America’s reigning synthpop king, Passion Pit, is out with a third studio album, “Kindred,” a passable offering of tidy little electro ditties.
For their heartfelt lyrics, Passion Pit (aka Michael Angelakos and whoever is playing live with him at any given gig) remains a musical tastemaker’s dividing line. You’re either all in with Angelakos’ sparkling lead vocals and sprightly melodies, or you’re likely off the train.
Take “Five Foot Ten (I),” for example. It’s ripe for a deeper club remix, but as delivered, it is little more than an aural glitter bomb. “I want to be all alone with you/ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh” goes the cloying refrain to little resolution.
Lead single “Lifted Up (1985)” is better, soaring higher and reaching far more artistically. Still, I can’t help but feel that beneath Passion Pit’s well-polished tracks there are even better songs lurking behind one too many layers of production.
I like “Kindred.” Just not enough.
Ron Harris, Associated Press