Do You Feel OK?

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The first Superhumanoids album, 2013's Exhibitionists, was a promising slice of electro-pop with a sound that hit the sweet spot where slick '80s pop and modern R&B meet. Like fellow travelers Chvrches, the L.A. trio crafted memorable, and emotionally deep, songs that had sneaky-good hooks. After a bit of a wait, their second album, Do You Feel OK?, rolled out in late 2015 and made good on the debut's promise. With stronger songs, more intense vocal performances from Sarah Chernoff, and a slightly looser, more enjoyable sound, the record is a step forward. It's dark lyrically and heavy on the kind of midtempo ballads that sound really good when your heart is full of pain, but they balance it with a few deceptively bouncy, danceable jams like "Norwegian Black Metal" and "Touch Me" that help to keep the album from sinking too deep in the emotional murk. Even within the ballads there is enough variation and differing shades of gloom to keep things interesting. The group displays increased skill at filling the arrangements with sound and tricks; even the sparsest songs have plenty going on, though it never distracts from Chernoff's tear-stained run through melancholy and heartache. A couple tracks may come a little close to Chvrches territory, but since they both got started at roughly the same time and share a similar vision, one can hardly accuse them of plagiarism. They certainly would sound good housed in the same playlist. Throw in Dungeonesse and Phantogram, and it's the perfect soundtrack for the saddest solo slumber party around.

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