AlunaGeorge Body Music

AlunaGeorgeBody Music
The rise of London R&B/pop duo AlunaGeorge in the last 18 months has made their debut album one insufferably anticipated event. After dropping a deliciously radio-friendly EP on usually avant-garde label Tri Angle in April 2012, Aluna Francis and George Reid were primed for mainstream stardom. Like their friends and collaborators in Disclosure, AlunaGeorge have been tagged as "futuristic pop," thanks to Reid's production nods to UK garage and R&B super-producers like Rodney Jerkins, Timbaland and the Neptunes, as well as Francis's exquisite knack for effortlessly placing earworm melodies. They frontload the A-side, packing in brilliant, hook-laden singles "You Know You Like It," "Attracting Flies" and "Your Drums, Your Love" (still their best tune) for the finest triad on any album this year. Of course, it leaves the middle of the album exposed, forcing new tunes (and possible future singles) to keep the momentum going. Peppering the singles throughout may have enhanced the solidity, but this sequence allows support tracks like the seductively skittish "Diver" and the weightless "Best Be Believing" to show their strength amongst the hits. Assigning former single "Just A Touch" to the near-end does add nice familiarity, while closer "Friends and Lovers" gives us the slow jam we've wanted from them; it's equal parts R. Kelly and Warp Records alums Plone. Body Music generously offers 14 tracks, though cutting weak links like the feeble "Superstar" and the bonus throwaway cover of Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It" would have made things more efficient. Still, AlunaGeorge have done the impossible with Body Music: they've made the dynamic, progressive pop album we all hoped for. (Vagrant/Universal)