I’m reminded of The Internet when I hear Emotional Oranges, which is probably a contributing factor in why I was initially so eager to spin ‘The Juicebox’, the LA duo’s latest eight-track album. You’ll have also clocked my Joyce Wrice review a few months ago, and she’s an artist not dissimilar as well.
Emotional Oranges are this pop-fuelled R&B outfit that just ooze summer anthems, low-key funk and immensely palatable grooves. While the band’s identity is largely hidden, they’re said to have links to Drake and Adele, so it’s worth querying whether their popularity will be set to skyrocket at some stage.
But, in the interim, we have here a really solid collection of feel-good tunes that are itching to be played everywhere from house parties to rooftop bars.
And Emotional Oranges’ melodies don’t just demonstrate their ease with catchy electronics and hip-hop beats; they’ve enlisted collaborative assistance from some really slick artists on each song. The first name I spied when eyeballing the tracks? Vince Staples, of course. As a massive rap fan, his input is usually a decent indicator of quality, and ‘Back & Forth (feat. Vince Staples)’ doesn’t disappoint. His lines are punchy, but the whole piece is a super-polished, syrupy-soft bop.
The same can be noted of the album opener, ‘All That (feat. Channel Tres)’, which is a total ripper. ‘Lock It Up (feat. THEY.)’ has a very early noughties vibe, while ‘Body & Soul (feat. Biig Piig)’ is ultra-‘90s and I dig it.
There really are no fillers here. Granted, we have quite a modest eight songs to roll with, and some are quite snappy, but they’re still uniquely cool and flow into one another really cleverly, too. ‘Bonafide (feat. Chiiild)’ is soft and almost stripped back, but if bolder is what you’re after, ‘Down To Miami (feat. Becky G)’ has a very fun but trippy spirit.
Towards the end, ‘No Words (feat. Yendry)’ harnesses a clapping drum style that adds another get-up-onto-the-floor dimension to the record. It’s also probably one of the poppier of the bunch — you could hear this becoming a background regular in shops or getting airtime on the radio. If only guitar strings and hooks that Craig David wouldn’t be opposed to will do, ‘Give Me Up (feat. Kiana Ledé)’ will be a hands-down winner. And it rounds off the full eight offerings oh-so nicely.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘All That (feat. Channel Tres)’