Feast on MNDR’s latest

Culture Music

Feed Me Diamonds (Ultra)

Three Facts:

1. MNDR is Amanda Warner (Vocals) and Peter Wade (Production)

2. Album Feed Me Diamonds contains zero weak tracks

3. Amanda Warner is incredibly loyal to her chosen style of glasses

Warner and Wade met in the land where electronic music duos come together: New York City. Warner was hoping to pursue a career in songwriting, and Wade was already a respected producer. Fronting a group instead of writing was something Warner didn’t plan on before her introduction to Wade. The result of the creative meeting was MNDR, whose first full-length album, Feed Me Diamonds, consistently pleases with ease. 

You learn quickly how MNDR intend to make you feel on Feed Me Diamonds. Album opener “#1 in Heaven” bares the skin of the coming 12 cuts on the record. Repeatable love-was-worth-doing-again lines mingle across on-point percussion and joyous synth tones. Sing along and dance you may, but make sure you feel the message just for a second.

Though nothing from the album is groundbreaking, it’s ground-grooming at its finest. Excellent female acts such as La Roux, Robyn and Santigold are instantly resonant in the textures of the lovelorn, dance-floor-ready duo. Rhythms venture from four-on-the-floor to Top 40 to Southern 808 funk, all anchored to consistent yet diverse synth keys. The instrumentals are so well crafted that they often threaten to overtake Warner’s vocal presence, a flaw in pop music today that’s accepted more often than one would hope. Still, Warner manages to swim beautifully atop the music. Emotions displayed in the titles “Stay,” “Fall in Love With the Enemy” and “Burning Hearts” burn brightly through Wade’s arsenal of body-moving tactics. The opening drums of “Stay” could easily be a late-’90s Timbaland drum track that never earned a spot on a Petey Pablo record. “Burning Hearts” opens with earth-swallowing analog keys that never cease to snarl. Title track “Feed Me Diamonds” finds Warner at her most comfortable. A bass line rumble plays the lead in the song, and she has no issue overpowering it for her most memorable chorus of the record.

In today’s fast-paced music culture, genres are dismembered and discarded. Landing in the moody, R&B-crazed landscape of 2012 doesn’t do MNDR any favors. Their answer to love gone wrong in the form of pure fun isn’t what it was a year or two ago. With Lana Del Rey reigning as queen of the female musical formula, the carefree sensibility of Warner and Wade faces a more difficult challenge than it would have had it debuted alongside La Roux in 2009. And in a time when a hit single gets much more notoriety than a strong album, MNDR have done something fairly rare: they have crafted 12 very good songs into a cohesive piece. There are no weak verses from crossover hip-hop acts, no sell-out singles and no antics. Just a girl who loves to write words about love, and a guy who knows how to turn it into danceable pop music.