I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving given the current situation we all find ourselves in. I’ll be honest, Thanksgiving was never a holiday I chased home for so mine didn’t look much different than any other year but my heart goes out to those who typically do a giant get togehter but couldn’t do so this year. Regardless, I hope you made the most of it and are recovering from the too much food and maybe too much drink. I’ve spent all day moving from my couch to my bed trying to recover but finally decided I had to do something with the little bit left of my day and there’s no better way to get me motivated than some new tunes. Up next on my seemingly endless list of albums to review is ‘The Good Sweat’ by ManDancing.
“Kenlock” starts off airy and atmospheric. It was the type of sound that low key made me wonder if getting out of bed was really necessary but, as soon as the vocals came in, that all changed. There’s something freeing about the tone in the vocals. They are sweet and soft, calm and collected, and make your soul sour as soon as you start really listening to them. Even when the rest of the band finally comes in on this opening track theres still something extremely warm and calming about this track. Although I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood to listen to, I knew about half way through this first track that this album was exactly what I needed tonight.
Just when I was getting all cozy, “Hey Friends” amps up the energy a bit while still keeping this calm and collected vibe in the sound. There’s a driving force behind the drums and, although powerful, they don’t hold a candle to the vocals that continue to reign supreme. I love that although a bit more amped up, you still get this very airy and atmospheric feeling from this track. At just under a minute and a half long, I was alittle surprised when it came to an abrupt end and “Pancakes (Who Loves Who The Most)” took over my house speakers but it was a welcomed surprise. “Pancakes (Who Loves Who The Most)” was an instant favorite of mine. The lyrics the calmness, the vibe– it’s just the ultimate cozy track that had me sitting back in my chair, coffee in hand, and a smile on my face.
“Wall Spot” seems to take a more somber vibe and push it into the spotlight It’s a heartbreakingly beautiful track with lyrics that absolutey cut to the core. I love how the lyrics and vibe match that of the early emo movement that I still swear by while making it feel more maure and relateable for a thirty something. There are expolosions of energy and sound throughout this track that are sure to give you goosebumps and prove that this band play with a sense of conviction that comes through the speakers lud and clear.
I have to be honest, “Wall Spot” left me a bit lost for words and a bit emotionally drained but. no need to fear, “Coffer” brings back that sense of warmth and coziness that ManDancing does so well. I had to look it up but coffer is essentially another name for a trunk or chest. As soon as I found that out, this song hit me on a different level what with the word choice and the way those words are presented.
“GloveSweat” instantly hit me right in the gut. I hate to keep going back to the lyrics on this release but I seriously can not stress enough how raw and full of emotion the words of this band are. I was left completely speechless for this track and I’m sorry I can’t give you more but I can tell you that this song will make you feel things. Those things may not be exactly what you want to feel but ManDancing is right next to you for all four minutes seven-seconds of this track like a friend to lean on.
The calming and painfully introspective vibe continues with “RJW”. the whispered vocals match the raw lyrics perfectly. Think Dashboard Confessional meeting up with the more depressed tracks from Brand New all mashed up with a little bit of OneRepublic-like mass appeal. This band is sure to bridge genre gaps with tracks like this one. I still trying to think of bands to compare these guys to as the minute long instrumental track “Poplar Mobus” took over and I realized just how welcomed this quick, but pefect, palate cleanser was. Much like this band as a whole, it was something that I didn’t know that I neede but was absolutely welcomed before the heaviness came back in for “Perch”.
Okay, “Perch” isn’t as heavy as the previous cuple of trcks and the volume definitely got pumped up for this one but, like the rest of the tracks on the marvelous album, the emotions are raw and make you take a step back and just let the words consume you. Again, I couldn’t help but get lost in “Perch” but loved when the album moved onto “The Good Sweat”. This title track is a great example of this band as a whole. You kind of get a little bit of everything with this track. You get that airy and atmospheric vibe while getting the emotive energy that ManDancing does so well. This is a stand out track on an already standout album and if I had to suggest one track to check out, it would absolutely be this one.
This beautiful album closes out with “Johnny Freshman” which is definitely the perfect closing track for this album. I think I was hoping for something a little bit more upbeat to help me out of this Thanksgiving coma but as the silence took over my hous after the final note of “Johnny Freshman” played, I realized that this was the perfect album for my Friday night alone in my house because with a band like ManDancing, you’re never truly alone.
‘The Good Sweat’ is a beautiful album. It’s full of emotions that you may or may not want to feel but, because of that, is the perfect soundtrack for those nights when you’re all alone with zero motivation and you just want to feel a little less alone.
My Favorite Track(s): “Pancakes (Who Loves Who The Most)”; “GloveSweat”; “The Good Sweat”
For Fans Of: Emo music from back in the day; Emotions; Calmness
Daydream-ability: 9 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats yelled from the kitchen for dinner
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
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