Jump - Living In A Promised Land


Year of Release: 1997
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 062
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:09:00

Given that the definition of progressive rock is getting more and more elastic each day, to say Jump are progressive is as valid as saying that Marillion (for example) are still progressive, or even that the entire roster of Cyclops artists are progressive. Debates aside, lets include Jump in that wider scope, because though they hew closer to pop than progressive, there's nary a chance that commercial radio will embrace them at all. Though there are clear marketing angles that could work.

I like Jump, though I'm not bowled over by them. In some ways, they are typical nineties neo-prog, showing many similarities to such stable mates as Tristan Park, without the brass section. If there is any strong influence it is Fish, where vocalist John Dexter Jones doesn't sound like Fish, but rather delivers his vocals with a similar emphasis. Which means nothing, of course, if you've never heard Fish.

The themes here are strongly "blue collar," where Living In A Promised Land opens with "The Man Who Worked" - which is, despite its bright and peppy arrangment, a pointed and cynical missive on the realities of a changing economy. The album contrasts between rockier tracks, like the opener, and mellow, acoustic based pieces, like "Dreaming Of Angels" which follows.

And there are gems like "April Day" which has a beautiful, gentle piano passages, acoustic guitars, and a well thought out vocal, a driving chorus - okay, sounds like pop, but it really is a great song.

There is a refreshing honesty in "True To You" - one of those songs where you hear it and find you've been there; when you feel trapped in a role by those around you because that's what they expect (it can get so tiring that you often want to do a 180 just to break free). This is another acoustic based piece - guitars, drums, and vocals. Maybe not exactly progressive stylistically - this could easily have been any modern rock band (say Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls, and the like - and there's the marketing ploy).

If your particular brand of progressive is the harder edged stuff, then you will find Jump a bit sedate. There are no guitar pyrotechnics here, just solid, competent playing, clean arrangements, and heartfelt lyrics.

And if you are a traditionalist, then you will find this far too much like pop. Though it comes recommened to fans of neo-prog.


Tracklisting:
The Man Who Worked (4:43) / Dreaming of Angels (3:43) / The Pressed Man (4:48) / December's Moon (3:23) / Promised Land Blues (5:59) / April Day (3:59) / No Time to Kill (6:08) / True to You (5:51) / My Magic Touch (4:57) / Used to the Taste (4:32)

Musicians:
Andy Barker - drums
Hugh Gascoyne - bass
Pete Davies - guitars
Steve Hayes - guitars
John Dexter Jones - vocals
Mo - keyboards

Discography:
The Winds Of Change (1991)
World Of Wonder (1993)
...And All The King's Men (1994)
The Myth of Independence (1995)
Living In A Promised Land (1998)
Freedom Train (1999)
Matthew (1999)
On Impulse (2001)
Home Songs (2003)
A Man Was Made (2004)
Faithful Faithless (2005)
Something Of The Night (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: April 10th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.jumprock.co.uk/
Hits: 1232
Language: english

  

[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]