The quality with which Facing Jinx’s new album For the Good of It All was crafted is what stands out at first blush. Whether you’re a dancefloor stepper, a neuro headbanger or a true liquid connoisseur, it’s undeniable that this album is technically near perfect. There’s much more to it than its nuts and bolts, however, and that should be immediately apparent as well. For the Good of It All is a true drum & bass epic on a level with the greats. It’s an emotional, existential story told in the best language possible: bass.
It’s shocking that For the Good of It All was released from two larger labels before Facing Jinx and partner Philth decided to release it on Peer Pressure. Any label that didn’t snap this album up and hold onto it for dear life has truly made a misstep. That said, in retrospect it really does belong to Mr. Jinx and his label. With a base of smooth, amen-y jungle, he’s combined soul, funk, spoken word and lo fi hip hop with beautiful melody, some of the best vocalists in the business and much more than the odd pensive, introspective lyrical phrase to make what is not just among the stand-out albums of 2020, but of all D&B history.
Suspending the gushing for a moment, For the Good of It All is put together like a concept album but it has a much more fluid storyline. It opens with the painfully beautiful lo fi intro track, “Dragonfly” featuring Conduct with its pensive vocals and strained melodies that all sound like they’re being recorded in an echo chamber. The track gives a very real impression of being in some sort of cave with dripping water and sets the tone from there. This will not be your average drum & bass album but after hearing this opener, who would want it to be?
“Black Valentine” launches the listener even deeper into a world of emotive, pitch-perfect lo fi hip hop and R&B. Featuring Sense MC and vocalist Khost, the track is pensive and nostalgic but with a thread into the future and ends on an uplifting note with Khost’s call to “find your dreams.” The D&B starts with “Come Back to Me” featuring Ewan J. Phillips, a fun throwback to true jungle rollers beat-wise with more R&B vocal tones from Phillips.
The jazzy, emotive jungle and drum & bass continues to roll through the album’s narrative with more melodic liquid tracks like “Ignorance” featuring Macc Lavahi, “Talking Sense” featuring Becca, Dexta and Jane Grey and “Remember to Breathe” featuring Tom James. There are also many tracks, like “My Soul” with Farz and Mireilla, “Fear of Losing You” featuring Philth and Formik and “Save Your Life” with Khost again which edge on darker, deeper jungle and just happen to have melodic vocals.
There’s an interesting spoken word interval with Future Bliss and Just Some Guy which is effectively the title track and features similar music to “Dragonfly” but now we’re outside of the echo chamber. That non-track track seems to be meant to capture the essence of the album and its lyrics are just as poignant and goosebump-inducing as any melodic track contained therein. Finally the album bookends with more lo fi R&B: “Give You The World” featuring Georgia Blackwell is soft, sweet and has a nod to garage as it wraps up the album’s heady, potent musical story.
To say that For the Good of It All is a must-have for any D&B collection is almost a laughable understatement. It’s a must have for any music lover, full-stop. With achingly perfect production, a host of amazing collaborating musicians and a soul that will capture almost anyone’s feelings somewhere along the way, For the Good of It All is truly as good at it gets.
For the Good of It All is out now on Facing Jinx’s own Peer Pressure Imprint. Click here to stream or buy on multiple platforms.