Beyoncé is #1. David Bowie is #2. Leonard Cohen, #4.
And there, nestled at #3 — on Rolling Stone reviewer Rob Sheffield’s list of the Top 20 albums of 2016 — is Mannequin Pussy’s “Romantic.”
That’s quite a coup for the bizarrely named quartet whose music NPR calls “brawny funk with a fuzzy pop streak.”
Sheffield writes of the band’s 2nd release:
“You’re my favorite but favorites always fail” is the greatest lyric in any love song this year, or at least it’s impossible to think of any others while a Mannequin Pussy song is playing. Especially since Marisa Dabice clobbers every word with her savagely funny scream.
These Philly punks won my sick heart with their 2014 debut Gypsy Pervert, but Romantic is an even hotter knife, 11 tantrums in 17 minutes, an album about self-destructive mood swings and why they’re excellent.
Favorite moment: Dabice takes a deep breath and yells, “I was miles away when you needed someone to sit on your face screaming, ‘Keep me,’ and I am not ashamed to be lonely but I’m afraid to feel it so deeply,” which takes her just nine seconds. Jesus, what an exhausting band to fall in love with.
So yeah. Mannequin Pussy is based in Philadelphia. But half of the members are from Westport.
Marisa Dabice and Thanasi Paul are 2005 Staples High School grads. They were involved in bands as they grew up here.
Marisa Dabice and Thanasi Paul (left and 2nd to left) make up half of Mannequin Pussy.
It hasn’t been a straight path to stardom — or at least, this very cool shoutout from Rolling Stone. They got together 6 years ago. They’ve paid their dues — and mainstream media is taking notice. You can read and listen to an NPR feature about them by clicking here.
Read all about them here too, in a lengthy interview in another music magazine, Impose.
There, Dabice was asked about the band’s unusual name.
She replied: “That’s up to you. It’s not a good story. We just are Mannequin Pussy.”
Fortunately, when she grabs a mic she conveys a lot more than that.
(Hat tip: Cathy Walsh)