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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars While biographies tend to present JUMP as a second rate sometime neo prog, sometime AOR band, they seem to have met the challenge that dogs many a neo band: that of attaining any sort of distinctive style that escapes the Marillion or IQ clone designation. They have done this with excellent playing, a superb vocalist, and a sometimes subtle, sometimes direct, reference to English folk music.

A better cue to their sound might be in reference to GRACE, an early neo group that released a half dozen albums or so. John Dexter Jones' voice is not dissimilar to that of Grace's Mac Austin, although it is much more powerful. The folk derivation in tunes like the catchy and ingenious "Princess of the People" bears some resemblance to what Grace at their best came close to achieving, even if JUMP do not utilize whistles and such. Just the pronunciation of "privacy" supplicates the Anglophile in me.

The concise courtly "Runaway" seems allied to England's PETE MORTON in structure, melody and voice. Its inclusion after the crisp folk rock of "Valediction" and prior to the raging "Keep the Blues" - think Richard Thompson - divulges the band's savvy with juxtaposing material that plays to their ample strengths. Steve Hayes and Pete Davies's guitars are highlights throughout, but "Mo"s keyboards are by no means a letdown.

When they all-out rock, JUMP's success is more mixed. The opener "Tower of Babel" is an overly long and less inspiring melee, while "Heaven and Earth" keeps evoking SWEET's "Ballroom Blitz" like a bad flashback. In contrast, "Drive Time" shows that JUMP could handle more straightforward aggressive material. As inspiration for the album title, its faux rap cuts to the quick about unquestioned freedoms of late 20th century lifestyles.

I was pleasantly surprised by my introduction to this group, and recommend that you not myth this opportunity if you enjoy a dash of neo or prog folk in a well crafted rock arrangement.

Report this review (#222186)
Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Finally all these efforts by Jump to make an impact were rewarded.Cyclops label, impressed by the band's last and quite good album, decided to give Jump a chance and signed a contract with the band.Time is money and the English sextet recorded the first album for Cyclops (and fourth overall) in 1995, this was entitled ''The Myth of Independence''.

The high expectations of the Cyclops' crew did not become exactly fullfilled with this new Jump album.The band did not abandon the style of the previous album and that is a good thing, the bad news come from Jump's inspiration and songwriting skills, which lack a bit compared to ''...and All the King's Men''.The style more or less remains the same, light Neo Prog mixed with more straightforward rock attitude and a very English flavor among the music tunes, reminding a bit of MARILLION, JADIS or RED JASPER.The vocals of John Dexter Jones remain always at a very high level, what this album needed actually was a more challenging and dramatic musicianship compared to Jones' lovely and flexible vocals.The rocking tunes are stereotypical with not anything new to add, the slightly more demanding tracks and short instrumental parts have something to offer, either some nice breaks or series of decent guitar passages, but the keyboards are still sporadically used.

Not as good as ''...and All the King's Men'', but also far from the worst efforts of the band.Still I would recommend ''The Myth of Independence'' only to fans of accesible Rock or Neo Prog lovers...2.5 stars.

Report this review (#772349)
Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Keep the Blues!

Compared to the two excellent albums that surround it - 1994's ...All The King's Men and 1998's Living In A Promised Land - 1995's The Myth Of Independence is relatively speaking a lesser album. Considered in its own right this is still a good album that exhibits at least some of the same qualities that made those other two albums so good, but in context I cannot help but feel that this album is somewhat disappointing.

The present album is a bit more laid back and generally less immediate. This becomes apparent from the start with the atypical, Pink Floyd-ish intro that opens the album's first track, Tower Of Babel. Princess Of The People is a more typical Jump number with clever, subtly sarcastic lyrics about "the burden of the crown". Depending on your interpretation, this could be the antidote to Elton John's Candle In The Wind. There are several other good songs, but they are generally not as memorable as those on the other two albums I mentioned above. One of the exceptions is the lovely Runaway, a brief, acoustic song on which John Dexter Jones really shines.

They try out a bit of Blues Rock on the track Keep The Blues, but this I'm afraid would have been better kept! The title of the album appears in the lyrics of Drivetime, an uncharacteristically funky number. One must applaud the band's eclecticism, but on this album they are best when they hold to their brand of Folk-infused Neo-Prog. These excursions make the album less coherent. Marillion's Mark Kelly produces the album and also helps out on piano on one track. Chrissie Hammond reappears on backing vocals, but her presence is more discrete here than on the ...All The King's Men album.

The Myth Of Independence is a good album by a great and often misunderstood band, but it is certainly not the best place to begin with Jump

Report this review (#958903)
Posted Monday, May 13, 2013 | Review Permalink

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