If 2016 had Romantic, the unfiltered and unapologetic sucker punch from Philadelphia outlet Mannequin Pussy, then 2019 saw the older sister coming home to lay down the ground rules and re-layer desire with Patience. As the almost animalistic intrigue fades from Romantic into Patience, there is a new direction that takes Mannequin Pussy on a more mature, almost approachable force of nature.
Immediately recognizable from their garage-style that translates perfectly into detailed anthems of self-loathing, Mannequin Pussy is simply a phenomenon. Nothing touches the group that seems to set the world ablaze as loosely shown through the cover art of Patience. Mannequin Pussy is still rugged around the edges and grasps the land of hollowed Earth that is easy to be stricken with powerhouse performances. But something has certainly changed on Patience, something that lies deeper with planned attacks over the overwhelming barrage.
Beginning with the self-titled track “Patience,” the strings illustrate this mix between upbeat rock and a sectional of punk. The two styles are similar, but blend somehow to form these transitions and movements through the rapid percussive sets from Kaleen Reading and shouts from frontwoman Marisa Dabice. Not only is the group able to form with Colins Rey Regisford on bass and Athanasios Paul on the guitar, but Mannequin Pussy is somehow both wrenching and easy on the ears.
The instrumentation is often a crashing wave that cascades through booms and crashes that then consequentially push back into the reservoirs of gentle moves. Never rising to anything less than an exhilarating showcase, their musical athleticism strikes progressively and without any faltering. Similar to the styles of Romantic, their 2019 release Patience is exciting through each listen and proves a new flavor on an old favorite.
Each time that Mannequin Pussy reappears out of the darkness, they continue to reprimand and inflict damage, here with Patience, the playing level has changed. Now rising from the ashes of one of the most replayable records of 2016, Mannequin Pussy begins to reshape their sound starting from the ground floor. They are still recognizable, but now they have crisp flair that hopefully, continues as they adapt and emerge anew once again.
Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Director: Danielle Calodney
Dancers: Nola Sporn Smith and Ambika Raina
Cinematographer: Zach Stoltzfus
Production Design: Maximilian Bode
Producer/AD: Joseph Purfield
Set Decorator: Susan Bode
Wardrobe: Emmy Briggs
Hair: Quenton Barnette
Makeup: Ryo Kuramoto
Color: Bryan Smaller, Company 3
Set Dresser: Igeoma Simon
Gaffer: Jesse Moritz
Wardrobe Assistant: Emilie St. Claire
1st AC: Celeste Perlez
2nd AC: Hana Kim
Grip: Seth MacMillan
Special Thanks: to Panavision and Eclectic Props
In the expansive career that Kanye West has had over the 20 plus years in the music industry, he has covered nearly every feat possible. From Chicago to the hills of Hollywood, from Paris to Tokyo, it is fairly hard to encounter someone in the mainstream audience that has never heard of Yeezus. The 2008 record, 808s & Heartbreak, however, was a turning point in the artist’s career that almost immediately shifted all eyes on West.
Known for its crisp production and approachability, 808s & Heartbreak quickly taps into the broken and non-mendable crush of defeat in love life. But also manages to filter in a silver lining where despair creates exhilarating art. A step away from his 2007 release, Graduation which quickly rose to charts with an accompaniment of hits and singles that are still in rotation even 12 years later. 808s & Heartbreak follows a similar vein of being replayable, but ultimately the sound is so versatile that it feels as if it could have been created by an entirely different artist. The two records as a comparison sound and feel like night and day. The sunny work of Graduation that floats high above the clouds in this burning ray of sunshine, and 808s which works to become the shadowed and distant under the security of nightfall.
With the second track “Say You Will,” West is quick to illustrate the differences between him and the people that surround him. He describes even his friends and family that alienate the life of a performer and the social normality’s that come with the day-to-day lifestyle. West begins, “My friend showed me pictures of his kids, and all I could show him was pictures of my cribs. He said his daughter got a brand new report card, and all I got was a brand new sports car.” West then moves on into the third verse where he describes a wedding scene and how heartbreak truly begins, “my god-sister getting married by the lake, but I couldn’t figure out who I’d wanna take. Bad enough that I showed up late, I had to leave before they even cut the cake.” As he then draws the curtain on the track with a simple, but effective and chilling saying, “Welcome to heartbreak” while the chorus which features Kid Cudi overlays the last moments.
There is hope on 808s & Heartbreak however as even though the stories described on the record are wounded and account for loss, the music can be uplifting and truthfully create movement. On “Paranoid” which features Mr Hudson, West describes annoyance in a past relationship, but in his charismatic and comedic tone. “You be up in mine checkin’ through my cell phone, baby no. You wanna kill the vibe on another night, here’s another fight, oh here we go,” describes West through an almost audible smile. He somehow molds heartbreak into something more approachable and relatable, from the constant fights on the synth work that creates a light show for “Paranoid” and moves him to the spotlights of pop music.
Even though the record as a whole picture tackles the topic of failure within relationships, West manages this genius mentality in making the record a productive journey. From the blaring instrumentals that were far left of what West was doing at the time, making a staple for his career that continues to adapt and decode musical progress. In one of the strongest displays on a record, 808s & Heartbreak kills the production and makes no apology.