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10cc - Windows In The Jungle CD (album) cover

WINDOWS IN THE JUNGLE

10cc

 

Prog Related

2.24 | 40 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Two separate taxis please

"Windows in the jungle" was released about 7 years after Godley and Crème left 10CC. The band are therefore effectively a duet of Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman supported by a further 7 musicians, including Mel Collins on sax, who contribute to one or more tracks. After the release of this album and its total lack of success, the remaining band split up to follow separate paths.

In reality, Eric Stewart is very much the dominant partner here. Most of the songs have his song-writing style, and vocally he is virtually ever present. The "Jungle" of the title appears to be of the big city variety. Apart from the brief African rhythms which bookend the album, there is nothing ethnic or tribal.

Much of the album is surprisingly reflective, with more in common with US AOR bands such as FOREIGNER and TOTO (especially "Africa" ironically). The opening "24 hours" is an 8 minute piece with only the occasional burst of more traditional 10CC, and a fine but all too brief lead guitar section. Other tracks on side one which follow a similar mood are the ballad "Yes I am", which includes some fine sax, and "American panorama" which has a stronger beat, but is still rather melancholy.

The overall mood of the album is reflected in these three tracks. There are more traditional 10CC songs, of which more shortly, but overall this is a surprisingly considered album, largely devoid of the too clever lyrics and melodies which tarnished much of the band's work. The closing "Taxi taxi" is another lengthy piece, which tells a tale of dreaming of escaping the rat race for more idyllic climes. The song features a fine instrumental play-out.

On the down side, the reggae beat of "Dreadlock holiday" makes an ill advised return in "Feel the love - oomachasaooma", a dreadful song which rambles through a dull melody and so-so lyrics. It is also present on "Food for thought", where the lyrics are indeed needlessly clever.

"City lights" is a very ordinary pop song with very poor lyrics ("Oh oh I feel the city rhythm, Oh oh I love those city lights, But when the sun comes up, And the party's over, I don't care I'm coming back tonight, To the bright city lights") and a melody which could have been written in 30 seconds. "Working girls" harks back to the early 10CC albums with strong harmonies and diverse vocal styles. It does little for me, but fans of the band will no doubt appreciate the song.

In all, something of a mixed bag, but "Windows in the jungle" does feature some of the finest songs to have been released under the 10CC name. With well over 50% of the album containing high quality material, the album falls into the category of unjustly overlooked.

The sleeve is rather prosaic, but it does have some effective windows which allow images from the inner sleeve to peep through (as per "Physical Graffiti").

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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