AlunaGeorge - Body Music (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
WHEREAS a lot of acts release a deluxe version of their album after they’re assured of success and refuse to offer much for free, AlunaGeorge have done both with their debut album, Body Music. And credit to them.
Hence, Body Music streamed for free on various sites ahead of its official release, while also coming with the sort of bonus material usually reserved for deluxe editions (a colossal 19 tracks). It’s also an intriguing take on the pop formula.
Drawing from R&B as well as electronic music, it has a distinct sound and, quite often, a lot to like. Perhaps unsurprisingly for an album of its length, not every track is a winner. But there’s enough here to endear AlunaGeorge to you.
Aluna Francis’s vocals, for starters, are pretty appealing, whether purring soulfully over the album’s slower moments, or injecting a breezy pop feel to the more upbeat moments. But George Reid’s production values are also pretty slick at times, even though he sometimes overdoes the hooks involving Francis’s vocals.
Hence, former single Attracting Flies is a grower that has got better over time (while displaying some fresher than average pop credentials), album opener Outlines drops a sultry opening offering with a late night R’n‘B vibe worth kicking back to and Your Drums, Your Love adds edge and husky values to Francis’s vocal delivery and employs some seriously sexy electronics and beats.
Bad Idea has a striking synth backdrop that’s shot through with urgency and appeal, Best Be Believing sounds Lily Allen-esque during the verses before hitting you with a chorus that Janet Jackson might be proud of, and Just A Touch combines finger-clicking beats with an urban-sounding electronic loop that just gets into your head and refuses to budge (in a good way). A qoozy electronic hook that weaves its way in and out is also a nice touch.
And if you’re after a good late night smooth groover, then Friends To Lovers ticks the right boxes while also adding a bittersweet undertow. It’s a fine example of AlunaGeorge’s diversity as well.
Towards the end of the LP, a cover version of Montell Jordan’s This Is How We Do It is both cheeky and fun, while Indestructible zips along with ear-pleasing melodies, a catchy chorus and snappy beats.
As mainstream debuts go, this satisfies more than most while, crucially, offering up bags of potential for the future.
Download picks: Just A Touch, Attracting Flies, Outlines, Your Drums, Your Love, Indestructible, Friends To Lovers