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Jungle - Loving in Stereo (Album Review)

Thursday, 19 August 2021 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Filmawi

For Jungle’s third album, the West London duo of Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland have broadened their sound…slightly. We still have the cool summery grooves and falsetto vocals that grabbed attention on their first hit Busy Earnin’ in 2014, but ‘Loving in Stereo’ introduces new textures with care and consideration. It makes for a pleasing, if not groundbreaking, record.

This diversity is first shown on saucy funker, Romeo, featuring the stylings of rapper Bas. It’s decent driving music that recalls Groove Armada and Basement Jaxx and were it not for the rather pedestrian chorus it would make for a superb pop track.

Similarly, Priya Ragu’s performance on Goodbye My Love is noteworthy. It’s a crunchy soul song with elegant chords and arrangement, and shows off Jungle’s production nous, effortlessly blending clavinova, electric piano parts and spacey synth (could it be a Theremin?). Such lunar retro flare recalls yet another DJ-producer duo from the turn of the century: Air. Alas, once again the lack of a memorable chorus lets it down.

The strongest stuff is in their home territory of disco-funk. Keep Moving uses diaphanous strings and slapped bass alongside the group’s signature ensemble falsetto vocals. It’s an unrestrained toe tapper and deploys numerous separate hooks alongside that swinging bassline. Along with the deliriously groovy Talk About It it makes up one of the album’s highest points.

Jungle are tremendously talented producers and arrangers and they are clearly having a lot of fun exploring and developing their sound, but they don’t write very memorable songs. Maybe this is indicative of an approach that is more focused on blend, balance and good vibes, but without improving this, they are in danger of becoming a bit of a festival band—someone who comes on late afternoon to raise spirits without really lifting the roof. Perhaps, with the world in its current state, raising spirits should be more than enough, but it would be nice to see them kick on a little more.

Jungle Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed September 01 2021 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Thu September 02 2021 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Fri September 03 2021 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Sat September 04 2021 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Fri September 17 2021 - MANCHESTER O2 Victoria Warehouse
Sat September 18 2021 - MANCHESTER O2 Victoria Warehouse

Compare & Buy Jungle Tickets at Stereoboard.com.



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Thu 03 Jun 2021
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