Jump - On Impulse

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 107
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:05:00

Jump has always been a band that has found its way into the slipstream of Marillion. Boasting none other than Marillion's keyboard player Mark Kelly as producer of their album The Myth Of Independence, and having been the opening act for Rothery and Co., the strength of Jump mainly can be found in their live shows. For these kind of bands it's often damn difficult to capture that live energy on a studio album, but this time around I think they have finally succeeded. Well, the opening chords from "Millionaire" certainly illustrate this energy very well, being based around a very funky guitar. Also singer John Dexter Jones really demonstrates his versatile vocal skills here making "Millionaire" an instant live favourite. I have to be honest here and confess that, in the beginning, I wasn't too keen on John's voice, yet over the years I have started to like it because John has the ability to deliver kind of a different voice for the more rockin' songs and the more intimate ones. Parts of "Love Song Number Five" and "Bethesda" do indeed sound very folky, making it possible for John to approach these songs in a different way, more storytelling, more in the vein of Chris De Burgh if you like. That feel is even more accentuated once the electric guitar stays out of the picture and all emphasis goes towards an acoustic arrangement, as happens during "Rise."

Jump has two guitarists in its ranks, which means that the keyboards are limited to the arrangement and all solos come courtsey of one of our guitarist-friends. Because one doesn't know whether it's Steve Hayes or Pete Davies performing, we just have to refer to them as being "the guitarist." Slide guitar finds its way like a snake throughout "Right Winger" with the sound of a cheap Farfisa organ in the background. Again in "Wages Of Sin," the acoustic guitar takes the upper hand enabling the lyrics to be sung very clearly so the listener perfectly knows what the story is all about. The energy of the beginning of the album is re-injected by means of the swinging "Doctor Spin." One piece of advice here: seeing the band consists of six individuals, how come none of the musicians share some backing vocals? A song like "Doctor Spin" could certainly benefit from some extra backing vocals in the chorus, which would give the song even more body and power. In the final song "Cruel To Be Kind" I would have loved to hear both guitarists play together so as to obtain the Wishbone Ash feel that would certainly have fit well here.

Once again Jump have delivered a great collection of songs and ideas and no doubt these will go down very well during live gigs. However they still lack the kind of song(s) which will lift them into the higher regions of the music business. So for the time being it's status quo where the end result is concerned, but my compliments have to go towards producer Martin Atkinson (I know you produced virtually every single Jump release, my friend, but this time, to my humble ears, I hear a difference!) who really captured the live vibe very well.

Millionaire (4:16) / Brave New World (5:01) / Love Song Number Five (3:31) / Bethesda (4:49) / Rise (4:03) / Right Winger (4:44) / Thom's New Clothes (4:05) / Like A Drum (5:53) / Wages Of Sin (3:37) / Doctor Spin (3:38) / Cruel To Be Kind (5:26)

Steve Hayes - electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin
Pete Davies - electric and acoustic guitars
Andy Barker - drums
Andy Faulkner - bass
John Dexter Jones - vocals

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)
The Beachcomber (2010)
The Black Pilgrim (2013)
Over The Top (2016)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: July 30th 2002
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.jumprock.co.uk
Hits: 732
Language: english


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