Hello & Goodbye
- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 1 Oct
- Shoot the Moon
- Never Enough
- Hello Goodbye
- I Surrender All
- Still Got Me
- Throw Your Hands Up (Slap Happy Symphonic Unmix)
- Fly (Erickson Remix)
- Star-Spangled Banner
Jump5 is all grown up. Hard to believe that it's already been eight years since the group was first introduced to the Christian music scene as a wholesome alternative to A*Teens, Aaron Carter, and other tween acts with major exposure on Disney outlets. Over the years and after arduous marketing pushes, the Jump5 brand began to yield results, selling more than 1.4 million copies of the group's CDs and DVDs, including Christmas, best-of, and remix albums.
Of course, this onslaught of products pushed Jump5 to the point of market saturation (where do child labor codes play into this?). For Libby Hodges, the routine proved too much, so she quit the group to live a normal teenager's life. Things were never quite the same after that, as the foursome changed their sound to a more pop/rock-based mold, left Sparrow/EMI, released an independent project, and eventually decided to hang it up at the end of 2007.
Hello & Goodbye is their sendoff—a lean 10-track disc released under a partnership with Slanted Records. Though probably not quite the going-away party the group's most dedicated fans are expecting, it's still an apropos reflection of where the quartet stands now. Gone is the band's bubblegum style, replaced with peppy but safe anthems over a lightly instrumented pop/rock bed. There's nothing too daring or aggressive beyond "Shoot the Moon," a knock-off of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone."
Not that Jump5 was all that aggressive to begin with, but their teen-pop bombast was at least felt and current sounding. On Hello & Goodbye, the style is more reserved, perhaps even a little coy. The difference between this album's cover of The Beatles' "Hello Goodbye" and the group's previous energetic covers of "Walking on Sunshine" and "We Are Family" is as good an example as any. And yet, the group also uses this album to offer their boldest expression of faith yet through a cover of the hymn "I Surrender All," however boring their version may seem.
It's kinda sad to see them go, but like most other things in pop music, their departure is simply part of the cycle of hellos and goodbyes in the music industry. Still, don't be too surprised if the members of Jump5 reappear—together or in part—somewhere down the road.