Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jupiter in Velvet-The World Didn't Start With U

Free 2b Free Records

Look! Up there in the sky! Is it a bird? No! Is it a plane? Nope! Is it a band? Kinda. You're getting closer! Well then, is it a man who happens to be a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and electric rock and roller? Yes, you finally nailed it! It's Jupiter in Velvet!! Born and raised here in the U.S. (and now calling London his home base of operations), Jupiter in Velvet is a out of this world musician with a grand total of four albums to his credit. First sighted in 2012 (by way of Jupiter in Velvet's critically-acclaimed debut album, "Screaming the Love Behind the Scars"), Jupiter in Velvet has grown stronger with each new release and now this US/UK singer/songwriter looks to take things even higher with album number four. Last week I covered this album's title track and lead single, "The World Didn't Start With U" and now I'm happy to report that the rumors are true. It might seem impossible (or at the very least improbable), but "The World Didn't Start With Us" is one of 2015's best "rock" recordings and there is actually physical evidence available to back up that wild claim! What kind of evidence is there you might be asking? Well, by clicking on this link you can actually go and stream this album and hear it all for yourself! That's right! There's no need to be a Doubting Thomas when you can just go directly to the source and play "The World Didn't Start With Us"! All I ask is that you please wait on doing that until the ride comes to a complete stop. You wouldn't want to miss any of sights would you? I didn't think so. Where were we then? Ah yes, Jupiter in Velvet circa 2015. Reportedly this is the "heaviest" recording of his career. Or was it the most aggressive? It's certainly the most ambitious one to date. Beyond that I honestly cannot remember which one it was. Not that it really matters if you are new to this band. And if you are? Well, first things first then. When it comes to this underground rocker it's worth mentioning how Jupiter in Velvet has been (vocally) compared to the likes of David Bowie and Paul McCartney and that he has a PhD in Finance. So, not only is he musically skilled, but Jupiter in Velvet is also highly intelligent. Both ideals play towards the absolute strength of this album. As far as that first part goes one need not look any further than "Martini Rock" for David Bowie and "Dive In2 My Seas" for Paul McCartney. There are other tracks that fir those molds, but those two numbers spring to mind so I went with them. And the second part? Well, that's the album as a whole. Other than "When Love Rules The Day" (which sounds suspiciously like INXS) this album is chock full of clever ideas and infectious material. The individual songs that make up "The World Didn't Start With Us" are intelligent, well-structured, and challenging. Genre-wise there is something for everyone. At it's heaviest there are songs that cut a path between post-grunge and (goth-infused) nineties alt. rock. At it's lightest there are psychedelic like moments that hint at what The Beatles would have sounded like if they were still together in the eighties. In-between all of that you'll find fuzz-heavy electro rock that is honest and optimistic. Of the twelve tracks on "The World Didn't Start With Us" only "When Love Rules The Day" struck me the wrong way. That's just one out of twelve! Highlights for me would be too many to count, but the album kicks off with the tile track first, swings into "Alpha Me Omega U" and then moves through key moments like "The Beauty of U", "No Matter Where U Go", "The Everything & The Nothing", "Eat Your Fear", and the aforementioned "Dive In2 My Sea". Looking over my physical notes I see that I wrote down and then underlined phrases like 90's alternative rock, bass-heavy, and fuzz-tastic(!) and then I jotted down bands as diverse as Cracker, Gin Blossoms and My Bloody Valentine. Besides the fact that I need to do a better job of making sure that my notes are better worded(!) the key thing to take aware from all of that is the diversity of this album and the fact that it reminds me of a better era (as far as great rock/alternative rock is concerned!). For what's it's worth this album also reminds me of a show that my daughter and I have been binge watching on Netflix. Try not to laugh, but Jupiter in Velvet's "The World Didn't Start With U" brings to mind Buffy the Vampire Slayer's TV soundtrack! That's actually a positive note as the former CW horror TV show featured TONS of amazing underground/up-and-coming indie/alternative rock acts and it had a dark and mysterious vibe to it. While Jupiter in Velvet isn't exactly dark there is a little bit of mystery to all of this and one could favorably compare the two separate, but equally enjoyable features. But yet again why not stream it for yourself? Now that we're all wrapped up be sure to head here and hear what all the fuss is about! I can't see how you'd regret it!

PS-I'm loving how this album brings to mind so many great bands and acts! I pick up on everything from "Achtung Baby"-era U2 to a David Bowie-lead N.I.N. (that is if N.I.N. grew up on/was more influenced by psychedelic garage rock and shoegazing!).

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