Soulful singer, ALi, is back with her latest single “What is LUV” featuring rapper Loco, a cast member of the MNet show, ‘Show Me the Money’. The single is reggae influenced with lyrics written by another chart topping R&B crooner, Wheesung. She released her EP ‘Eraser‘ last year followed by a few singles earlier this year.
ALi has collaborated with rap duo, LeeSsang on songs from their albums “Black Swan” and “Library of Soul.” She is mostly recognized from her stint on the talent competition, ‘Immortal Song.’ There she consistently impressed viewers and the judges with her distinct voice and powerful performances.
Typically ALi’s style of singing leans more on the ballad-esque side with a touch of R&B, Jazz and Pop. “What is LUV” is the complete opposite. Unlike past hit, I’ll Be Damned, where her voice builds over this simple piano based instrumental and the timbre of her voice resonates; “What is LUV” falls back into a more laid back groove. The song starts with a light piano melody then transitions into a bouncy Reggae beat. While this song is very light and a great choice for the summer time, it is lacking some of that emotion that ALi is known for evoking in her songs. The intro of the song sounds more convincing when she sings “The more I know/ The more curious I get/ What is love?’ compared to the more upbeat sounding part of the song.
This song could have also been fine without the rap from Loco; his presence in the song lasts about three seconds and it’s forgettable after the first listen. Not saying that every song she releases has to be a ballad, but clearly this try at Reggae didn’t work so well for her. While it is interesting to see artist try new genre’s, sometimes it is best to stick with the sound that is most complimentary with their voice. In this case, ALi’s voice is best on heart stirring ballads and piano infused melodies. Compared to her song, “Don’t Act Countrified,” this song is on the safe side. With “What is LUV,” some harmonies could have been added or maybe even taken the same approach as “Don’t Act Countrified” and soften the vocals and scale back on the ad-lib’s.
“What is LUV” as a single that is simple and catchy enough to add to your summer playlists. The song could have done without the rap, it definitely takes away from the song, but as far as trying a new genre and branching out ALi did an okay job. To those ALi fans that were hoping for a ballad, this may leave you feeling slightly underwhelmed. ALi’s singing was great as always, but as for the song itself, it didn’t reach my expectations because it very anti-climatic.