Never before has a title been quite as apropos as ‘Heavy Like a Brick’. The opening number from off of Jupiter in Velvet’s seventh album, Beautiful New Day, spends little time building into a crescendo. Instead, it’s hefty rock, straightaway, though it isn’t capitulating any sense of the UK-based artist’s musicality along the way. Coming in at just past four minutes, the tune brings a multifarious, atmospheric bend to this typical avenue of arena-friendly music that sets to innovate. More or less, this indeed sets the scene for a Beautiful New Day.
Put of the charm of Jupiter in Velvet’s latest is its more vintage frills. The singer-songwriter seeks to pioneer a revival of sorts for the hair-raising side of classic rock and more or less succeeds. As they put it themselves, the goal of this musical endeavor is to “rearrange the past into an intriguing and exciting new musical horizon.”
There is certainly something resplendent to garner from these arrangements, replete with a late 20th century charm that can’t be denied. It’s more or less in the instrumental choices that Jupiter in Velvet succeeds in their goal of bringing about something new to this old-school sound. Alongside crunchy guitar riffs and the blaring heat of driving percussion as staples of the genre and era, much of the album is awash with reverb and tinges of synthetic instrumentation to help set the songs’ classic stylings apart. It’s not much, but it does set out to do what it wants to accomplish without compromising the vibe being aimed for.
Where Jupiter in Velvet shines most is in the album’s crème de la crème—his high-octane vocals. Fully capable of striking powerful, gritty high notes, Jupiter takes it more towards Zep and less towards Greta with having a fuller-bodied approach to igniting their powerful instrument across multi-sided arrangements. While the basis is clearly classic rock, elements of electro-pop, blues, and even dashes of folk help set it apart, as mighty as its foundation may be. If one were to give Beautiful New Day an ear, dare to recognize the vision of the artist, even past some meager limitations that often plague independent releases. In spite of some tinny production, the artist’s vocals and arrangements shine.
Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)