We all have albums or songs that mark specific times in our lives. Big Boi and Andre 3000’s Speakerboxx/TheLoveBelow album marked the genesis of my journey into the musical realm. With songs like “Hey Ya” that tapped into the 60’s British Invasion as influence, Big Boi’s “Bowtie” which oozed funk from every blasting horn or “My Favorite Things” that took the Sound of Music and slathered it with jazz fusion, there were so many different genres all squeezed into two little compact discs that a kid could run loose grabbing whatever he liked.

MGMT’s Congratulations reminds me of my craziest Spring Break adventure in Panama City Beach. “Flash Delirium” was in constant repeat every night before and after a drunken event. Once spring break was over, Congratulations found its way to my eardrums almost everyday. “Brian Eno” would be a theme song for me, in which I would replace the name “Brian Eno” in the song with “his name’s Nico” (ex. “We’re always one step behind him, Brian Eno his name’s Nico!”). Even songs that I didn’t like on first listen found its way into my musical DNA. “Siberian Breaks”, which I originally underplayed it as MGMT’s hopeless attempt at an Abbey Road-like medley, became my go to song when I needed to get my mind right before a long night of studying for finals.

My rebirth in New York has coincided with the release of Passion Pit’s Gossamer. Minus “Take A Walk” every song on the album clearly paints a scene of my current life. “I’ll Be Alright” surprises you almost as much as my first step onto 5th Avenue in Manhattan. An assortment of noise races at you, but through all the chaos you can see a method to the madness. The song has a reassuring mantra hidden within its chorus reminding me that “I’ll be alright”. “Constant Conversations”, an intergalactic love song, often reminds of navigating the streets from girlfriends place in Queens back to my home in Brooklyn. Although the pace of the song is in total juxtaposition to the pace of traffic on Jackie Robinson somehow it ended up being my driving jam.

I could go on and on about how each note represents each step I take, but the best way to “get it” is to listen to it.