Tuesday, December 8, 2015

G'RACE-Junglebeat (1984)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: December 8, 2015

Here we have another prime example of why I absolutely cannot—and will not—ever stop listening to music from the 80's! It's so nice to have gracious friends who gift me these guilty pleasures from time to time, and this "Junglebeat" album by the Dutch act that called itself G'RACE just may be the guiltiest pleasure of them all! Bubblegum pop with a spirited new-wave rock kick—that is how I would describe the ultra-infectious music here that 'graced' my ears in the quick 40+ minutes that I tuned in to these songs this afternoon—too quick, even! The sweet, delightful voice of the group's female lead singer is just one of the reasons why the music is ultra-infectious; the lively beats—er, 'jungle beats', rather—and the fun lyrics accompanying them are the other two. "Manhattan" was practically over in a New York minute before I even knew it, but in those short 3+ minutes, I was all wrapped into the perky, bouncy beat and the island melody while the catchy words to the chorus that go 'some girls need melody, we all want to be free' danced through my audio speakers. Good thing that my gracious friend included the 6+ minute super-extended version—a very thoughtful gesture on his part. Every song on this album instantly makes me feel like dancing, and that's especially true for the album's second track, "Dancin' In The Box", and the jivin' jukebox-friendly "Law Of The Jungle", which gets extra props from me because of the lively, jazzed-up funk that plays alongside the bouncy beat all throughout. "Love On The Rocks" is like the loveliest of love songs, despite its simple lyrics where basically the title itself is sung for its entire three-and-a-half minute duration. It's the angelic, mellow voice of the female lead singer that captivated me, plus the distinctive voice of the male singer echoing her and the unified singers supporting them in the background. My latest 'Music Surprise of The Day' (is there even a day when I don't have one?) came right after that with the tribal beats and rhythms of the mostly-instrumental track, "Concrete Jungle". Prior to today, the only song in the entire music universe that I'd ever heard with this exact same title was the one recorded by the Swedish pop group BODIES WITHOUT ORGANS. Had never thought I'd ever come across another song with that exact same title! And seeing that this album was released way back in 1984, is it possible that Alexander Bard and Martin Rolinski borrowed the "Concrete Jungle" title from this Dutch group? Lots more jungle-themed madness on "Monkey Time", a personal favorite which comes complete with jungle monkey sounds in both the opening and closing movements and an ultra-catchy hook 'ooh, it's monkey time', and "Dr. Rhythm", another personal favorite with more of the same jungle monkey sounds, though with a livelier, festive atmosphere with the ethnic African vocals and the island melody thrown into the mix. Good thing that my gracious friend included an extended mix of the latter one as well, because I need to put that one onto my special playlist! 'As the lyrics go, there's really is a party going on with this one, and it's gonna last all night long! Had loads of fun with the cute bubblegum jam "Jay-O-Dee" (' I'm gonna getcha soon ', she promises over and over), "Check Out Time" and "Titanic" (the way backup crew is singing 'the Ti-tanic' makes this one so irresistible!). My first expedition deep into this music jungle was like the ultimate 80's thrill, and I'll surely be going on further expeditions into this same music jungle in the days ahead:

1. Manhattan
2. Dancin' In The Box
3. Law of The Jungle
4. Love On The Rocks
5. Concrete Jungle
6. Titanic
7. Monkey Time
8. Jay-O-Dee
9. Dr. Rhythm
10. Check Out Time
11. Katmandu

*****BONUS TRACKS*****

12. Manhattan (Extended Version)
13. Dr. Rhythm (Extended Version)

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