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These Days

M+A

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Album Review

After releasing their giddily glitchy laptop pop debut album, Things.Yes, the young Italian duo M+A underwent a fairly drastic sea change. No longer did their music sound like Mouse on Mars dosed with copious amounts of High C or Plone on 45. Instead, they decided to turn off the laptops and get real on their second record, These Days. The duo's sound is now super-slick, shimmery, and not at all processed-sounding. Along with real drums, there are guitars, strings, and vocals on every track, and while Things.Yes was danceable in a jerky way, this album is meant for dancefloors. While quite a few tracks are frivolous fun in a post-"Get Lucky" fashion, all disco balls and swirling dresses, many others come across like a pumped-up Phoenix, from the vocal phrasing to the song structures to the overall feel and sound. When they aren't getting down in a French fashion, they get a little funky, Beck style; "B Song" and "Slow" sound like Odelay outtakes that come complete with pseudo turntable scratches. They even bring the tempo down a couple times for ballads that also sound like quiet storm Phoenix, especially on the super-pretty "Game." The varied moods and tempos make for a well-rounded album that shows without a doubt that M+A are skilled producers with an ear for smoothly ingratiating sounds and a couple of catchy tunes in their back pocket.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '10s

The electronic pop duo M+A hail from the town of Forli in Italy. Formed by Michele Ducci, who handles vocals and instruments, and Alessandro Degli Angioli, also on instruments, the duo make a sunnily glitchy pop that is influenced equally by the techno of Boards of Canada and the fractured pop of Panda Bear. Their first album, Things.Yes, was recorded at home during 2011 and released in November by the U.K. label Monotreme. The duo returned in 2013...
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These Days, M+A
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