Originally scheduled for release all the way back in June, it’s been a long wait to hear CIX’s Jungle (정글). The hiatus is a stumbling block for the group, who gained quite a following during their debut year. Their music – and the producers they’ve been paired with – hasn’t been for me thus far, and Jungle does little to change that. However, I think it’s their most interesting title track yet, with a few undeniable highlights.
Jungle’s introduction, up until its first beat drop, is quite something. I love how the instrumental bides its time, hanging mostly in the background yet building drama with dramatic piano and organ. The melody here is gorgeous – haunting but catchy at the same time. If the entire track had pulled from this sound palette, we’d have something quite special. Unfortunately, Jungle quickly transforms into much more generic boy group fare. The instrumental continues to have its moments, especially as it briefly accelerates during the second chorus and later during the song’s finale. But, the drama of its first minute largely evaporates.
What Jungle lacks is a strong hook. Its lurching chorus does little to elicit sparks. It’s incredibly atmospheric, but never harnesses a strong sense of melody. And, the beat drop that follows feels too anemic for a track with such dynamic ideas. Stripped of all the production flourishes, I just don’t know if there’s that much of a song here. But, based on past CIX material, I’m well aware that I’m not the target audience for this. At the very least, I can appreciate Jungle‘s cinematic ambition.