You Are All I See
Aug 25, 2011 #37 – St. Vincent
Find It At: Insound
With the recent proliferation of falsetto crooners (James Blake, Bon Iver, How to Dress Well, etc.), Active Child’s Pat Grossi certainly runs the risk of getting lost in the shuffle, but his voice remains defiantly distinct and haunting: an icy, alien falsetto that somehow always registers as masculine and transmits enough emotion to buckle your knees.
Grossi differentiates himself in another splendid way: he is a harpist composing electronic pop songs. For a frame of reference, imagine Joanna Newsom (who else is there?) recording with M83. On his first EP, Curtis Lane, Grossi did a superb job of meshing these two seemingly incongruous elements, but his debut LP, You Are All I See, raises that bar even higher. His shimmering glissandos and crisp, digital crunch attain an astonishing level of fluidity.
You Are All I See adheres to the glistening pop template of Curtis Lane’s “I’m In Your Church At Night” and avoids the dread that hung on that EP’s other standout track, “Wilderness.” You Are All I See opens with the title track—a striking devotional hymn that sets the tone for everything that succeeds it. The only song that attempts anything different sonically is “Playing House,” a duet with How to Dress Well that smears Dirty South hip-hop into woozy dream-pop.
A bit more variety would have benefited the album, as Grossi’s unique approach to pop tends to make songs blend and blur into one another at certain points. This isn’t a knock against the quality of his compositions, but rather the consistency in tone, tempo, and texture across the album. As it stands, You Are All I See is a very solid debut from a remarkable talent. I fully expect nothing but greater things in the future. (www.activechildmusic.com)
Author rating: 6/10
Average reader rating: 10/10