Clean Bandit – What Is Love?
By the time Clean Bandit‘s second album What Is Love? was released in November, nearly half the tracks had already been released as singles in the years leading up to it. Their breakthrough in 2014 led them to higher profile collaborations, which also helped them bag a string of worldwide hits with artists like Sean Paul and Demi Lovato – giving them major airplay throughout 2017 (Rockabye) and 2018 (Solo). Those hits mainly followed the same design as their debut: classical-backed electronic/pop songs with influences from genres like dancehall and latin. What makes this album different is that it is essentially a watered down version of New Eyes. The group’s method of incorporating classical music into their music is reduced to barely audible strings that soon take a backseat. By the halfway point, we’re left with generic beats and melodies following safely in line with pop music trends. That isn’t to say they must restrict themselves to a particular sound, but when sacrificing the qualities that made them stand out in the first place, it would be a benefit to adopt something new to keep them apart from the rest. Instead, we’re left with an album that is barely indistinguishable from much of what else radio is playing. And with the standout tracks having already existed as standalone singles for a year or more, that doesn’t leave much to discover from the rest of the album.
Check out: Solo, Baby, Symphony
Tracklisting: 1. Symphony [featuring Zara Larsson] 2. Baby [featuring Marina & Luis Fonsi] 3. Solo [featuring Demi Lovato] 4. Rockabye [featuring Sean Paul & Anne-Marie] 5. Mama [featuring Ellie Goulding] 6. Should’ve Known Better [featuring Anne-Marie] 7. Out At Night [featuring KYLE & Big Boi] 8. Last Goodbye [featuring Tove Stryke & Stefflon Don] 9. We Were Just Kids [featuring Craig David & Kirsten Joy] 10. Nowhere [featuring Rita Ora & KYLE] 11. I Miss You [featuring Julia Michaels] 12. In Us I Believe [featuring ALMA]