Single Review – AlunaGeorge – I Remember

The Dance ‘Trip-hop’ duo of Aluna Francis and George Reid are to release their second studio album on April 29th with I Remember and now they’ve unveiled the title track from it. So far the duo have seemingly embraced more pop structures and themes around their Trip-hop sound of phasing, shuffling and minimalist dance music. This minimalism is more noticeable in what can be classed as a dance ballad of sorts. Aluna’s whispy and light vocals are often left to carry the song with similarly light synth inputs. Larger and more audible inputs grace the chorus to generate a musical and melodic peak. The track is quite simple but that is the beauty of it in many ways; it still remains to be seen whether these greater pop influences will pay off for them, but you with AlunaGeorge that they’ll be delivered in a stylish fashion.

Owen Riddle

Single Review – AlunaGeorge – Supernatural

2013’s Body Music was a very stable debut for London’s AlunaGeorge. With it, they had combined the best of electronica, R&B, Pop and UK Garage resulting in a fair bit of commercial success with their debut album at number 11 and their highest charting single ‘Attracting Flies’ at number 17 on the singles chart. In spite of this, there was plenty of room for improvement throughout the album which at times became bogged down by a lack of diversity and an ambition from their singles, that did not stretch to their album tracks. Now they’re set to release their follow up second LP in 2015 and have released a new single entitled ‘Supernatural’. It’s a track a lot more reminiscent of the late 80’s and 90’s dance scenes with a Acid House beat. This is offset by the chiming, modulated synths and the soft edged, naïve vocals with all it’s pop-like harmony. A track with a little more rapidity and urgency then their previous efforts with a much more prominent core beat. Not a huge departure, but the sound still works.

AlunaGeorge – Body Music Review

AlunaGeorge are Aluna Francis taking on the vocals and George Reid dealing with the production and instrumentation. Chances are that you’ve heard the electronic London duo before. For starters they were the runners up in the BBC sound of 2013 poll behind Haim (You can value that as you see fit). Plus they have appeared on Jools Holland and graced an advert or two and their March single ‘Attracting Flies’ broke the top 20 in the charts at 17. They offer up a simple electronic beat in various forms and a soft and slightly naive vocal to create some tracks with a sleek and effortless style and some more pop like moments. It would seem that there is a mixed bag of views and opinions about them and I think people are unsure of what to do with them and what tag to put them under. In all honesty Body Music doesn’t help matters.

First up is perhaps their most recognisable tune ‘You Know You Like It’ which has a simple dulled electronic beat throughout the verse and chorus. Sitting on top of this are some long drawn out synth turns and some little retro fills. That’s pretty much it for the instrumentation and production and it’s be no accident as George Reid wanted to minimalise that aspect of their work and has managed to do that but fill the space pretty well while complimenting Aluna’s vocals which are an acquired taste. They are pretty soft and seem fragile at times and a lack of pronunciation at the end of some words will drive some people up the wall. I personally have no issue with it and she can hold her own in that area better than you may think at first. In this song her vocals just sit above the music which is important as it could be easy to drown her out yet just as easy to really tone it all down to make sure she rises above the music. However this is at an optimum level for both. Despite the steady beat of the song and it’s relaxed tempo, it’s pretty damn catchy which highlights George as a producer for doing that with minimal input. Apart from that it’s pretty slick and stylish. ‘Attracting Flies’ opens with a very deep beat which develops into a broad and open beat that’s less isolated and echoes just a little. Little metallic fills and a melody from a more higher pitched synth at the bridge of the song and various other points. Aluna’s vocals are a little more sure of themselves and a little stronger and there is no suprise that the song graced the charts as it’s a pretty generic vocal and more straight up pop rather than some stylish sub genre.

‘Your Drums Your Love’ was the first single off the album proper and the synth sounds are less staggered and feature more like waves of sound. The manipulated, deep vocal is really needed so much but in a way it does add some light and shade to the song. Aluna’s vocals are pretty standard in the verses but into the chorus they hold up and are pretty solid if not a little more pop orientated with some doubled recordings of her voice in the background. Songs like ‘Kaleidoscope Love’ and ‘Bad Idea’ have more of those light and shade moments due to the facts there is more space being filled with some extra elements while others like ‘Best Be Believing’ are more straight up pop moments and they may as well have put it out as a single. But it’s a little like they were startting to get bogged down by the style they chose to play and record the album as it left them with little room for manouvre in terms of variety and most songs have a similair feel to them and similar structure. They both talked of how tracklisting was not a big thing for them and it shows here too. Clumping there best songs together dulls the second half of a fourteen track album or even more if you have the deluxe version. Having said that all the songs aren’t that bad and there was no intent on putting in album fillers. Perhaps some pop moments that sweep over your head but it’s main problem like with Borrell 1 from Johnny Borrell is the lack of variety due to the specific idea they set out for themselves.

AlunaGeorge – Body Music = 6.5/10

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