Jupiter in Velvet – The One in the Many
Idiosyncratic musician and songwriter Jupiter in Velvet, an American transplanted to the UK, has been promoting and recording guitar-oriented music quite unlike anything else in the popular landscape today. There’s a tremendous fluidity to his compositions; there are no stutter steps, no moments when certainty wavers. Instead, the ten songs on his latest album The One in the Many have a clarity of focus and sense of mission that’s difficult, if not impossible, to hear. His voice is insistent, insolent, fiery and bursting with diverse phrasing. His wildly spirited vocals often drive the songwriting all that much further into the stratosphere, but his guitar work is equally key. The dive-bombing, kamikaze style he employs is a bit of an illusion, but it’s an entertaining one. His playing takes his listeners to the bleeding edge of white noise, but never quite over, and every passage he plays has some passing nod, at least, to melodic virtues.
The electro dance rock parade begins with “Rule Your Day”, one of Jupiter in Velvet’s typical identity-affirming quasi anthems that comes blasting out of the gate and rarely releases its pressure. There’s a kinetic urgency in all of the songwriting on this album and this track gets it off to an excellent start without ever laying anything on too thick. Despite the wide assortment of sounds present on many of the songs, Jupiter in Velvet achieves an airy, loose-limbed quality with the recording and the songs gain a noticeable added bounce as a result. The album’s atmosphere darkens considerably with “Lose Yourself”, a tightly compressed and almost oppressively heavy at points. There’s little doubt, if you have previous exposure to Jupiter in Velvet’s music, that he can summon vast batteries of sound from his guitar capable of overwhelming even experienced listeners. New fans, particularly those who admire such guitar heroics, will likely find this song to be a bit of a jaw dropper.
“Everyone’s Looking 4 Something They Can’t Find” is, inarguably, the album’s best example of the personal style Jupiter in Velvet embraces. This is a well-rounded, fully integrated song with a relatively straight forward approach punctuated by a number of inventive, instantly identifiable flourishes. Much like any other artistic medium, the best in their field invariably have a style that devotees of the art can recognize after only a few seconds or merely a glance. “Only Your Love” is another high caliber rocker tucked in near the album’s conclusion. An underrated part of Jupiter in Velvet’s success is his out and out charisma. This is a performer’s medium,. The songwriting can be spot on, your instrumental prowess can be second to none, but if you intend on recording or offering your music in a live setting, it’s a prerequisite that you have the presence and projection to pull it off. Jupiter in Velvet has both in abundance. The last track on The One in the Many, “Keep Your Eye in the Pearl”, veers between brooding and shrieking rage while staying more firmly tethered to the former. It’s a hard to forget closer to a renegade album that plays by its own rules and makes that stance pay off big. Jupiter in Velvet’s The One in the Many likely rates as his best release yet.
9 out of 10 stars.
William Elgin III