CIX’s Jungle has been a long time coming. Originally scheduled for a June 30th release, the track and its accompanying album, ‘HELLO Chapter 3: Hello, Strange Time’ were delayed due to centre and former Wanna One member Bae Jinyoung’s ankle injury. And now after nearly 4 months, it’s here. But was the wait worth it?
Well, unfortunately I don’t think it was. Between this and BVNDIT’s effort, I don’t think that I’ll ever like a song titled Jungle. Now that’s by no means a certainty but is just a pattern I’ve begun to notice. CIX have been a very hit or miss group for me since their debut and that continues with this track. I loved their debut Movie Star but loathed follow up single Numb. Jungle falls more squarely in the middle, offering some really promising moments but squandering much of its goodwill through an arrangement that feels incredibly aimless.
Now that’s not to say that most of Jungle feels like that. The entire opening verse is incredibly tight, combining haunting piano with an organ like synth line during a great pre-chorus. It feels atmospheric in the best way possible and makes the best use of the groups character rich vocals since their debut. But this is where I think Jungle loses its way. The chorus just collapses into a melody less mush, supported by a lethargic backing track which doesn’t do it many favours. Even worse is the annoying instrumental drop that follows. I can understand the urge to experiment but CIX have quickly started to rack up a reputation of including very grating and honestly distracting drops within their tracks. And this is no exception. It’s not Numb level bad but it grates either way.
Jungle attempts to correct ship multiple times after this, with the heavy percussion led second chorus acting as its biggest highlight. Had most of Jungle followed such a soundscape, we could have a much stronger track on our hands. Instead, we get a track that primarily drifts between lethargic melodies and skittering trap beats to create a song that will likely sound outdated in a few months time.
Final Rating: 7 / 10