Album review: Georgia – Seeking Thrills

John Preston

South London based music obsessive with strong opinions about most things. Doubts Madonna has another good record in her but would love more than anything to be proved wrong.
John Preston

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Georgia’s 2015 debut album had many highlights and her impressive knowledge and obvious love of music helped shape its sometimes disparate elements into a cohesive whole.

Five years later and much has been made about the London based, once session-drummer, plunge into dance, and particularly house music.

The associated, decades rich culture associated with it has been attributed as playing a pivotal role in establishing the musical imprint and influence for Seeking Thrills.

In fact, the 12 songs here are again a mix of genres which are admittedly overshadowed by the front-loaded quartet of songs that are indeed variations of dance-pop that can traced back to Chicago house and electro-pop behemoths.

‘Work the Dancefloor’ would be a fantastic song whichever year it had been released but without doubt was one of the very best singles of last year. Not a house tune, its juddering synth line is majestic and glacial and is more in keeping with the 80s synth pop that Robyn paid homage to with ‘Dancing on My Own’.

It’s somewhat incredible then, given its dauntingly high standard and influence, that Georgia has written a song that matches Robyn’s on every level and continues to take the crying in the disco genre to an even higher plane.

‘Work the Dancefloor’ is not a sad song necessarily but it has a pungent melancholia which permeates the protagonist’s need to seek refuge in the club.

Album opener ‘Starting Out’ is more traditionally purist, post-disco dance music. So is single ’24 Hours’, but the only other time this genre is revisited is on the sinewy thrust of Chicago house tribute ‘The Thrill’.

The remainder of Seeking Thrills returns to a similar pattern sonically to Georgia’s debut, albeit one that is smoother and more artfully considered and constructed.

Dream-pop, angular and urban electro-rap and global hip-hop are scattered through the second half and highlights include the beautiful, twinkling ambience of almost-lullaby ‘Ultimate Sailor’ and the staccato and airy bass banger ‘I Can’t Wait’.

‘Ray Guns’ is a sticky ear worm that might become the album’s biggest song, like a friendly ‘Paper Planes’ its resemblance to peak period MIA dates it somewhat but also fails to detract from its potency.

Georgia is trying to take pop music back to the artist. Seeking Thrills is almost entirely self-written, produced and performed and she is as competent and engaging on stage as she is a studio artist.

Looking to the past for influence seems to come naturally to her but this isn’t a slavishly nostalgic record, in many ways ways this is a record that could only exist in 2020 and Georgia has already set a very early high bar for the incumbent decade.