AlunaGeorge have returned with a new album this year after releasing Body Music in 2013 and a plethora of collaborations in the last three years. Body Music established the duo as eclectic yet niche, and their contribution to electro-pop quickly become a favourite in the genre, earning them a huge following. The most recent album I Remember only retains certain elements of their niche sound while heading in a commercial direction. Previous fans may be disappointed by the commercial aspect, but there are some moments in this album that are sonically great. It is clear that the album plays it very safe throughout, and whether this has lured more listeners is clearly seen in the chart-placements.
There are tracks on the album that will appeal to those who are not familiar with AlunaGeorge’s work. ‘Mean What I Mean’ is the most commercial sounding club-banger on the album, fuelled by simplistic lyrics that are futile at best – although Leikeli47’s verse is absolutely the biggest highlight of the track (and arguably the best collaboration on the album). The hip-hop influenced track ‘Not Above Love’ has great lyrical stylings by the duo, and even the vocals are greatly reflecting on this. The production is pretty good on this too, albeit slightly commercial. But that is to be expected with Rock Mafia lending their hand.
‘Meditator’ is the best song on the album. The sensual and sweet vocals by Aluna, who is primarily known for her sweet and almost childlike voice, complement the sensual and relaxing guitar strums and gentle chimes. It Body Musicis very reminiscent of Sade as the ballad exudes sensuality. Not many electro-pop artists have been able to create ballads that authentically provide the ballad vibe.
The main standout is the well-executed production on tracks such as ‘Mediator’ and ‘I’m in Control’, as well as ‘Jealous’, ‘My Blood’ and ‘Heartbreak Horizon’. However, they still seem to play safe in the progression of their production. A lot of the tracks have a similar structure, with a drop between the verses and the chorus, like in ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘I Remember’.
AlunaGeorge have a distinct sound that is unique to them and has earned them a name in the electro-pop genre. However, the album is pretty standard. Some say it has become very commercial compared to their last release. However, this is something that should come as no surprise to any listener as it follows the route that most artists go through when establishing themselves. In addition, the music business is not known for giving artists full artistic direction. As always, the vocals are fantastic but are not given the full room to shine. Hopefully in their next project they create a healthy balance between staying as AlunaGeorge but also experimenting outside their comfort zone with the production.
By Kelly Kiesewetter