Hi-5 is a television sensation in Australia, where its coed and multiculti crew brings clean-hearted pep, bounteous energy, and shingy singalong fun to a nation of kiddies. In 2003, the concept made its American debut with a cast based on Hi-5's established dynamic, and Kimee, Karla, Curtis, Jenn, and Shaun were a near-immediate weekday morning hit for Discovery Kids and TLC. Their debut recording features music from the show, all performed at levels of pizzazz thought unattainable by humans over the age of five. Continuously mixed, the music ranges from the quickly hummable melodies and mechanistic pump of Euro-dance ("Robot No. 1") to ABBA/country amalgams ("Ready or Not") to over-annunciated, Broadway-style singing ("Three Wishes"). In other words, Jump and Jive has a lot to offer the ankle biter set, as the average kid could care less about over-annunciated singing, and just wants to shake his tukus. In addition to ten full-fledged songs, Jump and Jive includes over 30 "songlets," which is a cutesy term coming from the same sugarpies 'n' cookies place as "emoticon." The songlets average about a minute and are considerably hokier than Jive's full-on song content. Goofy voice drop-ins abound, and the subject matter ranges from spaghetti and outer space to the importance (and fun!) of dental hygiene. The song program also repeats at the end of Jump and Jive, this time as karaoke. C'mon world, who's ready to smile?!
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus