Published Sep 16, 2016How contemporary is too contemporary, too affected by modern sounds and trends?
AlunaGeorge burst onto the scene in 2013 with Body Music, an excellent combination of sleek synth-pop and cool R&B, finding fans in realms of the genres they blended together. With I Remember, the duo present an eclectic 12-track collection that includes some strong singles, though not without the lingering feeling that it's struggling to be everything at once.
While Body Music was written and produced almost entirely by the masterminds behind the namesake, Aluna Francis and George Reid, the duo have enlisted a slew of additional writers and producers for I Remember. The album's long list of credits (opener "Full Swing" has seven producers and two writers alone) range from Jean Baptiste (Chris Brown, the Black Eyed Peas) to pop whiz Charli XCX, showcasing a wide array of AlunaGeorge's musical capabilities.
That variety works against them at times, though, as it's hard to pinpoint more than a handful of tracks as impressionable. Album closer "Wanderlust" seems to fade just as quickly as its glittering synths appear, while "Mediator," slinky and seductive as it may be, doesn't showcase any particularly memorable lyrics from the songsmiths.
High points, however, include the commanding Popcaan-assisted track "I'm in Control," along with "Mean What I Mean," a pulsating, tropical-infused tune. These standouts find AlunaGeorge at their prime, honing in on a specific, masterfully produced sound, which definitely can and should be revisited on future releases. (Island)