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Jupiter in Velvet – Beautiful New Day

BANDCAMP: https://jupiterinvelvet.bandcamp.com/album/beautiful-new-day

It comes with immense pleasure to note that the seventh studio recording from Jupiter in Velvet, Beautiful New Day, continues mining the same vein that’s produced six winning releases preceding this one. Having consistently invoked retro elements  and the sheer vibrancy he brings to his work engages listeners in a way that is always refreshing. His latest eleven song collection kicks off with “Heavy Like a Brick” and the hard guitar riffing driving much of the song definitely earns its “heavy” title. Jupiter manages to mix that approach up with solid melodic components that effectively counterpoint the jagged musicality. His piercing lead work, however, definitely leaves a mark.

The second track, “Can’t Get It Right”, continues the same guitar centered approach we heard with the opener, but its an emotional approach to this track that eschews melody in favor of dynamics. Jupiter’s vocals are especially potent with this one as he alternates between production enhanced touches and outright inventiveness with memorable results.  “Monsters” has a very different slant as the angular guitar riffing seeks to replicate interior terror and does so quite well. We get to hear more of Jupiter’s vocal range and there’s some telling keyboard work that nicely complements his singing talents.

The psychedelic inclinations of “The Day I Fell From the Stars” is a welcome shift. Jupiter retains much of the same energy defining the aforementioned tunes, but he mixes it with a decidedly retro take that always manages to strike a contemporary note. It has a steady build that pays off handsomely with each chorus. Stellar production once again plays a big role in the impact of this work with the song “Spare Me”. Jupiter, once more, turns away from a riff focused attack while still featuring his vocals and fantastic guitar work – “Spare Me” is, without question, much moodier than the previously mentioned songs.

That same emotional tenor continues with “With a Whole Lotta Heart” and the cleaner vocal approach during the song’s opening passages brings you in quick. The impassioned thrust of the song, ultimately, is what wins you over and he tightly fixes on its melodic strengths. The crescendos, in particular, make this one of the best songs on Beautiful New Day. The live energy of the album’s finale, “Fight 4 Your Life”, brings the release to a great ending, we are treated to the same exhorted  passion defining the preceding ten songs. It’s another impressive offering from a performer who deserves to stride the biggest stages available and, with this seventh effort, he will undoubtedly reach an even wider audience than before.

Amy Thigpen

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