Virtual Jungle

Virtual Jungle

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AllMusic Review by

It's hard to know what to expect from a band called Virtual Jungle, but what Brazil-born, New York-based singer/songwriter Lucio Rebello offers is a bossa nova-influenced take on folktronica. Virtual Jungle is based primarily on acoustic guitars and drum machines, with other subtle arrangement touches like the extremely '70s-sounding electric piano on the moody opening track "Traces," and the vintage synth warbles that fade in and out of most of the songs. Rebello's delicate singing voice is slightly overpowered on the harder-edged material, but much more effective when things quiet down; "Flying" offers a perfect example of this dichotomy, shifting into a Spanish-guitar-driven B section about halfway through that's far superior to the first part of the song. (Rebello also sings in his native Portuguese on several tracks, including a second version of the English-language "Regret.") At times, Virtual Jungle comes across as a one-man version of recent Saint Etienne, as on the danceable "How Far Would You Go (For Love?)" and the dreamy, jazzy ballad "Lost and Found." For the most part, however, Rebello combines his influences into something fairly unique.

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