There’s a sweet innocence to Aluna Francis’ singing voice, a childlike naïveté brought to life through scant compositions. It was most prevalent on Disclosure’s ‘White Noise’, from said duo’s recent ‘Settle’ LP (Clash review). And as one-half of AlunaGeorge, with producer George Reid, Francis achieves a clean resonance from music that’s barely there.
Reid and Francis embrace the past. Much of their debut album, ‘Body Music’, is rooted in 1990s pop and R&B. ‘This Is How We Do It’ remakes Montell Jordan’s 1995 smash hit, replacing Jordan’s stampeding drum sample with glossy electro-soul. ‘Friends To Lovers’ begins as a methodical ode to Prince before it drifts into newer sonic terrain.
Yet the album lacks depth. These songs float by in a monotonous haze and struggle to leave a lasting impression. Though the duo achieves uniformity, ‘Body Music’ plods along and makes the album’s 50 minutes feel a lot longer.
Lyrically, Francis addresses yearning and heartbreak with an adolescent angst suited for teenagers. On the title track, for instance: “Your body is like music, baby / I wanna play it again.”
Still, ‘Body Music’ fulfils its intent as a straightforward pop recording aimed at younger listeners. Reid’s soundtrack is vibrant, but it can’t save the album from its own tedium. A varied approach would’ve worked wonders.
Words: Marcus J Moore
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