I have to admit, that when “The Reeling” was released about a month ago I was as skeptical as the rest of them. The general feeling across the blogosphere was that the new single off Passion Pit’s debut LP Manners, lacked some of the charm of the Chunk of Change EP that has garnered them such buzz. But you know what? I’m not too proud to admit when I’ve made a mistake and I think I made one here.
We’re all guilty from time to time of not allowing the artists we love to change and grow, of accusing them of not staying true to their original sound regardless of where they’re at. I fell in love with the fact that Chunk of Change was written by Michael Angelakos as a late Valentine’s Day present for his girlfriend at the time. The whole EP was rife with true, heartfelt sentiment and when I first heard “The Reeling” I thought it was over-produced. As the case stands, the band has been signed and are moving towards what I feel is pretty sure stardom. How would it be possible for Manners to contain the same feeling when it doesn’t reflect the band’s current circumstances? I’m asking too much.
The more I listen to the new single, the more I come to realize that while its sound is indeed broader and more general than say “Sleepyhead,” it will also appeal to a wider audience and perhaps garner a lot more attention. It’s definitely slicker and more polished; some of the inherent problems I found with Chunk of Change have been addressed. Angelakos’s voice would get a bit wild from time to time and veer off in a way that could be distracting. Here it is more contained while still retaining its unique sound. The work of the synth is cleaner. The lyrics remain as questioning and self-deprecating as those of the EP, so it’s not as if the band has gone in such a different direction that I no longer recognize who they are.
And the video is hands-down fantastic. The rip and tear style, the gritty quality, the fun shopping cart excursion, the way the layers are scraped off Angelakos’s face until you are finally able to view him… all of this reflects the style at the core of a band who became one of my favorites in 2008. So here is my most sincere apology. I cannot wait for the release of Manners on May 19th to see how these boys will continue to surprise me.