People of the Internet, I come not to make excuses for why I haven’t written anything in the past two months no, I come to praise them.
Them, in this case is Passion Pit. Well, really what I want to praise is their album Gossamer. This is, without a doubt, my favorite thing to happen this summer. Even more than the Dawson/McKayla cryface mashup. Even more than how I taught The Tibbles to work the word ‘crap’ into the name of every restaurant (Crapplebees, Crappo Bell, McCrapalds, Crapper King, Crappy Queen).
I don’t think I’ve fallen this hard or this fast for an album since last fall’s love affair with Wild Flag. In fact, I bought Gossamer on August 21, and as I am typing this I’m just starting my 14th complete listen of the album. Yes, you read that right, I’ve listened to each and every song 13 times in less than a week. This from the woman who, by my friend Wolfdogg’s count, made him listen 55 seconds of about 82,931 songs on a roadtrip to Chicago.
I’m a chronic shuffler with a bad case of ADD and yet every time I put on “Gossamer” I have to listen to the entire thing all the way through, even the first super-annoying 45 seconds of “I’ll Be Alright.” Why do musicians think that goofy robotic sounding noise is a good thing? We need to stop that shit.
Now, because I am not a music writer, I will give you some very not very logical reasons I love this album so goddamn much. First, it sounds like fun. Now you might be saying, especially if you have a lot of arguments about rock & roll inside my head like I do, “Jodi, isn’t that the same reason you claimed to love love love that new Japandroids album?” And I would have to say, “Yes, but this is funner-sounding in a totally different way.”
The Japandroids “Celebration Rock” is screamy, anthemic rock & roll kind of predictable fun. And “Gossamer” is a bucket of pop rocks and a bottle of cold orange soda fun. It’s surprising and delightful and unexpected at every turn.
The second I reason I love it? Because the lyrics are super smart and kind of depressing which is complete contrast with the way the music sounds. I love the weird tension that kind of combination creates inside of me. It feels a little thrilling and kind of wrong to dance and sing with a smile on your face lyrics like “But tomorrow , you’ll cook dinner for the neighbors and their kids. We can rip apart the socialists and all their damn taxes. You’ll see I am no criminal, I’m down on both bad knees. I’m just too much a coward to admit when I’m in need.”
And finally there’s this:
This song makes me want to type in all caps and exclamations and acronyms. That’s how much I love it. I love it so much it makes my heart jiggle happily right inside my chest.
As an example of the nature of music criticism, Passion Pit doesn’t do it for me. I can recognize what you like about their stuff, but it doesn’t give me the same feeling.
That’s kind of how I feel about The Arcade Fire. Like I get conceptually why people adore their music, but it doesn’t click inside of me at all.
Also, 55 seconds is longer than I can remember you paying attention to any song. Except for They Might Be Giants Flood which was heard in it’s entirety. Taste is such a fickle thing.
Especially in music. I’m much better at saying why something does or doesn’t work in a book, but when it comes to music it’s so much harder. “I like it because it makes my ears feel happy” is the dumbest argument ever, but that’s why I like it.