Propelled into the limelight off the back of some mysterious press shots and a couple of genre-fusing, falsetto bangers, Jungle’s resulting 2014 debut was up there with the year’s most clamorously received. Now, over four years later and in a fickle musical climate that doesn’t favour time-taking, ‘For Ever’ lands with a much more difficult job to do.
Jungle have largely played it safe here; the feelgood alt-funk of ‘Heavy, California’ could sit seamlessly alongside anything from their debut, while the ominous nocturnal strut of single ‘Happy Man’ is just ‘Busy Earnin” Mk II. Even the more James Blake-tinged offerings (‘Cherry’, ‘Mama Oh No’) are marked with the inimitable vocal stylings of the troupe. And it’s this that could be their downfall. With such a distinctive sound, it’s hard for Jungle to really move anywhere but in a straight line; ‘For Ever’ might be safe, but safe might not be enough second time around.