I Remember

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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman

AlunaGeorge's debut, Body Music, was written and produced almost exclusively by Aluna Francis and George Reid. Nothing off the album was close to as successful commercially as certain collaborations and remixes that preceded and followed it. Disclosure's "White Noise" nearly topped the U.K. pop chart. A DJ Snake remix of "You Know You Like It," with the duo curiously assigned secondary credit, went double platinum in the U.S. Prior to the arrival of their second album, Francis and Reid were featured on tracks by Baauer, Jack Ü, ZHU, Kaytranada, and Flume, and they released a batch of their own singles, each one written and produced with at least two additional collaborators. Those tracks make up almost half of I Remember, an album aided by well over 30 songwriters, producers, and guest vocalists. While Francis and Reid explored a range of sounds on Body Music, I Remember is unquestionably scattered in comparison, more of an assortment of shots at club and pop radio play, plus a couple diversions, than a unified statement. At points, the track-to-track contrast is so severe that it resembles a remix compilation. Rat-a-tat snares, synthetic retro-soul horns, liquid basslines, and bounding kick drums account for a small fraction of components that signify the application of styles like moombahton, trap, and tropical house -- sounds familiar to anyone who has been within earshot of an amusement park sound system circa 2015-2016. Francis does tie it together. Central throughout, her voice, a little richer and stronger than on the debut, is placed prominently in each track, exhibiting warmheartedness (unless crossed) and unyielding resolve. The most effective songs -- the dragging slow jam "My Blood," the sweetly chiming ballad "Mediator," and the woozy and bittersweet title track -- are the least cluttered, from the comparatively sparse production to the judicious lack of guest vocalists.

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