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‘On Oni Pond’ proves Man Man has new tricks up his sleeve

Album review: Man Man’s ‘On Oni Pond’

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Man Man – On Oni Pond
Anti Records
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

On Oni Pond delivers that distinctly Man Man sound, but with newly polished outfits. They’re showing off jarring synth accessories and swelling horn accents common to their get-up, but also trying on some cool vintage bop and slimming their lineup. The style, albeit more mature, is still decorated with brave inclusions and bitter verses. I’m liking the look. There are songs dressed especially for those escaping a broken heart; by seeking “Deep Cover,” one can find momentary respite. It matches their dreamy single, “Head On,” with its enchanting narrative. The royal blemish on this body of work, though, is “King Shiv” with its tired reggae upstroke and confusing inclusion. Redemption comes with the fanfare and strut of closing tracks “Curtains” and “Born Tight.” Like a vocally shredded Elton John, the splashy prowess of Honus Honus is in full effect on these tracks and when combined with the piano, notably contrasts with the vulnerable songs that precede them.

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