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Active Child: You Are All I See

Vagrant Records

Is Philadelphia-via-Los Angeles upstart Pat Grossi the best young alternative R&B singer in the world? He stakes a compelling claim for that title on You Are All I See, an album of haunting grandeur and devastating beauty. Grossi (recording under the moniker Active Child) stretches his full-blooded yowl over the horizon on this quintessential electro-soul record, which mixes strings and harps in full choral splendor. The apocalyptic dirge "Shield & Sword" wrings his voice through layers of Auto-Tune, while "Playing House" and "Way Too Fast" convey hip-hop swagger despite their themes of desperation. "See Thru Eyes" is a towering, gothic ballad on which Grossi toes the line between sinister and gentle, pleading, "Tell me your secrets tonight." The result is eerily breathtaking, like shards of sunlight peeking through stained glass. (4 out of 5 stars)