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listening time: 2m 50s
this is roddy frame's mellowed-out cover of the van halen original. it's a feel-good song that i turn to when i actually need it. the original is great, a classic, i love it. but it's also quite overwhelming. the deafening keyboards, the searing vocals, the air-guitar inducing albeit brief solo in the middle, and not to forget david's outlandish showmanship and eddie's flipped-out perma-smile on the video -- jesus, you've got to be all high, happy, and oversexed to be able to match the energy of that song. which is ironic because it's supposed to be about a man flirting with suicide.
which makes frame's version quite appropriate. set against a background of light-handed drum beats and innocuous bass, this acoustic take on jump is reluctantly positive. frame's lackadaisical vocals accompanied by gentle guitar picks deliver a sentiment that, if it catches you in a sullen state, is both bittersweet and alleviating. i get up, and nothing gets me down. what can be more hopeful than that? on a technical note this song is also a perfect proof of the timelessness of acoustic arrangements. frame made this cover about a year after the original was released -- that's 21 years ago -- but he could have done it yesterday and it would still come out just as listenable.