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Jungle | For Ever | Album Review

XL Recordings
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Jungle, a modern soul band based in the United Kingdom, returns with their second album, For Ever.

The instrumentation is strong throughout the whole album. There are a variety of drum and synth beats that are pleasing to the ear. “Cosurmyne” is a track that splendidly represents this. The accompaniment consists of a violin and a piano that carry out a light, repetitive pattern throughout the piece. “House in LA” is another song that represents this. The slow ebb and flow feel made by a synth is accompanied by a tambourine to bring the listener into the piece.

The repetitive lyrics throughout the album consist of mostly positive thoughts. “Smile” represents this by bringing out the idea that smiling is important and can affect all the others that are around: “when you smile / the world feels a little better / I just wanna see you smile.” “Happy Man” is another song that inspires hope. It implores that it’s time to change it up when things aren’t going right: “It could all be different / try to do something new / and given everything / I want to be a happy man too.”

The vocals detract from the other layers of music. While soul and funk music contain singing that is generally a higher pitch, this album takes it to the point where in many parts the vocals sound jarring and take away from the instrumentation instead of adding to it. This can be seen in their track “Best 54”. The singing, coming in at 18 seconds, fails to deviate and overpowers the disco track that is reminiscent of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.

All in all, the album wasn’t bad; it did, however, fail to make a lasting impression due to the monotonous feel and constant high-pitched vocals.

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