Jupiter - Juicy Lucy
If you fancy listening to music that'll get you moving, there are better albums than this one, certainly, but while Jupiter may not serve up the sort of out-of-this-world material that their moniker suggests, there's no denying that their debut offering is a rather fun listen regardless. Juicy Lucy does a good job at producing serviceable songs that are mostly a mixture of synth-pop and new wave, though there are audible hints of other genres here and there: some funk, some psych-pop, and and yes, even a dash of disco thrown in every now and then. The latter is something they should utilise more of, because it is particularly when the duo (one's English, one's French) get their disco on that they excel, and it's those tracks which place the album above average.
'One Oh Six' kicks things off with a sumptuous hook, emphasising Jupiter's unashamedly big sound, which is further bolstered by some breathy vocals which lend the song an air of confidence. There is a real sense of swagger to some of the material present on Juicy Lucy, and as things are immediately moved up a gear with the new-wave stylings of 'Elliot Uppercut', the stage is set for an accomplished album. However, the momentum established by the opening brace is quite substantial, and therefore difficult to maintain. There isn't much else in the album's first half that seems to grab the listener quite as much, and the real trouble with this album is that it can often sound flat and one-note. The songs are good, yes, but quite a few have a similar tempo and feel to them, making it difficult to distinguish one from the other.
'Hula Hoop' manages to pick things back up, but it is not until 'Oh I' opens the 12-track collection's second half that we see another glimpse of Jupiter's true potential. It is followed by the album highlight 'St. Petersburg', which stands out purely because it is an atmospheric instrumental, and therefore radically different to everything else on offer on Juicy Lucy. The best songs on the album seem to come in pairs, and despite its inconsistencies, it manages to end on a high with 'La Dynamo' and 'Starlighter'. When they're producing songs like that, Jupiter hint at what they could do if they let themselves go a little more. The album is enjoyable, and quite fun to listen to - it'll certainly achieve its intended goal of inspiring carnage on dancefloors - but it's a shame that not much of it stands out when listened to in other contexts. It provides music to move to, but not that much else.