Secondhand Rapture

Secondhand Rapture

A seductively erotic charge courses through Secondhand Rapture, the debut album of New York twosome MS MR. Drawing upon classic pop, retro soul and trip-hop elements, the duo crafts a sound that’s meticulously constructed without concealing the volatile emotions coursing beneath its surfaces. Singer Lizzy Plapinger combines Adele’s diva authority with Florence Welch’s artful flair as she tears into love’s temptations and treacheries. The wounded desire that fuels her performances in “Hurricane,” “Think of You,” “No Trace” and similar tracks are lent dramatic heft by producer Max Hershenow’s atmospheric use of cavernous vocal echo and rumbling tympani drums. MS MR stretch out further with clap-along island grooves (“Salty Sweet”), cool lounge jazz (“Dark Doo Wop”) and gliding, gothic-tinged balladry (“Ash Tree Lane”). The slow jam soulfulness of “Fantasy” finds the duo simultaneously mellow and menacing. For all the lyric venom and sonic lushness found here, there’s a vulnerability to the music’s core that pours forth in revelatory moments like the smoldering album closer “This Isn’t Control.”

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