Artist:  Jump5
Title:  Hello & Goodbye
Label:  Slanted Records

After nine years of singing and dancing together, popular youth favorites Jump5 are calling it quits to pursue other avenues of expression. Hello & Goodbye is the band’s swan song, sure to be well-received by the High School Musical/Disney crowd, although there are also less sugary moments on this final project that might surprise adult listeners.

Lead pop single “Shoot the Moon” opens the disc, already making a showing on Radio Disney with its upbeat rhythms and youthful vocals. “Fly” is more of the same, the quartet trading eights dripping with positivity and encouragement. “Never Enough” features some tasty electric guitar tidbits and a nice vocal mix. In an effort to say it all to old fans and new, Jump5 made a misguided decision to cover The Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye.” The track is thick with buzzy techno riffs, but unfortunately is completely devoid of its original mystique, a vital element of the song’s magic.

They redeem themselves nicely with a surprisingly powerful rendition of “I Surrender All,” featuring piano and co-production by Brandon Hargest, as well as a guest vocal by original member Libby Hodges. The track is an album standout, portrayed simply but effectively by upfront piano and a barely-there violin. The following nuanced pop track “Still Got Me” mixes straightforward vocals, acoustic and electric guitars and techno riffs, and a softened, acoustic rendition of the band’s hit, dance track, “Throw Your Hands Up ’07,” is served up.

A remix of “Fly” offers only techno tricks with little energy, while bouncy pop track “You” focuses on the Lord’s faithful love. Hello & Goodbye goes out nicely with a final surprise, a stirring acapella rendition of “Star Spangled Banner,” showcasing the band’s tight harmonies. Whether you like the sugary pop of Jump5 or not, you must concede: they can sing the stars right off the flag. With this strong closer, the Jump5 quartet leaves on a high note.


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