Jungle - For Ever
London based production due Jungle have always felt like they had the world at their feet. Their first release in 2014 was a huge success both commercially and with critics. Their blend of California infused disco and house pop was a breath of fresh air in the dour trap and dub electronic landscape. While the sunny shores of LA might seem like the ideal place for Jungle an ill fated move to the City of Angeles left the duo with little in terms of music and a lost year or so. That's why it took almost four years for Jungle to release this follow up For Ever. A move back to the UK was clearly the right one for Jungle because this new music is some of their best yet. There is a lightness to these songs and a beauty that you just don't find often. This album sounds like a classic record your grandparents would play for you, but it also slides right in line with 2018. There is so much soul and such a sauceyness to their music, it just oozes with goodness from every single corner. Jungle feel a bit like a combination of two other British acts Disclosure and Glass Animals. They have that pop sensibility with an avante garde twist that Glass Animals are so great at, but also always give it up to the dance floor. Yet they don't stay one note; "House in LA" flips the script and recounts the story of failing in Los Angeles and the despair those lost years meant to the duo, it's vivid and stunning.
This album flows so perfectly well and the strings are used with such staccato on tracks like "Give Over" that it feels like this totally new thing. Jungle do suffer from a similar affliction as another production duo with with a J name, Justice. Both groups use the same vocal effect all the time, just in slightly different ways and eventually it does wear thin. The more ballady songs like "Home" also tend to drag a bit. The last few songs feel like they glide the album into a soft landing leaving you wanting to go back to when it truly popped. You almost have to shake yourself out of the lull the last four or five songs put you into at times. In the end however For Ever is far more than a welcome return Jungle, it's a declaration that they never should have left. It may have taken us four years to get here but the wait was certainly worth it.
8.2 out of 10