The gorgeous electronic backdrops on Mike Milosh’s debut, You Make Me Feel, are complemented by such wonderfully simplistic verse that it’s hard to believe this isn’t his third or fourth release. Milosh has done here what most artists tire for years over before they get close to it. The Toronto-based optimist writes words entirely laden with romantic and lovelorn imagery, but he’s so candidly simplistic that he’s opened himself up to the world on every vocal track. He’s fortunately never too overt in his offerings as he whispers metaphorical odes to the past and present. Milosh manages this and dreamy sublime beat-making on his breakout full-length from Plug Research.
Positivity permeates the vocal content on You Make Me Feel, with Milosh manipulating the melody in a way that recalls Stevie Wonder. He is both soulful and overwhelmingly positive in all matters of the heart, rather than retreating to sorrowful post-relationship balladry. Unlike Plug Research label-mates Languis, Milosh’s compositions are warm and cheerful, contrasting the occasional somber melody that he’s constructed. He uses nostalgic language that may have been commonplace on the Motown 45s, such as in the album’s title track, when he calls his love a “beautiful moment in (his) life” and a “sweet wrinkle in time.”
Somebody’s been siftin’ through a book of Carole King song titles. Just as King had once done, Milosh confesses finding tranquility in the simple pleasures of merely being alongside his significant other. His notions aren’t completely self-involved, though. He recognizes that these are things felt by all in “Simple People,” when he announces that “Our obligation is to no one/ Not even ourselves/ We’re just cogs in a wheel.” This, the third track, contains one of many shining lyrical moments as much as it does edgy beats.
The beats are constantly surprising here; they’re either awash in warm static fuzz or are gentle pulses that barely register on the stereo’s LCD. Milosh has a firm grip on what makes classic R&B so seductive but ventures further into electronic song-smithing, sometimes breaking new ground in developing sleepy romantic interludes. Sporadically throughout the album are moments where only subtle bleeps dance in the background as his ghostly stuttering harmonies light the path. When the verses take hold, the lyrics are therapeutic in forward-thinking optimism or a yearning return to the past, where his muse is only a pleasant memory. Pleasant indeed, You Make Me Feel does just this, stirring up either new fireside revelations about compatibility or nursing old wounds from the lover who got away.