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The Very Best of Jump5

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Mar
The Very Best of Jump5
Sounds like … the tween-oriented dance pop/rock of Hillary Duff, Ashlee Simpson, Aaron Carter, and Britney SpearsAt a glance … kids will enjoy hearing their favorite Jump5 tracks alongside a few new ones, but the collection is pretty skimpy and seems just a little premature for such a young groupTrack ListingSpinnin' AroundThrow Your Hands UpDon't Run AwayBeauty and the BeastBeautiful to MeAll I Can DoGod Bless the USADo YaWe Are FamilyDance with MeIt's a Beautiful WorldFriends

They've only been together for roughly five years, and now Jump5 has a best-of album already? This compilation is undoubtedly drawing sniggers and groans from cynics, but it's easy to lose sight that this group of teens (now down to four) has already released six albums—albeit relatively short albums, including Christmas and remix projects. Besides, if Britney Spears can release a hits album after four albums and five years, why not release The Very Best of Jump5 while they're still hot with tweens?

As today's Christian pop equivalent to Kids Incorporated or The Mickey Mouse Club, Jump5's music generally doesn't appeal to adults. But there's no denying that it's well done for what it is and who it's for, while clearly making a positive impact on both Christian and mainstream culture with sales success to support them. There's also something to be said for a modestly priced collection that saves kids without mp3 players the trouble of hauling a stack of CDs around. And admit it, songs like "All I Can Do" and "Dance with Me" may be empty-headed, but they're also pretty catchy.

While this collection doesn't need to justify its timing or quality, it does lack bang for buck. The four primary Jump5 albums are each represented by only two songs—three new tracks and one non-album hit round out the disc. Granted, it's called The Very Best, but 40 minutes is pretty skimpy. Would it have killed them to include five more songs? And this hits disc feels more like a Kidz Bop album with the abundance of covers: "We Are Family," "Beauty and the Beast," "God Bless the USA," and a new rendition of Michael W. Smith's "Friends."

If you're asking such questions, you already know this isn't for you. But while this disc may be somewhat premature and unnecessary, it won't be unwelcome among Jump5's young fans.