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NYC synthpop pair Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow made thundering waves in pop with their debut LP Secondhand Rapture two years ago - stardom beckoned after they wowed with fizzing Internet-friendly aesthetics, leftfield electro-pop and oddball inspirations. The band made much of their meteorological beginnings on the campaign for Secondhand Rapture, their first album, talking in depth about the affect that their surroundings and bad weather had had on tracks like 'Hurricane'.

Going by the sounds on the new album, it seems they've upped sticks and ventured into the lengthy Californian drought rather than wading through NYC's drizzly doldrums. New album How Does It Feel is a blazing, scorching anthology of sun-smooched ear-candy; it's also brittle and dry.

It's true that there are some fucking bangers on How Does It Feel - opener 'Painted' is one of 2015's biggest and best pop cuts. It's apocalyptically massive, with end-of-the-world basslines, blitzkreig beats and repeated, breathless hooks that'll have you chanting along in an instant. 'Criminal' has blaring siren-like vox in the chorus, 'Tripolar''s got whomping 'Livin' On A Prayer' style talk-box riffs and 'Reckless' brandishes immense summer singalong potential - there's a lot of pop action going on during How Does It Feel, no doubt about it.

But for all the grandeur and showmanship that the pair proudly display, the band's "Tumblr glitch pop, soul fuzz, electroshock" intricacies have all-but vanished. The quirks and eccentricities, bar a few moments to savour, are ironed out of How Does It Feel. There's a lack of sonic depth on the album that jars against the relative genius of their debut - for all the new heights that the LP scales, it loses its middle and base. It's not totally hollow, with 'Painted' and 'Wrong Victory' tugging with gusto at your heartstrings, but there's no deep satisfaction after the final beat fades; it's more a gradual realisation that the sound has stopped.

One of the most major alterations from Secondhand Rapture is the lack of Hershenow in the mix. Squalls of synth, crackling beats and a lurching electronic vibe surged through the duo's debut, and although he's obviously still present on How Does It Feel, he feels outshone by Plapinger's vocals. Perhaps that's just a newfound confidence in Plapinger, or perhaps the way the songs were composed, or perhaps someone at head office felt that there was a face to MS MR that needed a bigger spotlight on it.

MS MR are gunning for mainstream success with album number two, and with big-dog label Columbia ostensibly behind them 110%, they've got the resources to do so. More importantly of course, they have the singles to do so. In bitesize chunks this is a sumptuous feast - but it's more buffet than banquet.

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