ALBUM REVIEW: Clean Bandit – What Is Love?

It’s been four years since Clean Bandit released their debut album and within that time they’ve had some massive hit singles, toured the world and even had a dramatic line up change with Neil Amin-Smith shockingly leaving the band in 2016. But from there they’ve spent a long time working on the refined sound for their forthcoming record and worked with an impressive roster of artists. Sadly the 16 track result is a little predictable and cringe worthy. ‘What Is Love?’ is an endearing and bold collection that attempts to re-create the unprecedented success ‘I Miss You’, ‘Symphony’ and ‘Solo’ had.  But instead it just falls into the predictable category and doesn’t really seem to take you emotionally to the same places the previous tracks did. Songs like ‘Mama’ featuring Ellie Goulding should be an instant smash hit. But instead the embarrassing sonical re-creation of ‘Solo’ seems a little desperate. After a few listens it does eventually grow on you but not enough to warrant how many listens it took you to actually get there. After that disappointing delivery, songs like ‘Baby’ feat Marina And The Diamonds, ‘Last Goodbye’ feat Tove Styrke and ‘Tears’ feat Louis Johnston didn’t even stand a chance. Luckily the playful delivery of ‘Playboy Style’ feat Charli XCX and Bhad Bhabie and ‘In Us I Believe’ feat ALMA seem to create enough traction. Throughout these tight and polished synth-lead tracks there seems to be a lack of emotions and vulnerability which songs like ‘I Miss You’ embodied. The album is very long and repetitive and could’ve been more refined in its lengthy track listing. Instead of making you dance continuously they make you think abut whether you’re going to skip a song or not.