Passion Pit’s third album, “Kindred,” clocks in at a short 10 songs with a total run time of 38 minutes, the quickest and most economical album it has ever made. The chorus in each song arrives early, leaving less room for instrumental solos that were predominant in its previous albums “Gossamer” and “Manners.” Although those solos were successful in creating a sound native to Passion Pit, the third album slides away from its roots and moves on to new, lyric-based songs, abandoning its signature style.
While Passion Pit maintains its use of intense synthetic beats in “Kindred,” the lyrics are not as hidden as in its early work. Camouflaging lyrics behind upbeat sounds has always been the Passion Pit way, but with “Kindred” they are much clearer and easier to comprehend. Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos successfully communicates personal themes such as love, family and regret, making them much more obvious to the listener.
The album’s best tracks are when Angelakos finds a strong mix between catchy, synthetic beats and strong, meaningful lyrics. However, some unsuccessful songs such as “Dancing on the Grave” and “Looks Like Rain” are lyric-heavy with ambient, synthetic instrumentals, creating a much slower and less catchy feel uncommon to Passion Pit’s style. Other tracks, such as “Whole Life Story” and “Ten Feet Tall (II),” push toward Passion Pit’s roots, concealing their true meaning behind maximalist synthetic production. “Kindred’s” attempt at powerful lyrics is only successful when supported by those classic Passion Pit beats fans know and love.