Passion Pit's fourth album is a surreal, beautiful ode to their fans, and a wonderful listen.
Whoever said that nothing good comes free obviously hasn’t heard Passion Pit‘s new album. Whilst Tremendous Sea Of Love may put some off with its bizarre interspersing of vocal excerpts (including one, bizarrely, from Micheal Angelakos’ mum), its otherworldly ambience is soothing and rich, and one of the most intriguing releases of 2017 thus far.
From the get-go there’s something very organic and pure about Tremendous Sea Of Love. Whether its the touching message of thanks to fans included within the download or the vibrant energy and joy that feature so heavily throughout initial tracks ‘Moonbeam’ and ‘Somewhere Up There,’ there’s nary a hint of cynicism or commercialism to the record. Angelakos and co. made the album that they wanted to, and that much is evident. While a larger, longer release may have suffered from this carefree attitude towards their brand, the brilliance of the album comes about in short bursts. The unearthly, wailing choruses may be somewhat repetitive, but they never tire you out – each track renews the sense of wonder and gratitude, with ‘Inner Dialogue’ being a particular highpoint for its heartfelt lyrics.
Not everything hits the mark. ‘The Undertow’ treads the line between meaningful and glossy and falls slightly upon the latter side with a set of near-indecipherable lyrics that do it few favours, whilst ‘I’m Perfect’ should be excised altogether, blighting an otherwise melodic album with grating sounds and obnoxious lyrics. That said, these two feature towards the end of the album, and stand out in stark contrast purely for the sustained quality of the rest of the record. Moreover, with no price tag attached, it is far more forgivable for a musician to experiment with new styles that may not necessarily gel with the expectations of fans and new listeners alike.
Ultimately, Tremendous Sea Of Love is hardly likely to convert you to Passion Pit’s unique brand of extra-terrestrial electronica, but for those already on the bandwagon, the album flows like a love letter, and any artist willing to place integrity and passion ahead of monetary concerns is deserving of kudos, if not unanimous praise. Angelakos himself puts it best: “Not perfect, but honest.”
Tremendous Sea Of Love is out now