Clean Bandit releases their “serious” yet “dancey” album, pulls up their pre-released single superhits
The British Electronic music band “Clean Bandit” released their second studio album “What is Love?” in November 2018 through Atlantic Records, four years after they released their first album. There have been strong influences of R&B besides regular electronic pop and dance music, with a lot of computer-generated work. Grace Chatto, the cellist and vocalist of the trio said that while the last album was light hearted, this one is more lyrically serious as well as “dancey”. Many of these tracks are pre-released hits. The songs in the album feature a lot of collaborations with various musicians like Rita Ora, Tove Styrke, Ellie Goulding, Julia Michaels, Zara Larsson, Demi Lovato, Luis Fonsi and Sean Paul. There is a total of twelve tracks in the album with a total running time of approximately forty-three minutes. However, four more tracks are added in the deluxe edition of the album. The album mostly received positive reviews from the music critics and listeners, however there were some mixed reviews as well. AllMusic rated the album 4 out of 5 stars and said that it “was worth the long wait” and also that the “midtempo jams are as addictive as the euphoric singles, providing contemplative balance and additional opportunities to showcase each inspired collaboration”. Q Magazine also praised the album saying “What Is Love? is a superior compilation, but it's held together by Clean Bandit's winning way with a catchy, wistful tune”. On the other hand, the British newspapers The Guardian and The Independent both rated the album 2 out of 5 stars. The Independent called the album “A shallow, algorithm-friendly array of synthetic pop devotion” and said it was “a more market taster than art”. The Guardian’s album review was also on the negative side as it said, “Melodies are frequently forced and characterless, and many songs possess an almost computer-generated quality: either riddled with counterintuitive or resembling other people’s work”. It received a decent overall rating of 66 out of 100 on Metacritic. The album was featured in many music charts across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It topped the US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard) chart and reached the third position on the Australian Dance Albums (ARIA) chart.