WITH Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, Disclosure’s Settle and Pet Shop Boys’ stunning return to form Electric, 2013 has already been a landmark year for electronic dance music. This is another one to add to that sterling list.
AlunaGeorge – singer Aluna Francis and backroom boy George Reid – starred at this year’s Liverpool Sound City and will already be familiar to Disclosure fans, Francis’ tones having graced the top 10 troubling White Noise single earlier this year.
The pair’s skittering beats and bright bleeps are perfect for the summer and much of this enormously playable album is as perfect as pop gets, filling the hole left by the much missed Girls Aloud.
Opener Outlines is simply outstanding, Reid wearing his dubstep influences on his sleeve with some juddering stop-start rhythms while Francis’ voice floats wonderfully over the top. It is a tremendously confident way to start a debut and sets the bar high for what is to follow.
For three more tracks – You Know You Like It, Attracting Flies and Your Drums, Your Love – they absolutely do not let up. Pop-dance crackers all, they make for as good a start to an album as 2013 has produced.
Very few bands could be expected to continue at that rate for a whole album, though, and although AlunaGeorge do return to those rarefied heights again – most notably on Diver and the lovely Friends to Lovers – it is no slight to say they are not yet in that category.
Body Music is still a terrific album with little or no filler, but with some of the 14 tracks and 55 minute running time trimmed off, it could easily have been even better.