If Seattle’s Jupe Jupe existed thirty years ago, it’s easy to imagine them lining up alongside the synth pop giants of the day. They have a fine and distinctive frontman in the lovelorn, brooding tones of My Young whilst the songs consist of swish synth pop backed up by mildly aggressive guitars, provoking comparisons to Ultravox in their pomp.
Lead track ‘Pieces Of You’ collects all the key elements together into an exquisite whole, making it the perfect choice for the first single too. European pop is revived again for ‘Love To Watch You Fall’ and for the first few tracks, the band appear to be sticking rigidly to a slick, shiny but effective formula. However, the darker ‘Whispers Kill’ and ‘All The Things We Made’ suggests the bittersweet delights of Magnetic Fields, thereby revealing further depth to their songwriting credentials. To offer even further contrast, ‘Vicariously’ is disposable but also insanely catchy and ‘New Stars In The Sky’ rounds off the record with an excess of romantic longing.
The album could do with a little pruning here and there. After all, good pop albums tend to clock in well under the forty five minute mark. However, ‘Crooked Kisses’ is certainly hook-heavy and if you’re partial to synth pop fronted by rich, melancholic vocals, dive right in.
Levy, Ultravox, The Magnetic Fields