Album Review: MS MR's 'How Does It Feel' A Mix of Retro And Modern

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

The indie pop duo, MSMR, have released their sophomore album, "How Does It Feel." Vocalist Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenow started the band back in 2011.

Their first studio album, "Secondhand Rapture." "Hoe Does It Feel" trades some of the darkness of "Secondhand Rapture" for dance beats.

When MSMR announced their new CD, they dropped the first single, "Painted." The song dives right into the synth sounds that are prevalent in the album. It takes influence from soul, disco, and a hint of the 90s.

The brass and keyboards sections really contribute to making a larger sound. "Criminals" is rolling in 90s synth.

Something about "No Guilt in Pleasure" doesn't add up. The beat, Plapinger's voice, and the melody don't quite mix up well enough for this song to be a pleasure that you wouldn't care about being guilty about. "Wrong Victory" is probably one of the better songs on the album.

Plapinger sounds amazing. Her vocals put the necessary feeling of vulnerability and conviction that the song needs. It's the perfect mesh of the sound now and their last album.

"How Does It Feel" is the title track of the album. The feeling of this song is more of a pump up song. There is no question of how it feels. Plapinger knows and the person she's singing to knows, it's a catchy work up song. "Tunnels" is a weaker song.

Plapinger doesn't seem to bring the same emotion that is needed in such a slow, melodic song. The lyrics are also a let down. The way "Leave Me Alone" was crafted wonderfully.

Plapinger continues to prove that she sounds the best when singing tragedy. The horns add a guarded feel in the way they are more muted then being allowed to be at their fullest.

"Reckless" is the energetic sound that bridges the their upbeat with their downbeat. It's full of synthesis and a grand sound that will sound nice during a live performance. Perhaps if it was on it's own, "Cruel" would be a nice song.

But compared to the rest of the album it's just another song that seems to fall flat.

"All The Things Lost" is the conclusion song. It pulls all the aspects and themes that have been running through "How Does It Feel." It's loud, filled with synths, and overflowing with raw emotion.

Altogether, "How Does It Feel" is very inconsistent.

There are really well put together songs and some that aren't so well put together that make the album feel more rushed than it was.

It's still worth a listen though because MSMR does the retro/modern, high/low mixtures very well.