A strong return, but the sense of potential unfulfilled remains...
'I Remember'

Looking back, AlunaGeorge's debut album, 2013's ‘Body Music’, was a classic case of potential unfulfilled. The London duo had a bucketful of momentum and industry hype, but ended up putting out an LP that veered from stellar singles (‘Your Drums, Your Love’, ‘You Know You Like It’) to wishy-washy R&B by numbers (‘Friends To Lovers’, ‘Superstar’), before culminating in a superfluous cover of Montell Jordan's ‘This Is How We Do It’.

So it's pleasing to discover a couple of years of cementing their place in the industry has given AlunaGeorge more focus. If there's one thing you can say about ‘I Remember’, it's that it's a whole lot more consistent than its predecessor. Even the (relatively) weaker tracks have their weak melodies lifted by George Reid's production, which is as arresting and idiosyncratic as ever.

‘I Remember’ also wisely sees AlunaGeorge enlisting a handful of collaborators to add a little extra to the palette. Pell makes a strong appearance on opener ‘Full Swing’ and Popcaan provides a verse in his distinctive style on the dancehall-heavy ‘I'm In Control’. The standout, though, is the zingy skank of ‘Mean What I Mean’, where both Dreezy and Leikeli47 add flavour to the bouncy rhythm and whip-crack snares.

Elsewhere, ‘Not Above Love’ and the title track both tug at the heartstrings without descending into exclusionary solipsism. Overall, it's the record you wanted — and expected — AlunaGeorge to make three years ago. It'd be good to see them kick on, though; you still get the feeling they've an even better record in them.

8/10

Words: Joe Rivers

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