There is something inherently terrifying in being treated like a person — a real person. We all think it’s what we want when we are growing up and it’s something we think we are all entitled to. I remember I developed this false sense of entitlement when my mom started letting me decide which kind of drink I could get when she took us to Arby’s.
It sounds stupid, but this gesture, which was probably more of a way to get me to shut up about wanting a cheddar melt, instilled within me the assumption that I was getting treated like a person and I deserved it. As a result, I probably turned into a shittier person. These are the things I think about when I listen to Pants Yell!
“Received Pronunciation,” Pants Yell!’s newest release off of Slumberland, is a surprisingly pleasant follow up to last year’s “Alison Statton.” And just like their last album, “Received Pronunciation” stands on warm, fuzzy and familiar melodies that are neither challenging nor boringly simple. It’s like listening to an intelligent friend tell you an amusing anecdote over a beer. Pants Yell! takes you on a walking tour of a quiet little park and tells you nostalgic and unfunny stories like it’s all in good fun. So, it’s a very pleasant listen.
On the other hand, this Oxford pop band is a little selfish. “Received Pronunciation” is supposed to be the last album the band will release out of fear that they will grow old and predictable and this unease in themselves comes out. The album opens with “Frank and Sandy,” a thoughtful little number in which the narrator thanks his friends for taking him out for a good time and treating him like a grown-up. Singing “a headache never felt so good/ I’m glad I had more gin than candy,” I get the feeling that we are watching a child making one bad decision instead of another.
From here, our hungover singer seems to think that because he made good decisions last night, he is a real person with real feelings. In fact, he, just like the rest of us, is just a bitch with a drink in his hand. The album’s single, “Cold Hands,” is reminiscent of every immature relationship we have been in.
With the same fizzy music that you probably had your first kiss to, Andrew Churchman sings about a list of things he wouldn’t do for love. Like me, he assumes that he is entitled to dignity and respect for his feelings. In reality, he really just doesn’t want to sacrifice personal comfort, complaining that “your cold hands make me nervous.”
But neuroticism and egocentric lyrics aren’t the only reasons you should give this album a listen. It’s also the perfect soundtrack to a date. This music would probably be a perfect accoutrement to an overcast and windy picnic at the park or, if you’re feeling adventurous, the beach.