MS MR – How Does It Feel (2015) [HDTracks 24bit/44,1kHz]

MS MR – How Does It Feel (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 43:41 minutes | 578 MB | Genre: Alternative
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

MS MR has amassed 30 million album streams, played festival main stages, become known and celebrated as an alt-pop duo with a wide magnetism, a contagious exuberance and a distinctly technicolor style. This sonic directness makes How Does It Feel the rare second album that feels more personal than the first. The sound of the record puts Max and Lizzy up front, magnifying their disparate, complementary backgrounds, bringing them out of the surreal, shadowy atmosphere of their early releases. In the dynamism in the album’s melodies you can hear the way that Lizzy, born and raised in the UK, still has the midnight energy of the London indie pop scene in her veins; there’s a plurality and energy to her vocal lines that invokes her work developing other artists as the co-founder of the boutique pop label Neon Gold.

Three years after making a name for themselves with the single “Hurricane,” on How Does It Feel MS MR balance where they’ve been and where they’re going. The formerly anonymous duo revealed the names behind the music (singer Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenow, respectively), but also returned to their old home base of Bushwick while recording their second album. Similarly, the pair expands on the smoky mystique of “Hurricane” and Secondhand Rapture on these songs, taking that sound in a more immediate direction with the help of co-writers such as MNDR, Tove Lo, and drummer Zach Nicita. Hershenow and Plapinger’s more attention-getting approach reflects the pop trends that cropped up after Secondhand Rapture’s release: literally and figuratively, How Does It Feel is a busier, brassier set of songs that feel more active even when they’re not aimed at the dancefloor. “Painted” gives the duo’s drama a surprisingly kinetic backbone, while “No Guilt in Pleasure” and “Criminals” boast some of their most irresistible choruses yet. Plapinger’s voice is just as compelling in these more streamlined surroundings as it was on their debut; where her torchy delivery recalled Adele or Florence Welch on Secondhand Rapture, here she finds kindred spirits in Kiesza and Jess Glynne songs like the house-tinged standout “Reckless.” Here and on How Does It Feel’s other highlights, Hershenow and Plapinger give their innate drama a pop gloss, with slinkier tracks such as “Wrong Victory” and the MNDR collaboration “Tripolar” sounding like heightened versions of their debut. While a few tracks sound too similar to each other, How Does It Feel’s best moments deliver pop accessibility without sacrificing any of MS MR’s identity.


01 – Painted
02 – Criminals
03 – No Guilt in Pleasure
04 – Wrong Victory
05 – Tripolar
06 – How Does It Feel
07 – Tunnels
08 – Leave Me Alone
09 – Reckless
10 – Cruel
11 – Pieces
12 – All The Things Lost


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