Jupiter in Velvet - In2 the Arms of Love
Jupiter in Velvet writes songs, sings, and plays like a man who has been alive with creativity since he first turned his attention to music. The ten songs on his latest album In2 the Arms of Love mixes up a lot of guitar oriented textures with physically gripping tempos and a generous sampling of modern technology that comes together to make an enormous impact on the audience. The impact isn’t entirely derived from his musical content. Much of it, as well, comes from the unusual qualities of his lyrics. Jupiter in Velvet embraces humanism, above all else, and it’s filtered through a distinctive post modern hippiedom deeply connected to his musical vision. These are songs that seek unity with the audience along with a license to entertain them as much as possible. By any measure, Jupiter in Velvet’s In2 the Arms of Love is a resounding success.
“In2 the Arms of Love” grabs listeners early. This is an infectious pop rock number capable of sweeping any audience along – this is music that, despite his idiosyncratic nature, cuts across all typical lines of musical preference. He has a sharp ear for crafting memorable guitar riffs and this is one of the best on the album. There’s an automated, industrialized quality to the guitar riffing on “’Till the End of the World” and the rhythm section doubles it to impressive effect. Song after song, Jupiter in Velvet brings the full force of his vocal abilities to bear in an effort to give the songs a dramatic and riveting interpretation. There isn’t a single instance on this album of him failing to do so and the album’s second track, in particular, receives a stunning singing performance. “I’m So ready” finds himself relying less on any sort of discernible finesse and more on pure lung muscle. He barrels through the straight-forward musical and vocal attack of this performance, but it never abandons style entirely. He latches onto the lean vocal melody from the first line and gives this song the same unique spin defining his other work.
“How It’s Gonna Be” is much more orchestrated fare, at least overtly so, than many of the other numbers on in2 the Arms of Love. It intersperses forbidding flashes of electric guitar through a predominantly acoustic guitar attack and the rhythm section, once again, does an outstanding job of supporting the top line melodic instruments. Pop leanings play a much bigger role on songs like “Supercharged” and “Nowhere 2 Run”, albeit in very different ways. The first song goes more to the high octane punk pop stomp of other tracks on In2 the Arms of Love, with a focus on a strong chorus, while the second of the two songs is cut from a much more playful, retro sounding cloth. “Mars Ain’t that Far” has some more playfulness in it, a quality missing from the earlier half of the album, but it also possesses a romping energy that makes it an enjoyable ride from the start. The conclusion of In2 the Arms of Love is another guitar workout with a pop edge, “Walking Thru Time”, that returns us for a final time to some themes central to Jupiter in Velvet’s songwriting. Personal voyages of one sort or another encompass this work but the artist works tirelessly to get those experience over with his audience. It’s a winner through and through.