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Jungle's "Jungle" Reviewed

Out Of The Jungle

Out Of The Jungle

Last years next big things are this years not quite good enough. Unbelievably, some folks in the UK didn’t like Sam Smith’s current album and equally amazing some people don’t like this excellent r&b duo known as J and T, though to these ears they are a superb rhythm and funk band: like disco from a neo-R&b sensibility, Holy Ghost without the James Murphy interference and for a lick under 40 minutes Jungle’s eponymous debut album works in its entirety to these ears.

The UK band have a handful of stand outs, the enormous “Busy Earnin'” first among them, two falsetto singers performing straight up disco over synths and horns to amazingly danceable effect, handclaps just an added plus. And the better if anything “Lucky I Got What I want” which starts like a mooted buzz with flutes in the background and builds from there to a Simple Minds reference and a sort of 80s vibe like the haze is druggy but sinking as well but definably funk. A really great song.
If nothing else reaches this height, nothing dips far below it, The two songs that open Jungle “The Heat” and “Accelerate” are serious keepers, and if by “Platoon” you’ve kinda gotten the point, better repeating this album when necessary, the sound is samey, the horns, synths, falsettos, and strings, all a touch manufactured, but that doesn’t make them any less perfect.

The whistling, Ennio Morricone inspired “Smoking Pixels” proves Jungle can change it up to a degree when the mood takes them, and the album, not unlike this song, is moody and good natured. On repeat, it less catches your ear than holds it, less memorably and more self-contained, Jungle is a first rate first album.


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