MS MR return to give you another dose of indie pop music but this time with bolder synths and a heavy 80’s influence. “How Does It Feel” is the duo’s follow up to the 2013 LP “Secondhand Rapture” and with the new territory comes a lot of comparison and critique. This record is a lot bolder and relies on big hooks to remain memorable throughout the twelve song length. Saying that, there are some incredible pop songs on this record that push some boundaries and provide a new side to this intriguing duo.
Opening with the unusual “Painted” the complex track introduces the heavy synth direction while keeping their indie rock sound from their last record intact. It’s a song that hasn’t been received favorably by a lot of people but it is honestly one of my favourite tracks on this release because it stands out and gives us a fresh sound. “Criminals” provides a smooth, polished pop delivery that steers the album into the direction that it strives for. It’s instantly catchy and could easily be featured on mainstream radio fitting somewhere in between Florence And The Machine and Haim. “No Guilt In Pleasure” and “Leave Me Alone” fires up the synthpop and gives me some 80’s retrospective synths that will have you B O P P I N G. Co-penned by Swedish goddess Tove Lo “Pieces” is a pop track that hypnotizes with Lizzy’s vocal delivery and a calm yet attention grabbing hook. “I said baby don’t worry cause it’s all the same. The way we end the game, picking up the pieces with you”. One of the most talked about songs on the album is the vulnerable “Wrong Victory”. It’s probably the closest sounding track to their 2013 debut and is a breath of fresh air. “It’s hard when nothing fits like it used to”. Title track “How Does It Feel” is a little brassier and has Lizzy delivering a Florence-esq hook that will electrify their live show. Lyrically this album is quite cliché and asks a lot of questions allowing the listener to relate to the song in their own personal way. “Are you just being cruel to be cruel?” (Cruel), “Do you want a way out? Do ya?” (Criminals), “If you’re lost how can you grow from where you’ve been?” (Painted). With this genre songs can become repetitive very quickly and when the lyrics aren’t as strong as they should be its no surprise there are a couple of songs that are best to skip. “Tunnels”, “Reckless” and “All Things Lost” are the culprits for this record while “Tripolar” and “Cruel” offer smooth hooks but nothing much else.
MS MR have served up Neon bold synthpop and while you won’t want to eat everything on the plate there is enough to leave you satisfied. These tracks will translate well into their live set so hopefully the record catches momentum after a string of festival performances.