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Album Review
AlunaGeorge - Body Music Album Cover

AlunaGeorge - Body Music

Reviewed by
8.0
AlunaGeorge - Body Music
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Record Label: Vagrant/Island
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
There is something hopelessly appealing about the fusion of dance music and pop, and with the recent crop of groups and artists that have executed this style, there's no shortage of great music to find in this vein. There are groups like Purity Ring and CHVRCHES, artists like Jessie Ware and Katy B, and many more that have taken contemporary pop and mixed in their own flavor of dance music. Last year, AlunaGeorge released a stellar three track EP that threw their hat in the ring as one of the up-and-coming groups to watch doing this style, and with their debut album Body Music, they've proven they're one of the better acts in the realm out there right now.

Consisting of singer Aluna Francis and producer George Reid, AlunaGeorge takes the sugary hooks of pop music and mixes it with often times left-field, unorthodox production with an urban leaning. Throughout Body Music, you'll get a handful of straightforward tracks, but then a couple of tracks like "Lost & Found" and "Just A Touch" that find the production taking surprising turns and using styles like trip-hop and garage while still maintaining a very high level of accessibility. The result is an album that is as much of an introduction to the style as it is a clinic for how to properly mix dance and pop music.

All that said, there is something odd about the standouts on the album in comparison to the tracks that are less memorable. The tracks that are far more straightforward pop overshadow those that try to break boundaries, although even the more straightforward songs contain a few oddities that make them distinctly AlunaGeorge songs. Sure, you may not hear "Attracting Flies" on Top 40 Radio any time soon, but those verses and chorus sound like they could have been in a JoJo song circa 2004. Even the squeaky beat of "Just A Touch" doesn't detract from the infectiously huge chorus. It becomes clear that when AlunaGeorge emulate a style that may often be criticized as generic, they're at their best. And that's not to say what they're doing here is generic; it's actually far from it. They just take the candy coated melodies of pop and put their own twist on them with Reid's stellar production chops.

The biggest problem with the album, and a problem that is hardly a problem at all, is that we've already heard a lot of this before. I say that this isn't a problem because all of the songs we have heard before are phenomenal. "Your Drums, Your Love" is as strong in the context of the album as it was a stand alone single, and the lush production sits perfectly in between the more upbeat "Attracting Flies" and "Kaleidoscope Love." And even though the older songs like "You Know You Like It" are some of the best on the album, a few of the new tracks are easy highlights as well. "Bad Idea" and "Superstar" are two of the catchiest songs they've ever written, and the title track serves nicely as a sonic summation of what Body Music is all about.

As the title would suggest, Body Music is warm and comforting, but it can also be wildly unpredictable. There's a certain eclecticism to the aesthetic of AlunaGeorge, but the album is both cohesive and consistent, with the only sub-par track coming in the form of a poorly constructed cover of "This Is How We Do" by Montell Jordan. Thankfully, it is just a bonus track, and as a whole the complaints of Body Music are few and far between. It is a wonderful debut effort, and all of the buzz and the attention they have garnered up to this point is likely only the beginning for AlunaGeorge.

8/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 6 of 6
12:41 AM on 07/30/13
#2
abusedcat
Long Gone Before Daylight
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One of my favorite newer artists, been hooked ever since hearing "Your Drums, Your Love" last year.
A little bummed the physical release comes out a month after the digital, but whatever.
05:38 AM on 07/30/13
#3
Lozee Rose
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Cool review, been waiting for this album for a while now.

Interestingly, over here in the UK 'Attracting Flies' has been all over Top 40 radio for a couple of months now
07:50 AM on 07/30/13
#4
Keagan Ilvonen
@KeaganIlvonen
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Album is da bomb.
08:37 AM on 07/30/13
#5
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
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I can't listen to all 19 tracks in one sitting (probably not an album made for sitting in the first place) and the "This Is How We Do It" cover does nothing for me, but other than that I love these guys and I'm really excited to see them at Made in America
11:39 PM on 08/09/13
#6
tuffEmpastfum
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