ALBUM REVIEW: “You Are All I See” by Active Child

August 23. 2011 | By Valerie C.

Active Child
You Are All I See
[Vagrant Records]

Active Child, AKA Pat Grossi, first came onto my radar with the release of a few EPs in 2010. I was immediately drawn not only to his operatic falsetto, but also to his instrument of choice, the harp. I was anxious to get my hands on You Are All I See, his first full length. I was a bit worried that the harp would take a back seat, but my worries were for naught as almost every track on the record was angelically touched by Grossi’s harp.

The gentle strumming of the harp opens up Active Child’s inner sanctum to us in “You Are All I See” his angelic voice, honed from years spent singing in choirs anchors us there, inviting, seductive, almost beckoning us to sit and stay awhile. “Playing With Fire,” the result of a collaboration with How To Dress Well is a vocal dream, with bits of electro funk thrown in. Definitely one of the standout tracks on the album. “Way Too Fast” is equal parts melancholy goodness with a slight spacey quality thrown in. “Shield & Sword” finds Grossi in a perfect balance between the electronic and choir-like chamber elements of his music. It’s easy to compare Active Child to a number of electro pop acts such as M83, Miike Snow, Milosh, etc., but Grossi’s music is decidedly his own. Equally expansive and intimate, both unique and yet familiar.

Whenever I’m enjoying an album and I don’t want to be disturbed, I’ll usually joke that I am currently worshiping in the church of music. I have a sneaking suspicion that if there were such a place, Active Child’s music would be rightly at home there.

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