by William Jones
Much is made of the second album, particularly when your first has been so successful. But this doesn’t seem to have bothered Jungle who, whilst still making instantly recognisable music, have produced something different and exceeded all expectations on this record. They have honed their disco-funk sound to create the unique tones we first heard on their self-titled debut in 2014.
If you didn’t know before listening that the duo from West London recorded this album in L.A., you will afterwards. This album captures a plethora of different moods, whether that be post work de-stress or 3 A.M. dancing. Having received criticism on their debut for sounding a bit monotonous, they have added subtleties to this album which makes it a great all-rounder. The opening track ‘Smile’ starts with uncharacteristic drums and the opening line ‘When you smile, the world feels a little better’, setting the tone for the whole album and instantly drawing you in. Standout tracks include ‘Beat 54 (All Good Now)’ and ‘Casio’ as well as one of the best songs of the summer, ‘Heavy, California’.
A review of this album wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging Jungle’s music videos. Generally pointless for most music fans, the videos are often just an add-on that artists ‘have’ to do. Jungle, however, have been releasing brilliant art all year for each single and, in order to fully understand this album, the videos are well worth a watch.
You certainly get the impression that the positivity in this album is heartfelt, and that McFarland and Lloyd-Watson enjoyed making this album. That is what makes this record stand out like one of the best of the year.