Two years after MNDR’s debut EP, E.P.E., and her attention-grabbing guest appearance on Mark Ronson’s club hit “Bang Bang Bang,” she has released her first full-length studio album, titled Feed Me Diamonds, with an aim to “challenge money, wealth, power and the class system.” That description is way too serious for this album, which really just offers some liberating and riotous dance-pop fun. Produced by Peter Wade, who created all of the beats on the record from scratch, the LP comes from a place of appreciation for minimalistic techno and early house. Simple and hook-riddled, each track gives club-friendly musician Amanda Warner the chance to flaunt her vocal prowess over smooth and electrifying synths.
Feed Me Diamonds begins with an irresistibly catchy dance gem with an attached history lesson. The lyrics to the chorus are kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst’s words after she was arrested for robbing a bank where someone was murdered: “Tell them I am smiling and send my greetings.” And that’s what Warner wails under chilling layers of synth and plenty of background woahs and ohs.
While it is nice to see MNDR’s vulnerable side on slower tracks like “Stay” and “Blue Jean Youth,” she is at her best with tracks that keep you moving like “Faster Horses,” “Fall In Love With The Enemy” and “U.B.C.L.” With its sleek vocals and commanding beats, “Faster Horses” explodes with energy and pulsating synths. “Fall In Love With The Enemy” begins with as much gusto as a full marching band. Its repeated lyrics and bubbly rhythm make it a true pump-up dance romp that leads perfectly into “U.B.C.L.” While major focus goes toward those loud and proud low tones, they bring a much-needed balance to Warner’s quirky and unhinged vocals.
MNDR’s album title was inspired by the claim performance artist Marina Abramović made about her father’s “murder,” which is that he was killed by “being fed finely ground diamonds.” That darkness is reflected in the title track, which haunts with industrial beats. Rough but raw, Warner cries, “What’s the good in being good/So, go ahead/Feed me diamonds.” Very masochistic of her; it’s definitely not a party song. MNDR ends the album with “I Go Away,” an emotional track that was first released on E.P.E. With its melting synths, echoing drumbeat and empowering lyrics, it’s a damn good breakup anthem. She evens sings so: “This is my anthem/I know it like I know everything.” If there is anything MNDR knows its definitely what makes a great electro-pop album.