As one of the most hyped album releases of the year, AlunaGeorge’s long-awaited debut could easily have ended up as just another potentially great album ruined by delays and label interference. However, we’re delighted to reveal that Body Music is every bit as brilliant as we would expect it to be.
Consisting of vocalist Aluna Francis and producer George Reid, the most noticeable aspect of AlunaGeorge is how both members complement each other brilliantly. Both are exceptionally talented as individuals, but it’s seriously difficult to imagine Aluna’s sultry and distinct vocals working quite as well with any other producer as they do with George and his lo-fi pop stylings. We noted in a live review last year that Aluna already had the stage presence of a superstar, and whilst the album only solidifies her as a brilliant pop star, George’s wild production is never too far away from the spotlight. They have a special harmony that allows them both to bring out the best in the other – it’d be a great shame if they ever stopped working together.
It’s difficult to compare AlunaGeorge to anyone else (or even to categorise them into a single genre), because whilst Body Music is primarily an R&B record it has more than its fair share of simple, strong pop melodies, as well as a strong dance/electronic presence. You’d be forgiven for thinking that their sound would therefore be all over the place, but there’s a strong sense of identity to the album – they manage to blend together several styles with apparent ease, which is no mean feat.
The singles are probably the instant highlights of Body Music. You Know You Like It still sounds fresh two years after it was originally released, and the punchy synths of Attracting Flies are simply brilliant. However, plenty of the album tracks have their own quirks – the infectious chorus of Just A Touch is noteworthy (as is the sultry Kaleidoscope Heart), whilst Best Be Believing stands out as an obvious choice for a future single. The closing track deserves a special mention – it’s a cover of Montell Jordan’s This Is How We Do It, and it’s nothing but sheer perfection. Aluna’s clearly having the time of her life on the vocals, whilst George’s bouncy production puts a brilliant and fresh spin on a classic that they both clearly love. Recorded covers rarely work in the modern pop climate, but it’s the perfect way to end the album.
Aluna and George are brilliant examples of people who take themselves seriously enough for the music to be clever, but not so seriously that they can’t have fun with it at the same time. They’re very slick, and whilst the individuality of their sound might cause problems further down the line when trying to mix things up a bit on album two or three, it’s safe to say that they’ve released one of the strongest pop albums of 2013 so far.