Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Jaguar-This time

Metal Mind

Jaguar's 1983 debut "Power Games" often gets unfairly overlooked. It is a very solid offering with a definite nod to early Iron Maiden. At that point Jaguar were a fairly promising band amidst the whole NWOBHM scene. They would follow it up a year later with "This Time". Something had changed for sure and the results were probably different from what any fan was expecting or wanting. Paul Merrell had done the vocals on "Power Games", but all of the material was written before he joined. Now that he was in on the writing process he brought new ideas to the mix. Around the time of it's release the were some references to the music on this album as "dance metal". That's an amusing label, but I think a more accurate description is that Jaguar were now playing AOR tinged hard rock. Gone were the blasting leads and pounding drums and they were instead replaced by piles of melodies, definite emphasis on the vocals and catchy choruses. It was a gamble that went against what the band had become known for. The new sound is organized and tight, but it's like expecting Iron Maiden and getting Survivor. If they wanted to go in such a different direction then they may have wanted to change the band name or else they were definitely going to be compared to the previous album. Any edge or power that they once had was now replaced by smooth layers of gloss and slick production values. Perhaps I would have liked it more had it come out under a different band name. Then I could have had an easier time accepting it as a debut from an AOR band instead of seeing it as a solid metal band getting a complete face lift. Whatever the motives, "This Time" is just an alright album and one that is unlikely to appeal to most NWOBHM fans. The band lasted until 1985 before disbanding. Metal Mind has done their usual fine job with this re-issue as they have included bonus tracks and a lyric booklet.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home