On their debut, Seratones were a raucous garage rocking outfit with a side of boogie-woogie. For their follow up, Power, they moved towards a slick, experimental R&B, and electro-pop sound in the vein of the Alabama Shakes. Now on their third full-length release, Love & Algorhythms, the band has left the rock in the past and choose to luxuriate in dance party pop with tons of synths and programmed beats.
The whole record is focused on lead singer AJ Haynes’ style and activist personality. Her at times soaring, spoken word or slinky vocals, fall into a Donna Summers-inspired nightclub feel. The album was produced and mixed by Paul Butler who worked with Michael Kiwanuka, Lord Huron, St. Paul & The Broken Bones as the sound evolves for the outfit. Things are established with the opener “Two of a Kind” as the bass bumps and dance-laden disco vibes flow out with ease. The synths get overloaded on “Pleasure” while Haynes gets seductive on the title track with vibrating vocals.
The creative first single “Get Free” mixes polyrhythms and pop with a gospel interlude playing with genres. So does “I’ll Be” as a full-on jazz-based torch song offering morphs into neon 80’s inspired pop, complete with laser zaps.
The poem/spoken word of “Evidence” breaks up the album before the Quincy Jones/Michael Jackson-inspired funk of “Get Free”. It is a powerful track that burns bright but ends too early while on the flipside the questioning pulse of “Dark Matter” sticks around too long without much excitement. The easy-flowing R&B of “Get Your Shit Together, Babe” focuses on Haynes’s fluttering vocals, layered in expert fashion while closer “High” incorporates acoustic guitar strums around a dull buzzing and squeals, all under the breathy vocal delivery of Haynes.
All bands evolve, few more so than Seratones over their first three albums, as AJ Haynes now steers the ship into cosmic pop and disco-laden delights on Love & Algorhythms.