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CD REVIEW: Jupiter in Velvet - Shut off Your Mind

by: Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 

 

Artist/Band: Jupiter in Velvet

Album: Shut off your Mind
Label: Independent Artist
Website: www.jupiterinvelvet.com/

Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Alternative Rock, Punk
Sounds Like: Beck, Cake, Dinosaur Jr. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips

Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Find Another Way, Make Out, Ice Queen

Weakness:  Extremely Bright mix, Overly synthetic drums and vocals

CD REVIEW:  

Jupiter is Velvet is Jupiter In Velvet is quite unlike anything you've heard, yet something you've always felt. Drawing on a huge plethora of influences including The Beatles, Stones, Bowie, Who, Duran Duran, U2, Prince, Pretenders, Early 80's punk & new wave, Little Richard, Hives, and so many more, Jupiter In Velvet melds & blends them together in a starkly unique way. The end result? A new sound with an old feel. From the words of reviewers we have these comparisons. Now, Jupiter In Velvet is back with a New CD entitled ‘Shut Off Your Mind’. The CD contains 14 tracks vibrating with passion, color & an urgent energy, including a cover of Bowie’s ‘Starman’.

The CD quickly takes to flight with rocking intro piece “Shut off Your Mind.”  This song serves up infectious rocked out guitars painted against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic lyrical content and driving rock rhythm that quickly lead you by the hand down the path of psychedelic musical indulgence. Track 2 “Only Heaven Knows” keeps things rocking with it's psychedelic groove, impressive ambient touches and accents painted against a grand mosaic of vivid sound. The striking musical flow of this piece brilliantly moves like an ocean across the ears. Track 3 “Make Out” is an impressive electro-earthy piece that is quite dynamic, full of musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. All in all one of my favorite pieces on the CD. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears as well with its Alternative Rock touches and hypnotic vibe. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Beck, Cake, Dinosaur Jr. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and The Flaming Lips. I would classify this music as whacked out Singer/Songwriter, Punk, Alternative Rock with an Indie College Rock flair. I can also hear experimental type music with classic remnants of the British invasion glory days. The CD presents brilliant flashes of theatrical rocked out ambience and all things rock n’ roll related. You will also notice rich layers of instrumentation layered along the way full of dynamics, solo guitar, harmonies, low end beats, sonic vocals, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies. Jupiter in Velvet showcases impressive singing and songwriting skills throughout. His signing and guitar work are pretty solid across the board. Jupiter in Velvet have clearly proves themselves with this release. They got solid musical instincts. During my initial research I discovered this band is quite the hot topic live. Playing live, Jupiter in Velvet dishes out a cosmic fury and induces the same in their audience. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s rock and roll, re-imagined and reinvigorated.  From rocking “My Special Place” and ”Find Another Way” to hypnotic “Ice Queen” and “The Deeper Side” to upbeat “Invisible” to dynamic “Can’t Let go” to heartfelt “Everything my Heart has Never Knows” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “All the Way with the UK” the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.   

The mix is extremely bright, in your face and overly sonic - on most songs. These types of overly bright mixes are becoming more and more prevalent these days and are really designed to maximize radio marketability. On the flip side – they will strip you senses down to their core. Especially on the high end (hi hat, tambourine, cymbals vocals). The mix is comparable to smashing you whole face up against a window – expect the face is sound and the window is your ears. By track 5 I had a headache and rather than turn up the volume I ironically found myself turning it down. I feel that’s why I have a volume knob in the first place – but apparently some engineers out there like to max it out for me.  The drums and vocals though effective sound really corny, robotic and overly synthetic. I don’t feel any of the drums are acoustic, they all sound electronic to me. This applies to the cymbals and percussive touches as well. In the end the CD lacks a live low end thunderous, chaotic rock feel.  

Jupiter in Velvet’s latest rrelease "Shut off your Mind" is a compelling musical journey. Jupiter in Vlvet’s pretty much rocks the house. Its strong suit is its amazing sonic ambience and song for song musical flow. Jupiter in velvet gets high marks from me for their brilliant short but sweet musical approach. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing trippy ambience to fill their sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. This progressive somewhat trippy format makes for a great extended play experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the party takes you. This CD feels like a London party and will work best when experienced in that capacity. So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with sonic ambience, theatrical brilliance and a psychedelic rock aftertaste, then I highly recommend you take a listen to the latest CD from Jupiter in Velvet right away.     

Cyrus Rhodes

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