Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few months, then odds are you’ve heard Jungle’s breakthrough single, although you might not have realised it- Busy Earnin’ has been used in loads of adverts, promotional videos, game soundtracks, and everything in-between. So having been blessed with this opportunity to skyrocket to stardom, why does this new artist name themselves such a generic name, and then self-title their album? It took me hours just to find a stream, by which point most of its potential audience may have lost interest.
So who, or what, is Jungle? It genuinely took me a while, but finally I found out that they’re a modern soul collective from London, Jungle is their debut album and it managed to reach number seven in the charts. But seriously when there’s a record label, a genre and a play/musical, all with the same name, why would you self-title your album? It’s hilariously stupid. However, what this does do is give an air of exclusivity and illusiveness to the music, and maybe this was the whole idea.
Beyond these initial complaints, let’s not get around the fact that Jungle is an impressive album. Criss-crossing into countless genres spanning from deep house, soft rock, soul, R&B and the aforementioned ‘modern soul’, the album is exciting-yet-tranquillising, hypnotising-yet-calm. If you watch the incredible performance of Busy Earnin’ at Glastonbury this year above, you’ll see that the distinctive, chorus-esque vocals are made up of many types of vocalists, which you’ve got to admit, is an incredibly difficult sound to perfect, and Jungle have nailed it.
From the warped synths of Platoon, to the plucking bass accompaniment combined with flickers of auto-tune of Drops, it’s a delicately constructed album that continues to interest me, despite a dreamy texture and aesthetic. I think its fair to say that Busy Earnin’ is rightfully the lead single, and probably the most enjoyable, but the album is far-from-without its gems, Accelerate and Julia scream widespread popularity to a more mainstream audience for example. In closing, Jungle’s debut album is a welcomed experiment, home to new twists on highly popular genres at the moment like house and soul, it’s an album that many can be happy to be part with their cash over.
Verdict – WWWV