by Tobias Moore
Through searching production and an aural landscape, so vivid and vast in colour, on her latest album, The Greatest Part, Becca Mancari has provided a transcript for modern love.
The synchronicity of the narrative and musical production is crucial to the album, allowing a true depth of imagery to conjure in one’s mind, but, it’s the subtleties of Mancari’s work that should earn the greatest applause. Her ability to balance emotion is one of sheer brilliance. It’s like watching a tightrope show from a seasoned professional, such is the ease at which she drifts from intimacy to personal choice. Mapping out a guideline from her own sentiment, Mancari invites you into a world of sensation, but allows for you to decide just how far you choose to venture.
Like the voice of an old companion, Mancari possesses a warmth to her tone that cannot be taught. Each and every word seeps with remembrance. From her assertive warnings in Hunter, to the wounded cries of I’m Sorry, her ability to weave emotion cannot be understated. Yet such is the intimacy of her narrative that, at points, it is as if listening to a friend – and you can find yourself taking this talent for granted.
Possessing a refined sense of swagger, think The Orielles before they went into orbit on Disco Volador, the album is awash with multiple facets of influence. Merging Latin rhythm with European pop production, the album is bold in its emergence from a genre, dream pop, that seemingly every synth owner has tried their hand in recent times.
Yet, as already touched upon, it’s Mancari’s grasp of modern love that really steals the show. Her ability to touch on a variety of aspects – from the longing for parental affection in First Time to the childlike rebellion of Tear Us Apart, which allows for a bond of great affinity to be formed. However, as the latter stages of the album suggest, Mancari shows no fear in exposing her deepest vulnerabilities either. Through persistent pleas, detuned guitars and whistling production, I’m Sorry reveals hurt in its most naked form. Its descent into grief is untamed.
Perhaps then you’d be quick to judge I’m Sorry as the lowest point in Mancari’s turbulent journey, yet, for me, it is in Know that true melancholia is expressed. No longer cloaked in Mancari’s optimistic tones, the dark lyricism that was once hidden has surfaced, and the fight, or what was left of it, in I’m Sorry has now departed. Exploring the inevitability of loss, the acceptance of defeat, and the admittance that perhaps the only way to advance is by sacrificing what you hold dearest, Knew is the tarnished jewel in Mancari’s crown and a true exemplar of her songwriting ability.
And then comes Forgiveness – a fitting finale for this collection of songs. Reaffirming Mancari’s relationship with reality, it neither ends on a high or low note – it simply descends into nothingness. A sense of unknown more painful than hurt itself. A sense of unknown typical of modern love.
Far from a conventional heartbreak album, on The Greatest Part, Becca Mancari has demonstrated the ability to combine the accessibility of pop music with the humility of real-life – and by doing so created a body of work that is nothing short of magnificent.
Secret Meeting score: 85
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