What Is Love? (Clean Bandit album)

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What Is Love?
CleanBanditWhatIsLove.png
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 30, 2018 (2018-11-30)
Recorded2016–2018[1]
Genre
Length42:54
LabelAtlantic
Producer
Clean Bandit chronology
New Eyes
(2014)
What Is Love?
(2018)
Singles from What Is Love?
  1. "Tears"
    Released: 27 May 2016
  2. "Rockabye"
    Released: 21 October 2016
  3. "Symphony"
    Released: 17 March 2017
  4. "I Miss You"
    Released: 27 October 2017
  5. "Solo"
    Released: 18 May 2018
  6. "Baby"
    Released: 2 November 2018
  7. "Mama"
    Released: 22 February 2019

What Is Love? is the second studio album by British electronic music group Clean Bandit. It was released on 30 November 2018 by Atlantic Records.[3] It includes the singles "Tears" (featuring Louisa Johnson), "Rockabye" (featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie), "Symphony" (featuring Zara Larsson), "I Miss You" (featuring Julia Michaels), "Solo" (featuring Demi Lovato), "Baby" (featuring Marina and Luis Fonsi) and "Mama" (featuring Ellie Goulding).[3] In addition, the album also features collaborations with Rita Ora, Charli XCX and Tove Styrke.[4]

Background[edit]

Speaking about the gap between albums, bassist and saxophone player Jack Patterson told Fault magazine in late 2017: "It just takes us so much longer to create each piece of music. But our second one is nearly done – hopefully early next year." Cellist and vocalist Grace Chatto also explained that the album would be "more serious" as well as more "dancey" than 2014's New Eyes, saying: "I think the first album was a lot more light-hearted. While our second album, with the lyrics anyway, are more serious. Some of them are about breaking up, like 'I Miss You' and 'Tears', which are both on the album."[5]

Chatto also explained that the group had written a song for Harry Styles, and during the recording sessions, also worked with Rhodes, Elton John and Gallant.[6] Jack later told The Guardian that the collaboration with John did not make the album because the band "realised there was a sound developing in a certain part of the Venn diagram of the album and we wanted to push that. It was kind of this tropical, plastic-y, mournful sound, whereas his songs were more from the Rather Be world."[7] A track was also recorded featuring Chatto's "childhood idol" Gwen Stefani but it "fell through", which Chatto called "devastating".[7]

Promotion[edit]

In September 2018, the group revealed through their social media accounts that they had been working with Rita Ora, and that recording for the album was finished.[8] Several days later, they announced the title, track listing and artwork, as well as a statement on the themes: "The album looks at many different kinds and stages of love. We've been making it over three years, during which time we've all experienced love in our lives in different ways [...] brotherly love; family love; romantic love; crazy all-consuming love; the pain of love turning into something different or dishonest; and, of course, in Rockabye, unconditional motherly love."[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic66/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[10]
The Guardian2/5 stars[11]
The Independent2/5 stars[2]

Since release, What Is Love? has received generally positive reviews from music critics. According to review aggregation site Metacritic, the album has received an average score of 66/100 based on four reviews.[9] Neil Z. Yeung reviewing for AllMusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, saying it was "worth the long wait" and that it took "the promise of Rather Be and [topped] it many times over."[10]

Mark Beaumont of The Independent called What Is Love? "another album of formulaic EDM pop and Latino R&B dance floor grinders," while praising "Baby" as the record's stand-out track.[2]

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Symphony" (featuring Zara Larsson)
3:32
2."Baby" (featuring Marina and Luis Fonsi)
3:25
3."Solo" (featuring Demi Lovato)
  • Patterson
  • Chatto
  • Ralph
  • FRED
3:43
4."Rockabye" (featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie)
4:10
5."Mama" (featuring Ellie Goulding)
  • Patterson
  • Chatto
  • Ralph
3:09
6."Should've Known Better" (featuring Anne-Marie)
3:35
7."Out at Night" (featuring Kyle and Big Boi)
  • Patterson
  • Chatto
  • Ralph
3:54
8."Last Goodbye" (featuring Tove Styrke and Stefflon Don)
  • Patterson
  • Chatto
  • Ralph
  • Ilya
3:19
9."We Were Just Kids" (featuring Craig David and Kirsten Joy)
  • Patterson
  • Cara Salimando
  • Jonathan Price
  • Patterson
  • Chatto
  • Ralph
3:29
10."Nowhere" (featuring Rita Ora and Kyle)
3:46
11."I Miss You" (featuring Julia Michaels)
  • Patterson
  • Chatto
  • Michaels
  • Patterson
  • Chatto
  • Ralph
3:25
12."In Us I Believe" (featuring Alma)
  • Patterson
  • Chatto
  • Ralph
3:27
Total length:42:54
Deluxe edition bonus tracks[1]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
13."24 Hours" (featuring Yasmin Green)
  • Patterson
  • Parmenius
  • Ryan II
  • Bunetta
3:02
14."Playboy Style" (featuring Charli XCX and Bhad Bhabie)
3:40
15."Beautiful" (featuring Davido and Love Ssega)
  • Patterson
  • Chatto
  • Ralph
3:44
16."Tears" (featuring Louisa Johnson)
  • Patterson
  • Romans
  • Patterson
  • Ralph
3:45
Total length:57:05

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of What Is Love?.[14]

  • Jack Patterson – producer, mixing, piano, synths, vocals engineer, MIDI guitar, keyboards, trumpet, guitar synth, bass synth, flute, baritone saxophone, accordion, programming, electronic wind instrument
  • Mark Ralph – producer, mixing, rhythm acoustic guitar, guitar, programming
  • Grace Chatto – producer, cello, bass, synths, backing vocals, mixing, grand marimba
  • Drew Smith – engineer
  • Tom AD Fuller – engineer
  • Zara Larsson – vocals
  • Luke Patterson – percussion, drums, additional drum programming
  • Kirsten Joy – backing vocals, vocals
  • James Boyd – viola
  • Stephanie Benedetti – violin
  • Beatrice Philips – violin
  • Liam Nolan – strings engineer
  • Ray Charles Brown Jr – engineer, vocals engineer
  • Greg Eliason – assistant engineer, assistant vocals engineer
  • Ross Fortune – engineer
  • Marina – vocals
  • Luis Fonsi – vocals
  • Mike Horner – vocals engineer, strings engineer
  • Alex Robinson – assistant vocal engineer
  • Nakajin – acoustic guitar
  • FRED – producer, keys, synths, drum programming
  • Demi Lovato – vocals
  • Mitch Allan – vocals engineer
  • Camille Purcell – backing vocals
  • Steve Mac – producer, keyboards
  • Sean Paul – vocals
  • Anne-Marie – vocals
  • Caroline Ailin – backing vocals
  • Kelly Barnes – additional vocals
  • Chris Laws – vocals engineer
  • Dann Pursey – vocals engineer
  • Hal Ritson – vocals engineer
  • Braimah Kanneh-Mason – violin
  • Anthony Leung – strings engineer
  • Ellie Goulding – vocals
  • Jason Elliott – vocals engineer
  • Mark Knight – assistant vocals engineer
  • Yasmin Green – backing vocals, vocals
  • Romans – vocal production, backing vocals
  • Sam Skirrow – fretless bass
  • Kyle – vocals
  • Big Boi – vocals
  • Keith Gretlein – vocals engineer, engineer
  • Collin Kadlec – assistant vocals engineer
  • Renegade El Rey – vocals engineer
  • John Ryan – backing vocals, guitar, producer, programming
  • ILYA – producer, drums, keys, guitar
  • Tove Styrke – vocals
  • Stefflon Don – vocals
  • Simon Nordberg – vocals engineer
  • Rymez – vocals engineer
  • Bradley Giroux – assistant engineer
  • Craig David – vocals
  • Lotus IV – producer, keys, shire flute
  • Rita Ora – vocals
  • David Simpson – assistant vocals engineer
  • Julia Michaels – vocals
  • Rob Cohen – vocals engineer
  • Alma – vocals
  • Kalle Keskikuru – vocals engineer
  • LaDonna Harley-Peters – backing vocals
  • Sharlene Hector – backing vocals
  • Vula Malinga – backing vocals
  • MNEK – backing vocals
  • Julian Bunetta – producer, drum programming, programming
  • Jeff Gunnell – engineer
  • The Invisible Men – producer
  • Salt Wives – producer
  • Charli XCX – vocals
  • Bhad Bhabie – vocals
  • John Costello – assistant vocals engineer
  • Jon Shave – vocals engineer, keyboards, programming
  • Josh Collins – vocals engineer
  • George Astasio – keyboards, programming
  • Alex Oriet – keyboards, programming
  • Jason Pebworth – keyboards, programming
  • David Phelan – keyboards, programming
  • Davido – vocals
  • Love Ssega – vocals
  • Guy Kastav – vocals engineer
  • Liam Mugwanya – vocals engineer
  • Adam Stokes – assistant strings engineer
  • Maxwell Cook – additional strings arrangement
  • Louisa Johnson – vocals
  • AWA – backing vocals
  • Neil Amin-Smith – violin
  • Stuart Hawkes – mastering

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018–19) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[15] 48
Australian Dance Albums (ARIA)[16] 3
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[17] 56
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[18] 131
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[19] 50
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[20] 47
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[21] 9
French Albums (SNEP)[22] 141
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[23] 9
Irish Albums (IRMA)[24] 24
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[25] 29
Japanese International Albums (Oricon)[26] 7
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[27] 33
Scottish Albums (OCC)[28] 17
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[29] 77
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 58
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 9
US Billboard 200[32] 141
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[33] 1

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[34] Platinum 80,000double-dagger
Netherlands (NVPI)[35] Platinum 40,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[36] 2× Platinum 40,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[37] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[38] Gold 500,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Edition
Various 30 November 2018 Atlantic
  • Standard
  • deluxe

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Stickler, Jon (27 September 2018). "Clean Bandit Announce Release Of Second Studio Album 'What Is Love?'". Stereoboard. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Beaumont, Mark (29 November 2018). "Clean Bandit, What is Love? review: A shallow, algorithm-friendly array of synthetic pop devotion". The Independent. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "What Is Love? (Deluxe) by Clean Bandit on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  4. ^ Lukarcanin, Emina (27 September 2018). "Clean Bandit's 'What Is Love' Track List: See It Here". Billboard. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Clean Bandit's second album coming in 2018". Bang Showbiz. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2018 – via MSN.
  6. ^ Cabooter, James; Mayers, Sam (27 October 2017). "Clean Bandit have written a track for former One Direction star Harry Styles". Daily Star. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b Cragg, Michael (23 November 2018). "Clean Bandit: Britain's biggest pop group on Labour, Israel and female masturbation | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  8. ^ Hulton, Anna Sky (27 September 2018). "Clean Bandit: Details of their new album have been released". Planet Radio. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  9. ^ a b "What Is Love? by Clean Bandit Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b Yeung, Neil Z. "What Is Love? – Clean Bandit". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  11. ^ Aroesti, Rachel (30 November 2018). "Clean Bandit: What Is Love? review – underwhelming chart catnip". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  12. ^ "GEMA – Members – Repertoire Search". online.gema.de.
  13. ^ "In Us I Believe". ASCAP. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  14. ^ What Is Love? (CD liner notes). Clean Bandit. Warner Music Group. 2018. 0190295552572.CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  16. ^ "ARIA Dance – Week Commencing 10th December 2018" (PDF). ARIA Charts (1502): 17. 10 December 2018. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Clean Bandit Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Clean Bandit: What Is Love%3F (Deluxe)" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes – SNEP (Week 49, 2018)". Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  23. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2018. 49. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Irish Albums Chart: 18 January 2019". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  25. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2018-12-10" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  26. ^ "Oricon Top 50 International Albums: 2018-12-10" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 4 November 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  27. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 4 February 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  28. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  32. ^ "Clean Bandit Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  33. ^ "Clean Bandit Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  34. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?". Music Canada. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  35. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 15 March 2019. Enter What Is Love? in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  36. ^ "Polish album certifications – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  37. ^ "British album certifications – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 March 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type What Is Love? in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  38. ^ "American album certifications – Clean Bandit – What Is Love?". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 7 December 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.