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Jump - The Myth Of Independence CD (album) cover





2.73 | 10 ratings

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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.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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