[38] July 20, 2012 Sony Music
Germany[39]
United Kingdom[40] July 23, 2012 Columbia Records
United States[41] July 24, 2012
Japan[31] July 25, 2012 Sony Music

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Passion Pit unveil new track 'I'll Be Alright' – listen". NME. IPC Media. June 12, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Passion Pit working on 'fantastic, beautiful, gorgeous new record' – video". NME. IPC Media. August 23, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Passion Pit announce release of new album 'Gossamer'". NME. IPC Media. April 24, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Passion Pit - Take A Walk". Columbia Records. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Passion Pit 'Take A Walk' by David Wilson". Promo News. June 18, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ Knight, David (June 14, 2012). "Passion Pit Take to the Sky in 'Take A Walk' Clip". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ "I'll Be Alright – Single by Passion Pit". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  8. ^ Passion Pit: I'll Be Alright Pitchfork Review
  9. ^ Minsker, Evan (July 9, 2012). "Listen: Passion Pit: "Constant Conversations"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Passion Pit: "Constant Conversations" | Tracks". Pitchfork. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  11. ^ "Listen to the Juicy J Remix of... Passion Pit's "Constant Conversations"". Battan, Carrie. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Gossamer – Passion Pit". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Monger, James Christopher. "Gossamer – Passion Pit". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Reed, Ryan (July 24, 2012). "Passion Pit: Gossamer". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Kot, Greg (July 21, 2012). "Album review: Passion Pit, 'Gossamer'". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Walker-Smart, Sam (July 24, 2012). "Passion Pit – Gossamer". Clash. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Warfield, Russell (July 19, 2012). "Passion Pit – Gossamer". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (July 19, 2012). "Passion Pit: Gossamer – review". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Passion Pit – 'Gossamer'". NME. IPC Media. July 22, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Cohen, Ian (July 23, 2012). "Passion Pit: Gossamer". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b Dolan, Jon (July 24, 2012). "Gossamer". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b Liedel, Kevin (July 20, 2012). "Passion Pit: Gossamer". Slant Magazine. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Passion Pit: Gossamer". PopMatters. July 25, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  24. ^ Hilleary, Mike (December 21, 2012). "Under the Radar's Top 100 Albums of 2012". Under the Radar. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Albums of the year: Kanye West to Perfume Genius (Nos. 20–11)". Gigwise. December 13, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  26. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2012". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. December 5, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  27. ^ Seymour, Jane Jansen (December 10, 2012). "The 75 Best Albums of 2012". PopMatters. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (August 1, 2012). "Zac Brown Band Reclaims Top Spot on Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  29. ^ Jones, Alan (July 30, 2012). "Official Charts Analysis: Plan B album sells 37k to hit No.1". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved January 5, 2013.  (subscription required)
  30. ^ "Gossamer by Passion Pit". iTunes Store US. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  31. ^ a b "パッション・ピット : ゴッサマー" [Passion Pit: Gossamer] (in Japanese). Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Passion Pit – Gossamer". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Passion Pit – Gossamer". ultratop.be/nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  34. ^ a b c "Gossamer – Passion Pit". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 26 July 2012". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Passion Pit – Gossamer". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Official UK Albums Top 100". Official Charts Company. August 4, 2012. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Gossamer – Gossamer". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Passion Pit – Gossamer" (in German). Sony Music Germany. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  40. ^ "Passion Pit: Gossamer". HMV. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  41. ^ Battan, Carrie (April 24, 2012). "Passion Pit Announce New Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 1, 2012.