Active Child | You Are All I See

Vagrant Records (2011)
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  August 16, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

active child

Pat Grossi used to be a choirboy, which is not surprising at all, given that his full-length debut under the Active Child moniker sounds like it was cut in some sort of dimly lit, hallowed hall under the cover of night. The church-like sonics create haunting echoes and a tranquil ambience on You Are All I See, which has dozens of moments that are nothing short of breathtaking. Tracks "Ivy" and "See Thru Eyes" pour forth with a chilly and full sound, despite the general sparseness in instrumentation arrangements, which feature harps and synths. Dialing up Brooklyn R&B singer How to Dress Well for "Playing House" was a stroke of mad genius, his vocal styling a less-creepy R. Kelly that mingles well with Grossi's own. Take equal parts Black Celebration–era Depeche Mode and throw in Temper Trap's Dougy Mandagi trying to sound less anthemic and you've got a semblance of Grossi's voice and the vibe he's after. His words are layers of palpable atmospherics; subtle and pleading at times, worried and demanding at others, mainly steeped in a falsetto that rarely wears thin — note "rarely" — it occasionally causes the eardrums to glaze over.

ACTIVE CHILD + COM TRUISE + CHAD VALLEY | Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston | September 12 @ 8 pm | $12 | 18+ | 617.779.0140

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