Jupiter in Velvet Anthems2Love
American born and UK based songwriter, singer, and guitarist Jupiter in Velvet kicks off his new collection Anthems2Love with the authoritative blast of “A Cooler Shade of Mad”. The same penchant for colorful compositions running through Velvet’s past output is fully evident in the lead off track. It begins with clean guitar strumming and the ambient sound of waves washing over a beachhead before it launches into a striding mid-tempo guitar riff. It has an ascending quality lifting listeners from the outset and a light layer of distortion gives it additional grit. He weaves sinewy counterpoint guitar lines into the arrangement. His vocals are as unique as ever – rife with emotion and unique phrasing you’ll hear from no other modern performer.
“A Cooler Shade of Mad” makes that apparent for first time listeners. There’s something classically rock and roll about Jupiter in Velvet’s voice during the more rock influenced tunes. He has a strand of casual confidence running through the song. It’s never boisterous and chest-beating, but Jupiter in Velvet fills his voice with an audible strut that you hear in many of his songs. “Stand Up” is another highlight on Anthems2Love. It has a much more physical sound than the aforementioned track. This is the closest thing on the release to an outright anthem, but Jupiter in Velvet turns your expectations for such songs on their head by surrounding the track with shambolic blues trappings and an alternative song that underplays the expected climatic moments of the song rather than falling into the trap of predictability.
“The Greatest Gift” is one of the best lyrics on the release. This is an underrated part of Jupiter in Velvet’s package; he doesn’t necessarily remake the songwriting wheel with his contributions in this area, but he has an aptitude for restating the familiar with turns of phrase all his own. The guitar work for this track has a crystalline sparkle that gives it a further distinctive touch.
The track “Forever & a Day” lightly touches on the punk and new wave influences running through Jupiter in Velvet’s arsenal. The main guitar riff has an in-your-face sound missing from the other songs, but he doesn’t keep it one note for the song’s entirety – the bridge has a slower and expansive sound in comparison and backs off the slashing character dominating much of the song.
The finale “We Are All ONE” takes the mood in a different direction. This is a dreamlike and lightly hallucinatory piece with artful atmospherics and a dramatic, but never overwhelming, vocal performance. There are listeners who will have preferred something that’s more of an obvious exclamation point ending Anthems2Love, but Jupiter in Velvet is more interested in following his muse than obey the listener’s dictates. The impressive thing about this is how he manages to snag us to enjoying the ride as well. There isn’t a single lull or example of filler included on this release and it shows Jupiter In Velvet is far from creatively exhausted or lapsing into repetition as a songwriter.