‘I Remember’ is one of the standout dance/electronic albums of 2016. The second album from the British duo sees Aluna Francis and George Reid make a significant step forward as songwriters/producers, leaving their imprint on a dance scene that many see as already heavily cluttered and somewhat stale musically – and it’s hard to pick a track less than great on this sophomore LP. You can only imagine what they were forced to leave off as you feel this could have easily been a 14-15 track affair (above the original 12). The production/beats layered with Aluna’s special vocals make the LP a must-listen for AlunaGeorge fans and general music lovers as well.
‘Full Swing’ is one hell of an opening song – the chorus is simply huge. The production meshes with the vocals so beautifully and cohesively. AlunaGeorge have certainly struck gold with this one – it’s one of the best dance tracks of the year. ‘Hold Your Head High’s’ songwriting and beats combine for an uplifting track that will have you feeling inspired, while the drop sets your toes and body moving simultaneously – it’s inspiration through dance. ‘Mean What I Mean’ is another standout – it’s AlunaGeorge’s foray into hip hop/rap territory. Leikeli47 and Dreezy join forces with Aluna for some sweet verses. The siren hook during the chorus is sound some would find irritating but it adds an interesting layer to the song.
‘I Remember’ sees AlunaGeorge explore some different sounds and influences. ‘Not Above Love’ can be best described as a jilted jazz banger. The instrumentation and Aluna’s soulful songwriting really make the track unique. ‘Heartbreak Horizon’ has a similar jazz-dance sound, but it’s the vocals that really hit you on this one. ‘I’m In Control’, the first single off the album sounds like AlunaGeorge’s version of the Major Lazer hit ‘Lean On’ – although, as you’d expect, Aluna’s vocals really help separate the two tracks.
The collaborations of the album are wide ranging and include dance music royalty Flume and ZHU. These collabs (among others) help the duo expand their sound and take it to new places, while at the same not overshadowing the heart and soul of who they are as musicians.
AlunaGeorge remain under the radar commercially but there’s certainly enough material on this album to appeal not only to diehard fans but also a more critical mass. With dance becoming one of the new defining genres of the past few years here’s hoping the duo can reap the rewards of its popularity – they certainly deserve it.
‘I Remember’ is out now via Island Records.