The band Jungle is founded around a main pairing Josh Loyd-Watson and Tom McFarland, who were originally in an ‘indie band’ ‘Born Blond’. They are classed as Modern Soul, and have been on the go in the form of Jungle since 2013. Other members are Fraiser McColl, George Day, Dominic Whalley, Andro Cowperthwaite and Rudi Salmon. From the sounds of things, some provide vocals, someone plays base, someone is in charge of percussion, and maybe the rest are there for moral support and engineering… Or maybe they take turns.
Having nothing much to compare this album to in terms of my own personal musical library, I’m grateful for the experience to listen to this, an album that appears to have been enjoyed by millions, in order to confirm that yes, this is not my thing.
However I can appreciate the work that has gone into it, and whist perhaps I am missing the finer nuances by playing the tracks through my laptop speakers via Spotify-the link ‘here’(hopefully provided by my patient Chief ATTIWLTMOWOS Editor husband) I can tell that this has been carefully mixed. You get the impression that various sound effects have been painstakingly thought through, worked on, processed etc. And here’s the thing, I get that its clever, smooth, and listenable, but its been processed to the point that you feel you’re going to fall asleep. Not safe for driving.
The album starts with ‘The Heat’, a layering of city sounds, and two rather high pitched Bee Gees esq male vocalists, into a generic pop synth soul mush.
‘Busy Earning’ changes it up a bit, which I like it, the album appears to wake up, stretch a bit and do a little funky minimalist dance-much like the video which goes with this song. And it’s been used in the adverts for the new amazon mobile phone. What that sais about the phone I’m not sure, but it will ensure that these guys get more exposure, and they seem to be doing well enough for themselves. Ground breaking its not, however in terms of mainstream stuff it’s okay, the animal sounds sampled are nicely used.
I quite like ‘Smoking Pixels’-the names appeals to me, and I like that the Bee Gees have left the building. Mainly it gives the impression of stoned individuals trying to represent that feeling electronically.
‘Crumbler’ appears to take you to a 70’s disco far away in some smoky glittery vague way.
‘Lucky I got What I Want’ clocks in at 4 minutes 17 seconds. What they needed the 4 minutes for I’m not sure. I got bored after about two and fast forwarded-to the same words/tune/beat. Yep… Nope.
I like the last track, Lemonade Lake, it seems it would have been nice to lead with this one and there are noticeable changes which grab attention more easily, and also lyrics, which are wistful and reflective, its bitter sweet. :-)
Overall its okay, I’d like to hear it in the background of a coffee shop perhaps, or in conjunction with Bowie or Sunn 0))) or Bhangra maybe? Or maybe all three; mix things up a bit.
3 out of 10 - Not for everyone but played well
Top Track - Smoking Pixels
You can purchase the Special Edition of the album from Amazon here
Or you can purchase the normal version here
You can visit the Jungle website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
Or you can listen to the album via Deezer on here