If synthpop had previously been limited to fluttery, cheesy guitar riffs and nauseating vibes, AlunaGeorge changes that with their psychedelic, goose bump-inducing choruses and sexy ’90s new jack swing swagger. The insanely catchy hooks and tender innocence of George’s beats sometimes feel as if TLC or Destiny’s Child had stuck around for more bedroom inspired electronic numbers instead of mainly dancefloor, chart hits. The breakout duo has previously appeared on Disclosure‘s debut album Settle and released a number of singles including three from this album, appeared in Entertainment Weekly, and numerous other publications, becoming a critical darling. No doubt one of my favorite releases of 2013 thus far.
AlunaGeorge, the singer-producer combo of Aluna Francis and George Reid, might’ve had The Wizard of Oz looping on the studio TVs as the album tickles and pleasures with the laid-back sophisticated smoothness that pop music has needed since the Frank Sinatra days. Aluna’s silky smooth vocals, which are not unlike Norah Jones or Grimes (and also takes similarity with Aaliayah and Sade as well) on “Your Drums, Your Love,” which is quite the delicate yet beautifully psychedelic pop number. “You Know You Like It” has a bombast unique for synthpop, but the twinkling production and steady, backing basslines make it work, while “Attracting Flies” and/or “Superstar” show how AlunaGeorge can turn up the energy even more. Album opener “Outlines” and “Friends To Lovers” show the duo taking it reaaaaal slow. The result is not only perfect remix and radio fodder, but a new classed-up star pop music duo. The elements of bass music and dubstep are also present to the knowledgable ear, but not overpowering and instead another wrinkle in this multifaceted record. The album shows off the duo’s knack for pop, but don’t let that you negatively associate that.
This album is a modern seduction with confidence that there’s a timeless quality and beautiful tenderness as George’s delicate production matches Aluna’s vocals perfectly in harmony. At just a shade over 50 minutes, AlunaGeorge’s debut is a refreshing reminder that tasteful, if not evolved, pop music is entirely possible and should be strived for.