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Jump - The Beachcomber CD (album) cover

THE BEACHCOMBER

Jump

 

Neo-Prog

3.93 | 15 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Being new to JUMP and their relatively obscure discography, I have arranged and rearranged periods of their past like so many jigsaw puzzle pieces, but for the interval between 1998 and 2010 lies a canyon of ignorance. In spite of this, "The Beachcomber" is instantly discernible as a product of this hard working and thinking band thanks to John Dexter Jones, the man with a voice so authoritative he needs 3 names! The twin guitars of the two Steves also have their say, and, while none of these facets have every sounded better, they are not the primary reason why "The Beachcomber" is the band's most compelling yet, absent company excluded.

The "big" sound always in evidence is here harnessed radiantly, and the tendency to split track personalities along uncomfortable divides is dispensed with. As a result, good songs become great ones, folkie numbers hit harder, and sparkling melodies are permitted more than a furlough. The opening track "Down three Times" reminds me of an early JULUKA song, but I suppose I'll never know if this is coincidence or not; either way it's a cracker. "Kingston Corner Blues" is an exquisite ballad, and "Rosetta Stoned" a tragic and poignant tale, limp pun aside. "No one Spoke" is the best example of the old JUMP merging with the new and the resulting improvement, as JONES talks on tune, and what a tune, and strummed electric guitar nirvana is realized; the muscular "Eyes on the Prize" is similarly illustrative. "The Sniper" sounds like a top shelf WISHBONE ASH ballad. "Suffering in Silence" drills home its message on a concise captivating chorus, while the album closer "Forgive me my Sins" returns to the balladic tradition with the added shades of a rare brass instrument. Needless to say, in the midst of all this emotive quality, the rare missteps of the superficial "Lennard's Blues" and the monotonous "On Bended Knee" are easily forgiven.

It's a pleasure to hear a very recent album by a long running band that reveals an entity fully intact and growing, seemingly by leaps and bounds, not just shriveling up on some beach with a few remaining fans doing the same. Highly recommended if you are into song oriented and folk influenced British prog.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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