Welcome to the Jungle everybody – this is the band of the year! They give us smooth Motown soul flavoured with influences from the likes of Disclosure. They have an old school feel that amalgamates the sounds of the past refreshingly with the present. The best description of their album would be ‘Modern Soul’.
The news of the release of Jungle’s album has been met with great anticipation and they have not let us down. In sad news for any other artist releasing anything remotely close to this genre this year, sorry but at least 4 spots on the Hottest 100 look like they’ve been taken!
Jungle are a UK duo known as J and T. ‘Platoon’ was first released in 2013 and gave us a sample of what the album would be like. It was a song that stuck out from the norm, that you played on repeat, that was like nothing else that was released at the time. With ‘Platoon’ these guys showed that they have come to us from another era: a golden age of music. Jungle are going to be massive.
One of my favourite songs on the album is ‘The Heat,’ and it sure is hot. The best part of this song is the intro – the vocalists deep gravelly voice sure hits the spot.
‘Lucky I Got What I Want’ is soulful and emotive. It is melancholy but groovy. Turn down the volume and it’s chilled, pump it up and you feel like dancing. I would love to hear a remix of this one. Time has the same effect; it’s bubbly, yet suave. ‘Lemonade Lake’ has a glassy finish, just close your eyes and imagine you’re on that very lake.
‘Busy Earnin’ is more punchy. It is strong and upbeat and uses a powerful brass section that we don’t hear as much of in the album. It doesn’t deviate too much from the overall feel of the album but provides some variation.
‘Drops’ is one of the albums sexier songs with some improvised solos thrown into the mix. The percussion is used more sparingly but to greater effect. The guitar riffs peppered throughout and the humming by the vocalist add to this chilled sensuality.
‘Son of a Gun’ and ‘Crumbler’ have some notable guitar solos whilst ‘Smoking Pixels’ adds a bit more diversity, sounding almost like the sound track to an old country western film. Accelerate has great use of lyrics: “because everything just happened at once”. It demonstrates that the skill of Jungle is not just in their musicality, but also their story telling. This is exhibited again by Julia: a devastatingly romantic love song.
There isn’t a single bad thing that I have to say about this album.
Jungle’s Jungle is available now through iTunes, thanks to XL Recordings / Remote Control.