AlunaGeorge Review: Body Music

AlunaGeorge

Body Music

alunageorge, body music, album, cover, art

AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It” came out in 2011, and I believe I featured it on one of my very first LxListening entries.  Since that time, I have probably listened to the track at least a hundred times.  “Your Drums, Your Love” was featured by us as the #20 best song of 2012 after coming out in December of that year.  Anybody that’s been following AlunaGeorge should also be familiar with “Attracting Flies”, “Bad Idea”, and “Just a Touch”.  Out of the 14 tracks on Body Music, I was intimately familiar with five of those tracks, arguably five of the strongest tracks on the album.

So, I’m at a conundrum that I would like to call the “Cruel Summer” conundrum.  The imperative question is this:  Due to the best portions of the album already being “old hat”, is the album still viewed as a solid effort or anticlimactic in nature?  I think it depends on the album, and in the case of Body Music, I think the wait was still worth it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still disagree with the decision to release 5 or 6 singles before the release of the LP, but I have to force myself to separate those feelings from how I view the album as a whole.  And when viewing Body Music as a whole, I think we have a transcendent pop album on our hands that features some of the hottest singles and solid work throughout.

There is a trend among pop albums these days to take several emerging styles of music, produce a song from each style, and throw all these tracks on the same album to try to snag the largest audience possible.  AlunaGeorge defies this process on Body Music.  They clearly have a style.  The style is hard to describe.  I would maybe venture a description as alt-soul, but I think they are doing something unique enough that it just has to be listened to.

“Friends & Lovers” is one of the stronger non-prereleased tracks, following in the footsteps of album tent-pole “Your Drums, Your Love”.  Both have a “recorded underwater” style of production technique that lends itself well to Aluna Francis’ voice.  “Diver” and “Outlines” are also new tracks that don’t disappoint, with “Outlines” a reminder of how effective some of those mid-90’s R&B sounds were.  The best songs though, are the one’s we’ve all heard before.  I don’t need to write paragraph after paragraph on these ones, because I’ve already done so.

The few disappointments of Body Music are pretty bad.  “Kaleidoscope Love” starts out fine enough, but then hits a snag when it picks up pace.  Its the one song where Francis can’t sell any semblance of sincerity.  The other black eye of the album is the cover of Montell’s “This Is How We Do It”.  Clearly an ode to the mid-90’s sound the duo clearly appreciates, there is just not enough to differentiate the track from the original.  A pretty queer choice for album closer if you ask me.

As far as R&B and pop music go, Body Music has the big hits to draw you in and the depth to keep you around.  This is certainly my type of thing, and even if a lot of the tracks are older I’m glad to have them all in the same place.

9/11

Can’t Miss:  “Your Drums, Your Love”, “You Know You Like It”, “Attracting Flies”, “Outlines”, “Bad Idea”, “Just a Touch”, “Diver”

Can’t Hit:  “Kaleidoscope Love”, “This is How We Do It”

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