Jupiter in Velvet – The One in the Many
The latest album from UK based songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Jupiter in Velvet manifests a basketful of moods. Velvet excels unleashes hard-hitting rockers with guitar fireworks to spare, but melody is the hallmark behind everything he does and he just as often does well with more nuanced compositional numbers that utilize guitar and keyboards in equal measure. There are a lot of ambient backdrops used on this album, but they never dominate – in the end, keyboards and synthesizer are consigned to providing valuable color layered over the rhythm section so Jupiter in Velvet can work his magic on top. It is often magical indeed. He has breathlessly easy command over a variety of styles, though rock is most clearly is forte, and his ability to weave these varying elements into coherent wholes is one of his chief attractions as an artist.
It is apparent, even in an understated way, on the album’s first song. “Rule Your Day”, like many Jupiter in Velvet songs, preaches much about the virtues of identity and self-determination, but his music is never subverted to that message. Instead, he provides a dramatic backdrop that’s equal parts hard-nosed rock attitude and melodic pop. “Peace This Thing Together” somehow manages to bring hippie ethos into a practically punk rock infused anthem, but it’s an exceedingly clever bit of songwriting that will energize any listener. “Everyone’s Looking 4 Something They Can’t Find” goes beyond the earlier songs in terms of bringing rock and pop together in a convincing way. This is a absolute masterpiece of pop songwriting that everyone should stand up and take notice of. The lyrical wisdom is, unfortunately, rather uncommon in a pop song but Jupiter in Velvet never delivers it in a heavy-handed way. Instead, this song glistens with light and melody in a way few of the other great songs on this album do.
“Surrender 2 the Groove” is, undoubtedly, one of the best totally rock moments on the album. It isn’t a hammer blow to listener’s skulls, however, as Jupiter in Velvet keeps the arrangement and instrumentation alike light on its feet and careful not to test the listener’s tolerance. “2Day is the Day” has a rough hewn pop sheen to its and the intensely rhythmic percussion gives it an irresistible quality. Velvet adds a spectacularly appropriate cawing, slurring vocal that sound alternately joyful and scowling with triumph. “Take Over the World” has a simmering, surprisingly bluesy quality and takes it time building. It’s the album’s longest song by a couple dozen seconds, but the increased chance to stretch out results in a much more dramatic performance. The last track on The One in the Many is “Keep Your Eye on the Pearl”, a shockingly dark-hued conclusion to an otherwise largely positive journey. The dread informing the track seems more existent by implication lyrically than musically, but the sonics are clearly steered in a much more brooding directing than before. It’s an unforgettable end to an equally memorable album.
9 out of 10 stars.