Review: "What Are The Chances" - Man Alive
Second chances are always tricky to navigate. But the complexity of this navigation multiples by tenfold when the second chance revolves around romance. There are many (sometimes too many) factors to consider before the wronged commits to giving their transgressor another chance. Some factors to consider would be what the underlining circumstances were that led to needing and desiring another opportunity. Whether or not the situation is forgivable. And if there has been any emotional growth from the transgressor since this event transpired. With “What Are The Chances”, Man Alive asks an intriguing question: can second chances be given if the transgressor has accepted the responsibility of their actions?
“What Are The Chances” is an impassioned plea for a second chance at romance from the transgressor to the wronged. This plea is unique - this isn’t the stereotypical begging for forgiveness that only considers our own selfish desires. Instead, it’s a matured appeal that demonstrates the transgressor’s emotional awareness. The single opens with sonorous guitar strings as Man Alive sings from the perspective of the transgressor deep in reflection. The transgressor is “high and dry”; stuck in the difficult position of longing to reignite a former romance while understanding that may not be the case for the wronged party. How the transgressor wronged their former love is never explicitly stated. But Man Alive uses intense imagery to convey the depth of the devastation caused to give us an idea: the transgressor “burnt [their] neighborhood down to the ground”. Regardless of what in particular was burnt, the baseline is that it destroyed an aspect of the wronged party. Restoration after destruction is already difficult; to restore with the person that caused said destruction - that requires the forgiveness of a saint. And I think our transgressor is quite aware of how much they’re asking for with this second chance. That’s why it’s made clear that rejection from the wronged party is okay: “if you don’t want me back / I understand it”. It’s not the outcome the transgressor hopes for but acknowledging that it’s a possible outcome indicates a great deal of emotional development. Even though the song ends on this somber note, the music video doesn’t. Instead, watching audiences observe a small, shining light before the video fades into a black screen. It’s the sliver of hope that lingers in the recess of our minds for a second chance romance despite the reality at hand suggesting otherwise. And while we can’t change reality, we can certainly reminisce about the moments of bliss we shared with a former love in spaces we once occupied with them like their favorite “café”.
Man Alive is Mark Prendergast’s passionate, solo project that allows listeners to know the artist much more intimately. Our troubadour is one-fourth of the Irish indie-rock band Kodaline where they’re the lead guitarist. But Prendergast occasionally lends his voice for vocals and fingers for keyboards. Currently, Kodaline is on tour with its final performance scheduled for today in Japan – and maybe fans there can convince the lead guitarist to play some of his solo discography at the show. Under Man Alive, Prendergast just released his debut EP, Colours; a stunning introspection of various feelings that highly encourages listeners to unbottle and explore some of their own restrained emotions. “What Are The Chances” is the third song featured on the five-track EP beside the opener “Be Someone” and the closer “Five Minute Drive”. If you’ve enjoyed Man Alive as much as I have, show Prendergast some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.
Written by Giavanna Gradaille
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