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Articles Home » 1999 Articles » Jungle, The - 1999 Time For Decisions
Jungle, The - 1999 Time For Decisions

ARTIST: Jungle, The
ALBUM: Time For Decisions
LABEL: Blue Martin
YEAR: 1999
CD REISSUE: 2013, ZYX Music/K-tel, 7619933022329


LINEUP: Stoney - vocals * Rico Fischer - guitars * Tommy Ritter - guitars * Markus Stephani - bass

Studio Musicians: Ossi Schaller - guitar * Alex Klier - bass * Chris Weller, Bernie Staub - keyboards * Adrian Sturzenegger, Jane Bogaert, Monika Schar - backing vocals * Bernie Staub - drums and bass programming

TRACK LISTING: 01 Springtime Of Your Dreams * 02 How Can I Know * 03 Wild At Heart * 04 Keep On Talking * 05 Time For Decisions * 06 My Way * 07 Let You Go * 08 Every Woman's A Song * 09 Scent Of A Dream * 10 High And Dry * 11 More

I have a tendency to search the completed eBay listings on AOR items, usually due to being a sadist really, as it backs up my theory that I would be a rubbish record dealer, as I find the CDs I once had and sold attracting much higher prices than I ever received for them or seeing CDs that I failed to pick up when released just to see them multiply in price and now out of reach for this accountant, Lovejoy (my favourite 80's television series based on an antiques rouge, actually Kooga appeared in one episode) of the AOR world I am sadly not. However some good does come out of this practice, for instant this is where I found out that there was a third album by Jungle. Let's back track a couple of months; here at GDM I highlighted a couple of albums by this Swiss group that covered a period from 1994 to 1998. I questioned was there any more, and yes, in 1999, this was released.

So what has changed? Well the introduction of 'the' to the name, why? Hopefully they didn't spend as much as Google did in changing their font on their logo, you say you never notice it? well that's good marketing, plus a change in the line-up. Out went Felice Durante on keyboards as did Goran Filic on drums, while Didi Buhler was replaced by Markus Stephani on bass, with this many changes you would be forgiven to think that Harry Rednapp manages the group, look at the number of background staff helping out on this record, but like QPR has this left them open at the back? Music wise? much as before really, but a clear tightening of the reins, yes it's easier to just alleged westcoast tendencies but on reflection a definite move into pop, still rock, and the odd delightful AOR moment. Yes another cover song, which is the same standard as the album cover, confusing and odd? but it's time for my decisions on the tunes.

The Songs
Opening with the excellently titled 'Springtime Of Your Dreams' it just seems a great way to begin for the more pink and fluffy inclined listener, (I count myself as one of these, have you seen the new pink Real Madrid away kit?, I want one!), it's a fairly relaxing melodic rocker, much more Venice and Mark Spiro, so no great change here, but who wants change?

The quite familiar soundings of Elton John on 'How Can I Know', which is where we left them before, actually already covered his 'Your Song' on 'For You Tonight', from 1998, but clearly moving into westcoast, and it's a successful transition , even with the haunting guitar chimes, once heard from the likes of the excellent Nuclear Valdez.

When you come to analyse the next two being, 'Wild At Heart' and 'Keep On Talking' it is really pop music The Jungle are producing. Being this good it's hard to criticize and I am not likely to either. Listen to the obvious frantic strumming of the acoustic guitars with the female backing vocals it's quite similar to INXS, just without the need of generating high levels of testosterone.

'Wild At Heart' was actually written by Jane Comerford, a singer songwriter from Australia, who appears as a judge on the German version of Popstars, I am sure any German readers may want to confirm this fact? The title track 'Time For Decisions' is quite delightful and must be related to Southern Sons and Mr Mister.

Again its cover version time and for a second time they attempt the 'My Way' standard, let's face it, it's marginally better than the shower version on 'Nuts' from 1994. This new version is well, pretty worthless and pointless, and don't get me started about those drum machines!

Closer to AOR is 'Let It Go', and again a conscious move to the sounds of INXS, so it's not really westcoast is it? Sometimes you get sucked into thinking it is, but something is always underlying that is vying to be more pop music than soul. 'Let It Go' is well placed and gives some impetuous and a welcome change to proceedings. The same can be said for 'Scent Of A Dream', even finding time to mix a bit of Motown and more importantly a fundamental Survivor groove.

'High And Dry' seems like they are guesting on a Santana album and it's the first time that the guitar provides an impact. Whereas the final number 'More' does make the album finish on a high. Adding a touch of keyboards, into a more melodic Men At Work, without any reference to sandwich fillers. Let's use the term Hi Tech AOR, and I don't mean like hundreds of albums that are described as this, when they are just awkward sounding AOR, usually coming from Canada!

In Summary
The Jungle have continued the class shown on their 1998 album, 'For You Tonight', and while this is still nothing out of this world, this time they have virtually ironed out all those weak links, well except for their desire to do cover versions which don't work. Out went the previous indecisions of styles, especially in evidence with the 1994, 'Nuts' and have generated a more measured and assured approach. Simply high class rock music, with pop infusions, and as Squeeze once sang, 'if there could be another'..

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#1 | gdazegod on September 11 2014 12:32:13
Why do I get the feeling that these guys are nothing more than a good covers band? (or tribute band)
#2 | englandashes on September 11 2014 21:21:44
Thanks for the comment, but really their originals are really good, whereas I have tried to point out that their cover versions really add nothing to their recordings, I feel they had enough talent to push their own stuff, rather than add covers.
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