Jungle – Loving In Stereo
Jungle's signature sound remains in effect on album three, but the earworms are proving a little harder to come by
Few artists have arrived so fully formed as Jungle did with their 2014 debut. Their breezy, featherlight production was elevated by their infatuation with hardcore pop melodies, producing multiple tracks that now serve as perfect time capsules of their period.
Seven summers on, this third album finds Jungle still exploring the same soul-mining, vocal-sampling, post-Avalanches dreamspace. Doors seem to fling themselves open and beams of sunlight sprout from nowhere at the outset of tracks like All of the Time and What D’You Know About Me?, but the indelible earworms that established Jungle’s reputation prove a little harder to replicate.
Keep Moving is the closest that Loving in Stereo gets to its own calling card, but too often the album gets mired in mid-tempo fare that allows the adrenaline to wane. Lifting You and Romeo drift in and out of focus and the listening gets a little too easy. Bonnie Hill rescues the momentum, finding enough depth of sentiment in its smoky saxophone and steel drum-like synths to justify the ambling pace, but subsequent tracks struggle. The Jungle signature is still just as distinctive, but the enthusiasm may be in danger of starting to seep away.
Listen to: Keep Moving, Bonnie Hill, What D’You Know About Me?