There are two things wrong with the much-anticipated debut from London alt-poppers AlunaGeorge – let’s start at the end first. The very last song is a bonus track: a fun but unnecessary cover of Montell Jordan’s evergreen party jam ‘This Is How we Do It’. The second ‘eek’ moment is the artwork. Sure, singer Aluna Francis has legs that could span continents, but isn’t it a bit old-school to unfurl them so brazenly on an album cover? And to relegate beat-maker George Reid to the background? Poor George.
We’re being harsh because these are truly the only two things wrong with ‘Body Music’. It’s a fantastic start-to-finish treat: poppy yet cheese-free, adventurous in sound and entirely unique in spirit. Their individuality is especially admirable given their place in the middle of a scene of London future-poppers: Bondax, Disclosure, Charli XCX and Jessie Ware, to name but a few.
Luckily, they have motifs that more than distinguish themselves from the crowd. Their sonic signature is Aluna’s voice – high-pitched, ever so slightly raspy and multi-tracked to perfection. Then there’s George’s knack for sampling her vocals and creating intros and hooks out of it (a trick dating back to Nu Shooz’s ‘I Can’t Wait’ from back in 1984).
More than anything, though, ‘Body Music’ delivers on its promises as Disclosure’s debut LP ‘Settle’ also did recently: both albums are perfect unions of London’s underground bass sounds with hooky, catchy pop smarts. Hardly any songs on ‘Body Music’ break the four-minute barrier, and after just a couple of listens, hooks and choruses are firmly embedded in one’s cranium.
We love it when a band well and truly lives up to the hype. Whether they usurp Bey and Ri from the top of the charts or not, AlunaGeorge have pushed pop music in the right direction and that can only be a good thing. We just hope George gets to get his legs out on the cover of album number two.
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