[one_half last=”no”]
How Does It Feel

NBHAP Rating: 2,7/5


[one_half last=”yes”]MS MR
How Does It Feel

Release-Date: 17.07.2015
Label: Columbia

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



Big shoes to fill

In 2012, MS MR released their four-song debut EP Candy Bar Creep Show on Tumblr; it was an innovative way for a new band to distribute their work. A year later, Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow’s first full length album Secondhand Rapture hit the shelves and instantly it was one of the most popular records of the year. Lead single Hurricane was a radio sensation, and it was featured in a Gucci commercial. Having also featured in a trailer for Season 3 of Game of Thrones, their gloomy song Bones appeared in couple of other television series such as Grey’s Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars. Duo’s sound often compared to FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE, thanks to lead singer Lizzy Plapinger’s powerful vocals and band’s indie-pop tunes. So it is safe to say they raised the bar very high for their successor album, How Does It Feel.

A new direction

Painted is the album’s opener, which was also the first single taken from the band’s second LP, and its synth-filled intro gives you an idea about the band’s new path. While Lizzy Plapinger channels her inner 90’s pop fan in Criminals, rarely obvious drum lines of the record accompany her. Max Hershenow’s synthesizer takes the stage with No Guilt in Pleasure and from then on, it is clear that MS MR abandoned their indie-pop roots, which gained them attention with their debut album. Soul-influenced track Wrong Victory is a breather among all the dance songs and it is one of the few moments where we can have a chance to appreciate Lizzy Plapinger’s powerful vocals. Max Hershenow’s predominant synths appear once again as the title track of the album How Does It Feel starts. Lizzy Plapinger’s voice was the key that connects each song’s instruments in band’s debut album, this is the case with Cruel and album’s closing track All the Things Lost.

Falls short

It is hard to describe MS MR’s brand new sound as ‘pop music’; with a few expectations, this album is more like a collection of dance songs that would be a perfect fit for a party. We can clearly see that the band wanted to change things with their new album. They ditched things like gloomy indie tunes and mid-tempo songs that made them popular with their debut record. So if you were a fan of these sounds, there is a good chance that this album may disappoint you. But to be fair, MS MR are not the first ones to try that. Bands with successful first albums usually struggle to satisfy expectations on their second album. Even though Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow are a talented pair of musicians, How Does It Feel is a setback for the band and they fail to deliver a more polished and characteristic second album.

Most bands with well-received debut records struggle on their second efforts and unfortunately, MS MR are no exception to that rule.