Release Date: Aug 14, 2012
Record label: Ultra
MNDR's debut is a sweaty workout that mixes chilly electro moves with the kind of joyous beats that soundtracked summertime in the 1980s. Amanda Warner veers between aerobic bounce and sang-froid remove; the sumptuous "Fall in Love With the Enemy" sounds like prime Robyn, and the title track is a shimmery ballad pegged to an image of shredded insides. Listen to "#1 in Heaven": .
Precocious electro-brat Amanda Warner has had an especially sparkly past few years. It’s all led to this: a debut full-length that lives up to its anticipation. In addition to the top-notch dance tracks that MNDR has birthed (the vocals sound especially au courant in their iciness), Warner attempts relevance with the songwriting—apparently it’s all about more than just rockin’ da club.
It's neither Amanda Warner's fault nor entirely ignorable that she's surrounded by so many peers. Warner, who's performed for years with producer Peter Wade under the moniker MNDR, makes buzzy synthpop amid a deafening buzz of likeminded bands, and from any point in her career, it's a short step to two or three rough analogues or influences. After a couple of years jobbing behind the scenes for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and others, Warner's break came in 2010 when she lent a careening hook and Francophone snappiness to "Bang Bang Bang" by Mark Ronson, an act arguably better known for his antecedents (the vague, remembered 1960s), protégées, and followers than his actual music.
The group MNDR has some tough competition. They’re a female-fronted up and coming group who play poppy tunes dominated by synthesizers. In the last few years, there have been a lot of dominant women making highly effective synth-pop. Robyn, from Sweden, has been releasing powerful and empowering synth-disco borrowing from R&B and hip-hop, alternately untouchably robotic and poignantly vulnerable.
In today’s crowded pop star conversation, it takes more than a few 1990s techno by-way-of modern dubstep beats and some lyrics about partying for an aspiring artist to make waves. It’s a difficult game to play; just ask New York via Bay Area electro junkie Amanda Warner (a.k.a. MNDR), who first turned heads with her debut EP E.P.E back in 2010. Warner’s long-awaited full-length debut, Feed Me Diamonds, doesn’t deserve to be tossed onto the dancehall floor, and it hardly packs the punch needed for a mainstream breakthrough — or any breakthrough for that matter.
Two years after MNDR’s debut EP, E. P. E.