Usually when it’s time for a musician to make a deeply emotional album that confronts depression and personal demons, the music mirrors the mind-set. It’s dark, slow and often a drag. With “Gossamer,” his second album as leader of Passion Pit, Michael Angelakos doesn’t just turn this conventional wisdom on its head; he spins it into a hyperactive electro-soul-pop kaleidoscope that transforms paralyzing self-doubt into club-thumping anthems.
“Gossamer” is an impressive second outing for an act that was pushed into the spotlight a little prematurely based on 2008’s viral hit “Sleepyhead.” Angelakos hasn’t abandoned that song’s homespun, laptop charm, but he’s definitely expanded and refined it. Each of these 12 songs has a sustained burst that gets the heart racing, even if the seratonin levels are inconsistent. The chorus of “Carried Away” is as exuberant as a Kidz Bop song, as Angelakos wages a battle himself (“I get carried away, carried away, from you/ When I’m open and afraid/ Cause I’m sorry, sorry ’bout that/ Sorry ’bout things that I’ve said”). “Sorry I couldn’t be there, I was tied to a rocking chair/ I was beat down to a pulp rocking back and forth somewhere,” begins “It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy,” which eventually lifts off to a lighter-waving chorus.