If there was a poll to determine the world’s most disliked genre, R&B would probably be right up there. There are multiple reasons for this, chief among which is the fact that the term has largely replaced it original meaning and therefore, original sound.
Those of us fascinated by oldies will probably be aware of rhythm and blues artists such as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Ray Charles. They brought a sound that was warm and enchanting and contemporary R&B couldn’t be any more distant if it tried.
So how much of a risk are AlunaGeorge taking in creating sound reminiscent of 90s R&B? At first, it appears the London duo were making a mistake. But as their bedroom sound became more polished and dialled, their interpretation of the genre has been well-received.
In ‘We Are Chosen’, Aluna Francis provides a vocal layer that is so confidently brittle you might think she’ll break down at any moment – but knows she won’t. George Reid does well to compliment Aluna’s contribution with an ambient backing that ebbs and flows; rising when Aluna does and falling too.
With only a few singles and EPs, AlunaGeorge are still in an intermediate stage of development but it can’t be too long before an album release is due. But there’s no rush at the moment, and before then, you can enjoy their sound at various events around the country including Brighton’s Great Escape festival.