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MATTHEW

Jump

Neo-Prog


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apps79
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Neo Prog Team
2 stars In 1999 Cyclops released the first official album of Jump, entitled ''The freedom train'', containing two previously unreleased tracks.By the fall of the 90's the band had to fave the departure of original bassist Hugh Gascoyne.He was replaced by newcomer Andy Faulkner.2001 and Jump welcome the millenium with their sixth studio album ''Matthew'', always having the support of the Cyclops label.

While Jump will once more not abandon the simplistic side of songwriting, there seem to be a slightly more mature composing level in this album, which does not sound pale at all, on the contrary ''Matthew'' is a quite energetic and dynamic release.The band draws influences from the music of MARILLION (Clutching-era) and especially JADIS, having a stronly guitar-driven approach, while the keyboards are more in the forefront, though maintaining a supporting role.Still the cliche riffs and solos and the straight rockin' influences hardly make Jump's sound really attractive, moreover groundbreaking.The tracks are short with little diversity and plenty of similarities, the arrangements contain a few to zero adventurous moments and the proggy content is actually very limited.The majority of the album seems centered around the lyrics with no particular surprises to intricate the listener.On the other hand the unmet voice of John Dexter Jones and the extremely careful and clear production are good reasons for someone to notice Jump's presence.

A slight improvement over the fairly dissapointing ''Living in a promised land'', but Jump sound miles away from the trully competitive Neo Prog bands.For anyone enjoying energetic Rock music this one may be a decent listening...2.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#955771)
Posted Wednesday, May 08, 2013 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
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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.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#959010)
Posted Tuesday, May 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
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Crossover Team
4 stars The new album, 'Matthew', shows the band at probably their most confident ever, and is a major step forward from their last album 'Living In A Promised Land'. The songs are very strong, and the production is top quality. There is so much on here to enjoy, but the highlights are the way that they encompass slightly different musical ideas to give reach song a very strong identity. The slide guitar on "Alone Ahead" is not overpowering, but is integral. Probably my favourite part is the lazy introduction to "The Highway Man": it's only a few bars but it proves that anything Wishbone Ash can do, then Jump can do at least as well.

Originally appeared in Feedback #59

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#963504)
Posted Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | Review Permalink

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