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Ali Love – Love Harder

Simi Bhullar


Ali Love….with a name like that you wish you could love him back, but his debut album only makes it harder.  A name reminiscent of the 80’s reflects the synthesized pop sounds of that time and it’s not hard to picture a fluorescent, spandex filled music video to accompany it. Though many welcome the idea, the memories, the dance beat, the album itself leaves you begging for the step it doesn’t quite reach.

The album titled first track (Love Harder) says it all really. It paves the way for the potential that lies beneath the pulsing, disco beat and catchy choruses. It has a distinct Simian Mobile Disco feel but where they succeed, Love Harder lacks in the drive to be a pop hit or club anthem. The speed of the songs, from the first track, remain a comfortable head nodding pace. In fact you can almost keep the same nod throughout the album.

By the time you reach track 3 ‘Diminishing Returns’ you expect to hear something big, pumping and original…..something typical of his East London upbringing and previous sounds. But the grime that he used to associate with has quickly been replaced for what can only be Prince. Imitation may be the best form of flattery but not in music.

Smoke & Mirrors was the first to be released and it caused some much needed hype for Ali Love but unfortunately the album didn’t live up to expectations. There is little else to say of the rest of the tracks, being little more than album fillers. There is something catchy, however, in the hooks on Done the Dirty and Show Me, however, rather than being enticed into the each next track with anticipation, the sense of drifting through the album takes precedence. Ali, we love you, but maybe try a little harder.