Jungle — Loving In Stereo — Album Review

Indie | Groove | Dance

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

The British musical project founded by producers Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland, known as Jungle, is a perfect example of a group I’ve only skimmed over very briefly. In other words, I’ve known about Jungle, without properly listening to them. In fact, I kind of had them down as an indie dance group, which they sort of are. However, there’s much more to their sound that made their newest effort such an enjoyable one.

Loving In Stereo is the third studio album by Jungle, but the first I’ve properly dived into. With my ever-growing taste in different kinds of music, I felt that now was an appropriate time to get to know Jungle properly. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

The aforementioned sound that Jungle has mastered feels like quite the unique brand of indie dance-pop. How they do this, is by implementing a kind of 80’s retro palette of musical elements reminiscent of what made Jessie Ware’s What’s Your Pleasure? such an iconic record, to an extent. But veering away slightly from the bright majesty of What’s Your Pleasure?, Loving In Stereo makes more subtle, and groovy use out of those musical elements.

On the flip-side, this album also carries a very current feel as well. In a nutshell, Loving In Stereo combines these two atmospheres really well, to the point where it feels like an album that could’ve been released this year, or 1986. When you compare a track like “Romeo” with “Lifting You” for instance, you can see how Jungle have really mastered that fusion.

One thing that remains completely concrete, however, would be the optimistically warm energy that this album carries. This all results in an album that is an almost entirely enjoyable experience. The only exception is nothing more than a few repetitive or shallow-sounding tracks.

But as an album that brings the warmth that the summer of 2021 quite frankly hasn’t, feels like a great gift indeed. There really is an element of “something everyone can enjoy” on this record, which is in equal parts accessible and unique.

In comparison to the previous two albums by Jungle (those being the 2014 self-titled debut, and 2018’s For Ever), I feel that Loving In Stereo actually leans itself more towards their debut. As a matter of fact, this new album’s opener “Keep Moving” feels like a spiritual successor of sorts to “Busy Earnin’” (which is definitely a track I’ve heard before). For those that loved the debut record that put Jungle on the map, you’ll find great joy and relief in this motivating new record.

Fair to say, the stylistic versatility, but emotionally consistent framework makes Loving In Stereo an incredible gateway album into the musical world of Jungle for new listeners such as myself. If you’re after a purely fun and feel-good musical experience, look no further than Jungle and their amazing third album.

Favourite Tracks: Keep Moving | Lifting You | No Rules | Goodbye My Love | Can’t Stop The Stars

Least Favourite Track: What D’You Know About Me?

Caiola Records | AWAL Recordings Ltd

Enjoyment: 10/10 | Memorability: 9/10 | Atmosphere: 10/10

Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 9/10 | Narrative: 8/10

Final Score: 9/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.