It’s pretty hard to sound original in the 21st century. In some vein, in some form - you can argue that a lot of what we’re listening to can be traced back to here and there, to influences gone by and to the sound of your parents in the kitchen recommending bands from the 80s that ‘might be something you’ll really like’.
Now, we ain’t knocking those neon heavyweights, but for Jungle that ability to sound distinct and away from the rest is exactly what catapulted them to a breakthrough that sits in its own field, something cemented with big-time bangers like ‘Busy Earnin’ and ‘Time’. Carving their own path, it leads them to what comes next, and ‘For Ever’, an album that more than any band could be set to play a vital role for what Jungle become now. A band flourishing with creativity and thriving independence, or a hazy trend?
Thankfully, the latter can be pushed right to the back - ‘For Ever’ is a record that amplifies what Jungle nailed first time around and takes it to a new confidence and swaggering level. Practically pouring with summer vibes, it’s the sound of an extra-dry martini falling on ice on a boiling hot day.
When in unbridled celebration, it’s unstoppable - ‘Heavy, California’, ‘Happy Man’ and the hypnotic grooves of ‘Casio’ are immediately rich, but as a full package it manages to blends highs and lows effortlessly. The shuffling ‘Give Over’, leaning whips of ‘Cherry’ and the tropical communion of ‘Beat 54 (All Good Now)’ offer life and realities of heartbreak and picking yourself up. It always feels like a record reaching into new terrain, yet wrapped in a gloss and style that immediately clocks that Jungle seal of approval.
For that alone, ‘For Ever’ is a success - an invitation to fall in love with that Jungle world that pulled everyone close and daring to do more. This is how to be a band who don’t jump into the world around them, but creates their own orbit instead - ready to jump in?