Ali Love - Love Harder

by Katy Ledger Rating:7.5 Release Date:2010-08-09

I saw Ali Love back in 2006, he was singing about ketamine, wearing bright pink jeans and spent the entire gig trying to convince us there was an invisible monkey on his shoulder. He was a blatant and boorish caricature of an idiot indie scenester. Was it meant to be an ironic statement? I don't know, but it was bloody annoying. So when I hear that Ali Love, real name Alistair McLovan, is releasing his first full-length album I'm intrigued. Will he now be sporting a Hoxton undercut whilst audaciously depicting his latest mephedrone comedown?

Thankfully no, instead Love Harder is an unashamed throwback to the dance floor friendly synth-pop of the 1980s. With nods to The Human League, Tom Tom Club and Giorgio Moroder coupled with a Prince-like falsetto throughout this could be a readymade 80s disco playlist if it weren't for the French/Italian house elements which stop this album becoming a pastiche and create a more modern sound.

Instead of being crass and annoying ala Ali Love 2006 this album's obvious inspirations and sometimes clichéd lyrics can be forgiven due to the sensual grooves and lean production which create a bunch of minimal and instantaneous dance songs. 'Done the Dirty' featuring New Young Pony Club's Lou Hayter has an infectious loop and burrows its way deep into your brain and previous single, title track and album opener 'Love Harder' builds into an 80s extravaganza with a bass line that you can't help but move to.

Overall this album was a pleasant surprise, unfortunately the current 80s revival, which itself has been going on for over a decade now, could mean this album suffers from coming at the tail end of a lazy trend that no one really loved. However, Ali Love's stuff cries out for various remixes and I fully expect dubstep and the like versions of some of the best tracks to be underground disco floor fillers. The man himself is also apparently dating Mischa Barton and will no doubt benefit from the tabloid talk and publicity that goes along with that.

Katy Ledger

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