Jack’s Mannequin – The Ghost Overground EP

I must admit that I was a little confused as to the point of an EP that consists of two previously released songs and two songs soon to be released. When it comes to the gorgeous piano rock of Andrew McMahon, however, I will take whatever I can get, so of course I decided to check out the Ghost Overground EP.

The disc begins with Jack’s Mannequin‘s latest radio single “The Resolution.” If you haven’t heard this on your local airwaves yet, I would hope that you soon will because this is one of the band’s catchiest songs to date. This song is similar to Jack Mannequin’s previous album Everything in Transit and has definite “The Mixed Tape” vibes. A rocking bridge and honest lyrics like “I tried living in the moment, but the moment, it just froze” make this song a sure hit.

“Bloodshot,” the other new song, follows “The Resolution” and this song may have some fans surprised. The rich grand piano has been replaced with a synthesizer and techno beats. Once I got over the surprise style of this song I relaxed into the amazing fit of McMahon’s vocals in this setting. I especially enjoyed when he ascends the scale on the word “climb.”

Closing out the EP are two live tracks from Everything in Transit. “Holiday From Real (Live from SIR)” slows things down, adds some more harmonies and takes the word “acoustic” so seriously that even the bass was replaced with an acoustic double upright bass. A new piano arrangement showcases McMahon’s skills brilliantly. This is such a good acoustic recording you can easily forget that it is live. “Kill the Messenger (Live from Rock Xentral)” is a little more apparent that it is a live track because there is a definite drop in quality. You can faintly hear people talking in the background, but as McMahon adds his heart-wrenching vocals to his lovely piano, the noise of the crowd disappears. This is an amazing acoustic recording: you can hear every crack of his voice and every quake of his vibrato. I haven’t been this in love with a voice, since Matt Pryor gave us the first Get Up Kids record.

So even though the first two tracks will be available on The Glass Passenger on September 30, 2008 and the last two tracks were available as studio recordings on Everything in Transit, I would still suggest checking this EP out. The new songs act as a teaser for the new album and the old tracks, since they are acoustic, are almost like new songs. Oh, and rumor has it that there might be another EP in the works before the new album drops. So keep your eyes and ears open for news of that.

The Ghost Overground EP was exclusively released by Sire Records on August 5, 2008 to the iTunes Store.

01. The Resolution
02. Bloodshot
03. Holiday From Real (live from SIR)
04. Kill the Messenger (live from Rock Xentral)

Jack’s Mannequin: website | myspace | interview with Andrew McMahon

Written by: Bethany

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