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Jump - Matthew CD (album) cover

MATTHEW

Jump

 

Neo-Prog

3.02 | 6 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Everything that was. Everything that held me down. Everything that dragged. Everything that broke my stride. But everything can change. But everything can lock you in. Everything can stay the same if you believe that you won't win. Everything can change."

What do you do when you have reached your artistic peak but the commercial breakthrough did not come? What do you do when you have perfected your very own take on a style of music on your previous album but it failed to give you the recognition you deserve? The natural answer is that you begin to introduce changes in your sound. On Matthew, Jump still exhibit some of their trademarks such as strong vocals, good lyrics, and highly professional musicianship, but the guitar sound is less clean here and there is less focus on the instrumental parts and more focus on songs. They still had one foot in Neo-Prog, but here I get the feeling that they were reaching beyond the Prog community. Like Marillion before them, Jump here began turning their backs on their roots. Their transformation was only half-way here and as such one could perhaps call this a transitional album. They did by no means "sell out", something Jump would never do, but I think they were trying to appeal to a somewhat wider audience with Matthew and subsequent albums. Somehow, they sound more contemporary here. The result is that, even if this is still good music, they lost some of that distinctive edge that made albums like Living In A Promised Land and ...All The King's Men so special. Also, the Folk influences are almost wholly eradicated here in favour of a more bluesy and groovy kind of melodic Rock.

Matthew is an enjoyable album and a worthy addition. But though there are no weak tracks as such, there are also no standout tracks. Unlike most other Jump albums, there is not a single really excellent track here. As such, I would not recommend you to start with this album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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