July 30 2013
After putting their well-received lead single “You Know You Like It” online almost two years ago, AlunaGeorge finally gives us the full-length album Body Music. It’s a fun electronic affair packed with catchy choruses laid over heavily ornamented beats. However, the long wait unfortunately didn’t produce much material better than that first track. Yet at the same time, an artist’s merit can’t be wholly based on the amount of time they have spent on something.
If there’s one song that can match up to the hype generated by “You Know You Like It” for the past couple of years, it’s definitely “Attracting Flies,” the most recent single. It’s a bumping cut that’s as easy to sing along to as it is to dance to, reminiscent of some of the gems of early noughts dance pop, such as Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” It even has an entertaining lyrical theme, comparing the fibs that someone is fond of telling to stinky poop. Another sweet track is “Bad Idea.” A smart, sassy break-up song that features some strong falsetto on Aluna Francis’s part.
Unfortunately, the rest of the album just kind of feels like filler, not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, just kind of disappointing. It’s like when there might be a little more dietary fiber in the meat product you’re consuming than you would prefer. It doesn’t make it taste bad, it just takes away from some of the flavor that might have been there otherwise. A lot of the slower, softer songs, the title track being a prime example, ultimately fall flat, not having enough soul to carry them above the pitfall that is boredom.
Producer George Reid usually does a pretty good job at accenting Francis’s vocals and adequately filling in the gaps where she is silent. On the other hand, there are points where he tries to be a bit too fancy and it just comes across as kind of annoying. This is evidenced by the frequent vocal samples that he uses to start off songs like “Lost & Found” and “Best Be Believing,” which are frustratingly back to back. After awhile, it just sounds a bit lame and silly, making one wish he would stop messing around with Francis’s voice, especially since it’s so good on it’s own, and get back to utilizing those cool synth effects. Hopefully as Reid matures he’ll truly learn that he doesn’t need to be even the least bit eccentric and that he can just allow the beats to do the talking for him.
The biggest surprise comes at the end of the album with a cover of Montell Jordan’s famous 1995 hit “This Is How We Do It.” While it definitely doesn’t surpass the piece of art that is the original, it’s still an interesting version nonetheless and a cool choice to end the record with. I’m definitely excited to see where AlunaGeorge goes from here as they definitely have some solid room to grow.