Body Music, the debut album by newcomers AlunaGeorge is not at all what I expected. The three preceding singles (‘Your Drums, Your Love’, ‘Attracting Flies’ and ‘You Know You Like It’) are all upbeat and insanely catchy, so it is understandable why I thought the rest of the album would follow suit. I was very wrong about this.
The majority of the songs are seductive and mid-to-down-tempo, completely unlike the singles. The overall vibe of the album is mellow and it does take a few listens before you truly do begin to appreciate exactly what has gone into this impressive debut.
Album opener ‘Outlines’ is a simple beginning, with breathy vocals and a smooth beat running throughout which perfectly shows what the album is going to sound like. ‘You Know You Like It’ is a repetitive song marrying synths, electronic bursts and R&B beats to create a truly addictive tune. It’s definitely memorable, due to its repetitive nature and simple lyrics, and it’s easy to see why it was selected as a single as it ensures that the song, and the band themselves, get stuck in their listeners’ heads.
‘Attracting Flies’ is the standout track of the album. Pure gold. It perfectly showcases what both of the members bring to the band – the impressive breathy vocals of Aluna married with the repetitive, plucky synth beats created by George. The sound of the album is brought back down with ‘Your Drums, Your Love’. It is experimental with choppy synths and slight dubstep breakdowns that interrupt Aluna’s vocals. The production slightly overshadows the vocals but this isn’t a bad thing as it highlights what George brings to the band. It does, however, take a few listens to see that this is what they are trying to achieve. That said, ‘Kaleidoscope Love’ is instantly forgettable and potentially the poorest song on the album. It definitely wouldn’t have been missed if it wasn’t included in the final tracklisting.
‘Bad Idea’ is a good enough song, but it is surrounded by more impressive tracks and it is easy to forget in comparison. Perhaps it should have been placed higher in the tracklist, before the better songs are played. ‘Diver’, a sultry and seductive mid-tempo song, makes you want to sway in time with the music. Aluna’s soaring vocals in the final verse really have to be heard to be believed. It’s definitely worth another listen, or ten! ‘Lost And Found’ follows in a similar vein to ‘Attracting Flies’ in that it has an addictive beat and repetitive lyrics to ensure it is remembered. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it was released as a single. It is also similar to Your Drums, Your Love as it experiments with plucky and jumpy beats that are quite unlike anything else in the charts these days.
‘Best Be Believing’ once again gives the album a bit of a breather. Its simple chorus is forgettable but it certainly isn’t the worst song on the album. ‘Superstar’ is a grower. Upon my first listen I didn’t really pay attention, but its soaring chorus will certainly strike a chord and ensure it is played again and again. This is another song that shows that the album needs a few listens before it can really be judged. ‘Just A Touch’ is another stand-out track of the album. It’s sultry and it’s sexy and it’s very addictive. The title track, ‘Body Music’, should be so much better than it is and it is, unfortunately, forgettable. But ‘Friends To Lovers’ is so much better now than I originally thought. It is down-tempo but it is arguably the most personal song on the album, as it is quite clearly about Aluna and George’s relationship with one another and it makes you question whether they tried to be more than friends at one point in the relationship. The cover of Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do It’ is also actually rather impressive and it’s clear it was included to end the standard edition on a high note.
It is instantly understandable why the five bonus tracks on the deluxe edition are bonus tracks and not included on the standard release. ‘B Ur Boo’ and ‘Put Up Your Hands’ are impressive, and perhaps they should have replaced ‘Kaleidoscope Love’ and ‘Body Music’, but the other three (‘We Are Chosen’, ‘Indestructible’ and ‘Watching Over You’) are forgettable and unimpressive. Perhaps with future listens I may grow to like them more, but right now the album certainly works better without them.
Overall Body Music is an impressive debut album, but it truly does take a few listens to really appreciate this. Perhaps it was different for other people but upon my initial listen a lot of the songs sounded too similar to one another, so I really had to persevere through. But I am glad I did. Body Music is intoxicating, sultry and addictive and it deserves to be lauded with praise and awards. 2013 is going to be a good year for AlunaGeorge!