Okay. I have to admit it. Yes, it might sound sad to some, but it's true. I really like Jump5. Yes, those five spunky teenagers with those upbeat, danceable songs. So with that off my chest, how did Jump5's latest release Accelerate fare?
Ever since they began in 2001, the quintet has been flirting along the line of being a "Christian" band. While having a positive message and some God-centered lyrics, they have easily become a crossover group, pleasing both Christian and secular audiences. With this album, they're once again tip-toeing on the edge of Christian music.
In the past, almost every Jump5 song has been dedicated to hip dance grooves, but for Accelerate, things have almost turned a little more towards pop/rock sound. From the first song and on through, it's easy to tell there's been a bit of a style change for the group. But devoted fans don't have to fear: there are plenty of fun, upbeat tracks here.
"Do Ya", a song penned by Michelle Tumes, opens things, already setting us up with a pop/rock sound. The track is pretty catchy, but there are points that are a little cheesy lyrics-wise. "Well, I hope I don't drive you insane / with my big right foot and my unkempt mane." This time around, Jump5 has decided to cover a few oldies for us. From "We Are Family" to "Walking on Sunshine" to "Shining Star", we get a splattering of the seventies and eighties. The covers come across alright, but I find myself enjoying more of Jump5's original songs.
"Wonderful" is next, giving us more of an organic sound with acoustic and electric guitars. The song speaks of how wonderful Jesus is, and how we can be witnesses to the world. "Pressure" brings us back to the sounds of previous Jump5 records like All the Time in the World. Reminding us about the peer pressure teens constantly face living in this world, "Pressure" really hits home with a lot of us. ZOEgirl finds it's way into the making of this record with the song, "Why Do I Do". The girls helped to write the track along with Tedd Tjornhom (producer of Christian music greats like Rebecca St. James and ZOEgirl). The fun upbeat "Way of the World" comes next, a bubbly song about abiding in Christ. "Every Part of Me" gives us the only hint of slowing down on this record with the slow pop sound associated with this style of music. One fifth of Jump5, Brandon Hargest, helped out in the writing of "All Because of You", another fun pop song.
Over all, Jump5 is "accelerating" stylistically and musically. I look forward to seeing what else these five have in store for us in the next few years of their ministry.- Review date: 11/16/03, written by Shaun Stevenson
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