September 10, 2009


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Jupiter One, Sunshower
Rykodisc, Sept. 15

Marketing-angle-wise, Jupiter One, a New Yawk foursome whose previous work helped decorate NBC’s Heroes and a Madden 08 commercial, have been around the block enough times to have gone half-past jaded into borderline suicidal-nuts, this despite Sunshower’s being only their second LP (long convoluted story, but the singer plays violin for Regina Spektor and the drummer was in Stomp, you get the idea). Although it’s a cohesive album, the five-odd people who actually bought the band’s debut will be disappointed with the lack of Duran Duran-into-Shins morphings and the tenderly reupholstered sound, which disguises this as an indie album at the outset (leadoff tune “Volcano” lusts after Walkmen) before proceeding to expose the immovable ’80s chip on its shoulder. “Anna” stole its soul from the theme song to TV’s Growing Pains as re-done by Asia, and then “Simple Stones” mumbles a Yo La Tengo-overtoned disco-sloshed idea of the vibe from “In the Air Tonight.” Add some Kaiser Chiefs-style garage (“Lights Go Out” is enough of a rockout to use as blind-date-prep) to this musical junkyard and there’s something — most likely accidentally — brilliant about it. A-Eric W. Saeger