The Paris-based duo consisting of Guillaume Alric and Jonathan Alric aka The Blaze has returned with their long-awaited album JUNGLE. The cousins first dropped their studio EP TERRITORY back in 2017 and follow-up DANCEHALL in 2018 respectively. The pair made a name for themselves by making intricate visuals along with producing elaborate soundscapes. The last single The Blaze released was “Somewhere” featuring Octavian back in 2020. Now the team is ready to go on tour again with the release of JUNGLE.
JUNGLE opens up with “LULLABY”. The introduction starts off with a vibrant arrangement of keyboard, drum claps, and bass lines. The soft heavenly vocals make for a contrast to the chorus repeating the phrase, “You’re such a fucking mess.” The berceuse feels like the clouds open up and the gods whisper into your consciousness to sort out your life. The second half mostly consists of an instrumental, helping you let go and dance to the beat before the chorus comes back to hit you with a reality check.
The following track, “CLASH,” is another catchy pop song that captures listeners’ imagination. The beginning has an echo that’s off to the distance calling you over. The simplistic chorus alone continuously chanting, “This is the right time”, is a mantra that reinvigorates the soul. It’s a reminder that no matter where you are in life at the moment, right now is our destination. This message is driven further in the album’s single, “DREAMER”. Again there’s this feeling like you’re floating on clouds when a voice rings through,” I’m the soul that is drifting away, trying to find space, trying to find a place with no border to face.” Electronic tribal drums come in to enhance the excitement of celebration of loving life with the phrase “Open the gate of love to make the stars glow”. There’s a short documentary about the music video commentating on the importance of human interaction worth checking out.
Hands down the best track on JUNGLE is “Lonely.” Bouncing synths along with thumping drums, continuing to build up with delayed vocals keep the vibe grooving throughout the progression of the song. The words may be reclusive but the beat is uplifting bringing peace in its solidarity. “SIREN” is a strong continuation of “LONELY” showcasing the more intense, dark side of JUNGLE. Engulfed in sensation as if you’re lost and running through the trees but needing to embrace the unknown.
“EYES” is a solid song that is carried by its instrumentation. The drawn-out, deep-bass vocals sing of loving someone so much that without them you succumb to emptiness. However, once the beat kicks in “EYES” really turns up a notch. A hypnotizing funky beat truly illustrates the heart of a lovely message that you can’t help but shuffle to.
The Blaze’s JUNGLE is a listening experience that has a positive aura surrounding it. The musicianship of both artists collaborating into one cohesive sound is worth hearing. Most of the tracks have a repetitive nature to them with a simple message that you may or not enjoy. However, the overall quality of the songs cannot be denied. Now seeing The Blaze live would definitely be worth experiencing.