I feel kind of bad. AlunaGeorge‘s last song “Diver” didn’t reinvent the pop-soul wheel as their previous two did, and I took them to task for it. Was it unfair? Maybe. But this morning I/they have a chance for redemption in new song “Body Music,” and a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ Bout You,” played live during BBC 1Xtra’s Live Lounge.
In general, Frank Ocean covers have been lacking, perhaps due to a somewhat serious approach to the source material that stands in contrast to the original’s reckless, cheerful abandon. But AlunaGeorge break the cycle just by having fun, thereby remaining faithful. Aluna Francis playfully dices her vocal lines around George Reid’s digi-tropical synths that brightly shine over the conga line handclaps and craggy FX stabs. It’s this sense of fun that’s warmly spread over the sultry soulfulness of “Body Music.” Lust songs may not have the potent urgency of love songs, but they express an emotion that’s arguably more frequent than it’s loftier sibling. So songs like “Body Music,” with its lascivious learning, are necessary, especially when the pop soul core is as confidently moulded as here. Aluna vamps and preens around her desire and George’s bright, chirpy soundtrack, clearly after something but more than capable of shrugging it off