The Daily Gamecock

Passion Pit falls into a hole of unoriginality


Six years after the band’s first album was released, the iconic indie pop group, Passion Pit, released its third album after two and a half years since the last. 

On Tuesday, its new album, “Kindred,” still contains the same characteristic vocals of Passion Pit’s frontman, Michael Angelakos, and classic synth tracks that allow the band to bridge between dance party hits and the perfect songs for cruising with the windows down on a summer night. 

The release of the band’s third album could not have come at a better time for Angelakos. For over a decade, the singer-songwriter has battled with bipolar disorder that caused him to cut short the band’s "Gossamer" album tour in 2012. But now, Angelakos is back and working hard to create a happy future for himself and the band. 

Through "Kindred," Angelakos addresses new thoughts on love, happiness and strength. The album’s emphasis on friends and relationships is reflected in its title, which means family.

"Kindred" does not only represent a renewal of Passion Pit’s presence in the indie pop music sphere, but it clearly affirms the band’s musical evolution over the past three albums. "Manners," the band’s first album released in 2009, introduced the music scene to Angelakos’ unique vocals and dream pop qualities. In 2012, "Gossamer" was released and more pop dance beats were melded with the group’s unique style. That summer, "Take a Walk" had fans stepping to the beat at festivals around the world. 

Now in 2015, it is clear that Passion Pit is trying to figure out where it is meant to fit in the music world and how to maintain its unique style from "Manners" while incorporating the pop qualities of "Gossamer" that excited so many fans.  

The new album attempts to bridge Passion Pit’s two styles, but unfortunately, the result is something slightly lacking in originality. While the message of the album is empowering and thought-provoking, the music is a poor complement to the band’s artistic reawakening. Purposefully over auto-tuned vocals in “Ten Feet Tall (II)” take away from the song’s potential and weaken its impact on the listener. 

“Looks Like Rain” and “All I Want” are two songs worth recognizing on the album for their more original instrumental composition. 

"Kindred" is an album of rediscovery for both Angelakos and the band as a whole, but do fans have the patience?

While the musical qualities of "Kindred" leave something to be desired, the message of the album has a strong impact on listeners and shows potential. As Angelakos continues to discover himself and the band experiments with its new album, Passion Pit will progress and find a musical niche that maintains its originality and complexity. Until then, "Kindred" is worth a listen or two, but new fans should give the band’s other two albums a try before judgment.