Jump, Little Children

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Jump Little Children's first full-length under the umbrella of Atlantic has the band moving away from their ragged Irish indie folk to concentrate on a louder, more up-front alternative rock/pop approach. Produced by Brad Jones (Matthew Sweet, Imperial Drag), there's an accent on swelling, instantly gracious choruses, but the band seems a bit too tentative in their new direction to infuse the songs with the self-belief necessary for the music to rise above American indie convention. A distortion-filled "Strawberry Fields Forever" ("Violent Dreams") and the XTC by way of Beck "Habit" are clever, and two of the strongest songs of their career. It's the apparent influence of touring with Seven Mary Three and Rusted Root or having "Cathedrals" played in IKEA that seems to have done the most damage.

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