AlunaGeorge album review, ‘Body Music’


The performers of AlunaGeorge, who will be performing in the Washington, D.C. area. (Fiona Garden)
August 29, 2013
ALUNAGEORGE
“Body Music”

Kindred spirits: Sneaker Pimps, Purity Ring, Morcheeba

Show: With Supreme Cuts on Tuesday at U Street Music Hall. Show starts at 9 p.m. 202-588-1880. www.ustreetmusichall.com. $15.

George Reid met Aluna Francis when he was remixing a track by her previous group, and that relationship is reflected in the style of the duo’s debut, “Body Music.” AlunaGeorge’s techno-soul sounds as though it has been stripped nearly bare from more lush material, but with the pop hooks retained. The band began releasing singles in 2011, and the individual track is its focus. This album serves primarily as a vehicle for such hits in Britain as “You Know You Like it” and “Your Drums, Your Love.”

“I just wanna have some fun,” flirts Francis in the former song, a line underscored by the playful sound. Reid assembles the tracks mostly from clacking beats, rubbery electro-bass and Francis’s voice, which is frequently distorted and multitracked. Barbed lyrics can undercut the bouncy music, notably in “Attracting Flies,” another British single. Francis’s earthy vocals help ground the bleep- and ping-heavy music; when she slips into a spacey-baby voice for “Outlines,” that crucial contrast is lost.

Reid’s production incorporates influences both mainstream and eccentric, and is consistently inventive. As songwriters, however, he and Francis are less dependable. “Body Music” winds down to its closer, a cover of Montell Jordan’s 1995 “This Is How We Do It,” that reveals just how much AlunaGeorge’s futuristic R&B owes to the past.

Mark Jenkins

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