When an artist puts all of themselves into the music, you can hear the passion in their voice, the emotion in their percussion and the vitality in their strings. Recorded music can be a cinematic experience when it’s done properly, and some of the greatest albums in the history of pop could be described as dramatically crafted from the ground up. When we listen to Beautiful New Day by Jupiter in Velvet, there isn’t any guessing whether or not Jupiter takes his music seriously because his emotional involvement is present from the very beginning. We wander with him through one aspect of divine communication to the next as he worships the sonic god responsible for all rhyme and rhythm with a dedication only rivalled by Buddhist monks. On our adventure we learn what makes Jupiter in Velvet scared, what makes him laugh, and what made him fall in love with music in the first place. It’s a bold statement from a bold artist, but I’ve come to expect nothing less from this songwriter as the years have gone by.
Beautiful New Day lives up to its title and ushers in an opulent, psychedelic-tinged era for Jupiter in Velvet that somewhat stands in contrast from his more pastoral style of composing presented in previous efforts. While he hasn’t completely departed from the sound that put him on the indie rock map, he’s definitely shed some of the straight-edge qualities that I feel kept him from winning over new fans in the mainstream. That said, this record will be a staple for his disciples and a great salutations to the international audience it was meant to entice, and that’s not the most common of combinations anymore. I don’t know if Jupiter in Velvet views this album as his big break, but if he does he certainly hasn’t acted like it; this album is beyond good, but instead of embracing the cocky attitude that comes with making a breakthrough rock album, he’s staying humble and keeping his sense of integrity intact.
I possibly would have arranged these eleven songs a little differently than Jupiter in Velvet did just to build up a bit more suspense as the record reaches the finish line, but overall I think most listeners will get the general direction he’s going in moving forward. The hallmark of a truly gifted artist is in their ability to always be changing, growing and developing their sound into something that doesn’t resemble what it did yesterday, which is precisely what Jupiter in Velvet is doing and what all of his peer group should be doing as well. Much like the flickering flame that lights the closing track “Fight 4 Your Life,” rock n’ roll’s eternal spirit will never really die as long as their artists committed to preserving its dignity and palatability. Jupiter in Velvet is doing more than his part, and if you want to do yours then you’ll check out Beautiful New Day and see why it’s more important to stay rocking now more than ever before.