AlunaGeorge’s ‘Body Music’ Transcends Their Hype Appeal

Imagine, for a second, that music really does come from the proverbial hit factory: optimized and slapped with a brand, performed by franchisees. Its most state-of-the-art invention yet would probably be CamelCased futur&B duo AlunaGeorge. The Aluna half is Aluna Francis (formerly of sugary My Toys Like Me), a game if rough vocalist in the Mya/Brandy style that crossed over so nicely in 2000 and is just starting to cross over again. (See Nickelodeon star turned pop starlet Ariana Grande, who sounds unnervingly like Ashanti after drinking one of those eternal-youth potions from Stardust and who’s working with Babyface. Babyface!) Then there’s producer George Reid, her partner in laptop fiddling and an admirer of the Pharrell / Timbaland hypercube beats that those R&B soubrettes worked so well and that have also roared back into vogue. (See “Blurred Lines,” the Pharrell joint that just set the record for longest reign atop the charts.) The synthesis, too, is very much in vogue, whether it’s CHVRCHES adding a spoonful of sugar, Jai Paul a cloak of intrigue, Purity Ring making chopped salad of it all, or newcomer LIZ out-throwbacking them all. If pop’s all about turning yourself into a superlative, AlunaGeorge are definitely gunning for Most Likely to Succeed.

Tally one success already: Body Music is AlunaGeorge’s debut, but it already seems like they’ve been around forever. That’s because in Internet years, they have. Two tracks — “Just a Touch” and “You Know You Like It,” which got a spit-shine and re-release here — are from an EP released last April. (Two-thirds of the EP, in fact.) Others — “Attracting Flies,” “Bad Idea” and “Your Drums, Your Love” — are, for better or worse, highly successful blog bait, something AlunaGeorge is well suited to. They follow the trends as they come: skittery trap beats, pitch-shifting, vocals stretched like taffy. Their tracks are full of little hooks that charm upon first listen and stuffed with enough sonic fripperies to seem like they’ve got countless sounds at their command. They’re nostalgic for what everyone else is, when everyone else is. They’re always easy to like, if not quite to love. And there is so, so much to like.

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