The Saints

Out in the Jungle

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Chris Bailey resurrected the Saints following the departure of co-founder Ed Kuepper with the fine 1981 album The Monkey Puzzle, which took the band in a more graceful and pop-oriented direction, and 1982's Out in the Jungle was a similarly smart, melodic, and adventurous set for the Aussie expats. With the departure of guitarist Barrington Francis from the Monkey Puzzle lineup, Bailey became the Saints' sole guitarist, and given his solid but unspectacular chops on the instrument, it's significant that Bailey filled out the arrangements on Out in the Jungle with horns, strings, and keyboards (though former Damned axeman Brian James does contribute potent lead guitar on two cuts). While the melodic buoyancy, the emphasis on acoustic guitar, and the (relatively) polished arrangements on these tunes lack the fire of the Saints' best-known work, there's still a wealth of nervy passion in Bailey's vocals, confirming his status as one of rock's most underrated singers, and the lyrics to "Follow the Leader," "Senile Dementia," and "Out of Sight Out of Mind" show that despite his musical surroundings, Bailey hadn't mellowed a bit. Originally titled Out in the Jungle Where Things Aren't So Pleasant, this album isn't quite as strong as the two that would follow, A Little Madness to Be Free and All Fool's Day, but Bailey's sure grasp of his melodic instincts and his willingness to move on past the Saints' "formula" points to the excellence of those records, and this is an album well worth a listen despite its low profile in their discography. [The album has also been released under the title I Thought I Was in Love But This Ain't Casablanca.]

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