39. Passion Pit, 'Gossamer'
No one does soulful Eighties-style synth-cheese better than Michael Angelakos. Passion Pit's second record is shinier, busier and even more hysterically earnest than their debut: Angelakos' falsetto ricochets like laser light, chipper gals coo smoke-machine choruses amid hot electronics and cool string arrangements. Yet the pop spectacle is haunted by disaster – economic ("Take a Walk"), romantic ("I'll Be Alright") or both ("Love Is Greed") – culminating in a boffo suicide meditation. It's high-end dance rock as John Updike might have it.