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OVER THE TOP

Jump

Neo-Prog


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Jump Over The Top album cover
3.91 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sir Thomas and the Passer-By
2. The Wreck of the Saint Marie
3. The End of Days
4. Old Gods
5. Behind the Lines
6. The Vagrants' Song
7. This Beach
8. Johnny V
9. Fifty
10. Staring at the Rain

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- John Dexter Jones / Vocals
- Steve Rundle (Ronnie Rundle) / Guitars
- Steve Hayes / Guitars
- Mark Pittam / Bass
- Mo / Keyboards
- Andy Baker / Drums

Releases information

Format: CD
March 12, 2016

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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JUMP Over The Top ratings distribution


3.91
(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
12%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(59%)
59%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

JUMP Over The Top reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars "Over the Top" marks the 25th anniversary of JUMP's first album, and finds the band paradoxically at their most rock and folk oriented. Rock because the dual guitars are more than ever marked by authoritative riffs. Folk because the subject matter tilts towards social commentary and historical fiction, while the melodies seem traditionally inspired. From a prog rock point of view, most of the songs divert from the standard verse-chorus structure with shifting tempos and sometimes jarring arrangements, but, as with all JUMP releases, I caution the listener to sidestep any expectations of a neo prog nature and instead be prepared for a powerful modern yet retro rock album with dashes of folk. Did I say that this rocks far more than most in the prog universe?

As many times as I have listened, the two opening numbers remain my favourites, both supernaturally oriented tales of woe. The first recounts the sighting of a ghost being hung by a passer by who meets with the same fate for not seeing an officially sanctioned ghost. It's chilling and yet musically vibrant, not unlike many early STEELEYE SPAN tunes. The second is about a ship carrying riches diverted to its ruin by mysterious lights. GORDON LIGHTFOOT or CHRIS DE BURGH merging with STRAWBS might sound like this. Perhaps if you blended in some RED JASPER and OYSTERBAND you might get a bit closer still. Both of these tracks are delightfully archaic in a neo folk manner yet, again, much more rock oriented.

The album returns to its critique of religion on "End of Days", "Old Gods", and, to a lesser extent, "Behind the Lines" and "Vagrant's Song". The best of these is "End of Days", about how those hard done by at the hands of organized religion might exact revenge, immersed in another heavy guitar motif. It's a fine line between honest criticism of social institutions and sermonizing, which John Dexter Jones largely avoids, although on the softer tunes like "The Vagrant's Song", I'm not moved enough by the music and am somewhat mortified by the bare brutality of the lyrics.

The second high point is struck with "This Beach", which, at over 7 minutes, is the longest JUMP song I can recall, and it earns its breadth. Alternating between more monstrous guitar themes and shanty like verses, the best reference I can come up with is the monumental "Dust Bowl Dance" by MUMFORD and SONS, and the metaphysical relationship between the narrator and his physical environment represents an additional intersection. "Johnny V" is an arena rock paean to a departed DJ with a heavy metal fixation who introduced the singer to so many bands. Lots of philosophizing here about life and its elusive meanings, not all highly poetic, but none better than "appointed by the bar to spin the soundtracks of our lives". In the more reflective parts, the guitar style approaches MARK KNOPFLER, and an organ interjects appropriate reverence elsewhere. In tribute to Johnny, we are treated to the only seriously "over the top" moment, a lead guitar solo with all the appropriate twists in a 40 second burst, while the rhythm section is quite equal to the task.

"Staring at the Rain" closes the album in fine fashion, a rocker about life on the road, where this band has trod for the lion's share of its formidable lifespan with a magnificent riff on an album rife with them. This could have been a hit single during the era from which JUMP is so evidently inspired. Again some DIRE STRAITS references in the break, with maybe a sliver of WARREN ZEVON. I honestly don't know how JUMP manages to assimilate all its influences, but that they have done so while establishing their own selves as reference point is formidable.

If you have been waiting and wondering about test driving JUMP, I recommend taking the leap with this album and working your way backwards from there, because this is a band that continues to evolve while remaining as entertaining as ever.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars UK band JUMP have been a going entity for more than a quarter of a century now, although this still will have them described as a part of the new scene in progressive rock by some. Self-described as an eclectic band, this is a venture with more than a dozen studio albums to their name, thousands of gigs too apparently, and at least so far rather safely tucked into the underground rock scene too for some reason. "Over the Top" is their latest studio production, and was self-released in the spring of 2016.

Jump is one of those bands where I just cannot understand why they haven't risen to a greater stature. These are well versed musicians and composers, with a good grasp for compelling melodies and with the experience to be effective in their songwriting as well as the execution of their tunes. A well oiled machine in that context, running smoothly and in a manner that should have a fairly broad reach. Lack of exposure may be a part of this obviously, but their main challenge may possibly be that they don't appear to orient themselves in towards any given niche market, and that the more mass market channels are closed to them.

In terms of progressive rock and related categories of music, I'd pretty much say that what Jump presents on this album is music residing somewhere in the middle between Marillion's "Misplaced Childhood" and Magnum's "On a Storyteller's Night". At times with tendencies towards one or the other, but more often the material consist of similar features and details but explore a sound that is, in fact, rather different from both of these. That some of the additional associations I noted were Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Procol Harum may just indicate something as far as this observation goes.

An additional dimension brought in to the overall sound of this band is folk music. Rarely in a distinctly purebred manner, but there's something of a folk music undercurrent in most of the songs here. Subtle and downplayed to a greater extent than dominant and out in the open, but still this is an album that has a certain vibe or atmosphere to it that corresponds with this aspect. Rather far removed from the Jethro Tull's of this world I should add, I'd rather look towards the older more purebred folk rock bands as a possible source of inspiration for this aspect of Jump's material, and again emphasize that on most occasions it is a subtle more than a strongly dominant presence.

Plucked guitar motifs combined or alternating with firm guitar riffs, at times giving some of the cuts more of a hard rock feel in places, with tasteful keyboards and organ details on top, are the main ingredients of the songs here. At times in a more delicate and ballad oriented manner, in other places with a firmer and harder general feel. Occasionally adding a darker touch to the atmospheres created. The vocals are well delivered and well controlled, and the mix and production suits the material perfectly. It's a well made album on all levels, and while perhaps not quite as complex as many other albums described inside a progressive rock context, quite a few of the songs are in fact a bit quirkier than what your first impressions will indicate.

Jump is one of many bands out there that deserves a broader audience, and with "Over the Top" I'd say that the band documents quite nicely that they are, indeed, not yet fit to be placed into the category the album title may suggest. Fans of mid 80's Marillion and Magnum would be something of a key audience for this band in my book, and those who are should spend a few minutes getting to know the music of this fine band.

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