Jump - Over The Top

(CD 2016, Den-Tel Records 0416)

The tracks:
  1- Sir Thomas And The Passer-By(4:10)
  2- The Wreck Of The Saint Marie(3:50)
  3- End Of Days(5:02)
  4- Old Gods(6:02)
  5- Behind The Lines(3:58)
  6- The Vagrants' Song(4:34)
  7- This Beach(7:14)
  8- Johnny V(5:46)
  9- 50(6:38)
10- Staring At The Rain(6:57)

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Over The Top is the 13th album from the Buckinghamshire-based band Jump. The band's been together now for 26 years and to be honest, I didn't know them. What a miss!

This is a great band with a great new album. I really love the folky style and the lyrics of all the 10 songs are true masterpieces. This is storytelling in song at the highest level. All the music is composed by the whole band, but the lyrics (and the concept) are from lead vocalist John Dexter Jones. The instrumentalists of Jump are bassist Mark Pittan, keyboard player Mo, drummer Andy Barker and the two guitar players Ronnie Rundle and Steve Hayes. And they are good! This is a beautiful played and great sounding album. In the mix (by Martin Atkinson) the high ranged voice of John Dexter Jones is very up front. And I don't mind because you can follow the lyrics much better this way. Also, the bass guitar of Mark Pittan is mixed more up front and that gives the album a really warm sound.

How about the songs? All jewels as I said before. The album starts with Sir Thomas And The Passer-By and has a real medieval feel. I will not go into all the songs, but for me this one, The Wreck Of The Saint Marie, Old Gods and Johnny V (the most rocking song) stands out.
I really love this album and will play it a lot! I can't wait to see them play at Danfest 6 on December the 3th 2016 in Leicester UK.

So if I'm so impressed by the band and the album, why don't I give it five stars? Well, it's nothing new. It reminds me strongly of Chris de Burg in his early years, Camel, Fish when he started his solo career (Old Gods) and most of all The Strawbs. The difference with, for example, the album Folklore by Big Big Train is that BBT does totally new things with material in the same 'territory'.

But I can't say it enough-I love this album and can't wait to see the band perform!

***+ Arne van Os van den Abeelen (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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