This is an email that I sent to Jimmy P Brown II after he asked me to listen to his masterpiece of a record (Jupiter VI – Moveable Walls). I left it pretty much as it was written. Those who know me, know that I am a long time fan of all Jimmy’s projects (Deliverance, Fearful Symmetry, Cauldron of Puke and Jupiter VI). I encourage you to get a copy of this album. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I’ll provide a few links at the end of this for you!
I’m not a pro reviewer, but I need to commend you on what I think is your masterpiece. This will be done song by song.
Sleepless End – The Floyd vibe is unmistakable. Those guitars are luscious. That hollow, ambient atmosphere with the lone, weeping guitar vibe turns me on! I love the ambiance. It’s slightly disturbed like tranquility that is experiencing growth pains of turmoil… a storm on the horizon.
The second movement comes in and introduces the disturbance… Grooving and wailing. Vocal sections are crisp and the bass tone is fantastic… very full and round.
The third movement is a masterpiece. More gorgeous ambience and Gilmour-esque guitars I actually said ‘oh wow’ out loud in my house when it kicked in… It is a layered wave of emotion. The chorusy, tremolo guitars just sing. Dude… I LOVE this section. It’s one of the best things you’ve ever written. Seriously. It’s so good. Your vocals are searching, lost and earnest. The sound explores some heavier stuff but never sounds disjointed or puzzle pieced together. Seriously, it’s absolutely stunning!!
The fourth movement closes out the piece with a bit of an Animals vibe. For some reason it also reminds me of Eclipse from Dark Side were it’s as though it’s summarizing the entire song. This is easily your most ambitious song ever. As a Floyd fanatic, I give it an 11 out of 10.
Wasting Away – Wow! You molded it to perfectly fit the vibe of this record and JVI while enhancing the sorrow and self-worthlessness I felt when I wrote it. I feel the deep sorrow and the plastic hope I tried to express. Love the finger picking during the vocals. Love the (whale voice calling) background guitars during the verses. The chorus is huge and the hook is layered and fat! Your vocals are so expressive. The solo at the end is so wandering and feels like it that kind of crying where you are angry and hopelessly sad. I love it! Thank you.
Running – Holy crap! That chorus is AMAZING! The vocals kicked my face in. The acoustic intro, the changes… all made me feel hopeful for some reason. You know, I hear a Queensryche (Promise Land era) vibe on this tune. I’m writing this as I listen to the song for the third time. My God, those guitar solo bridges are so beautiful. This is one of those song that I’ll be singing along with in the car till it gets to the chorus. Because I can’t sing that high lol.
Face in the Sky – I remember hearing this tune previously. You’ve reworked it tremendously. It’s so much more mature. The old version would have sounded out of place on this record to me. But the vocals are the focal point and they carry the entire song.
Message From Home Pt 1 – Holy Floyd man! This tune has vibes from Run Like Hell, One of These Days, Welcome To The Machine and most of all Echoes. Now vocally, it doesn’t sound like Floyd at all. You kept the vocal spirit of the original recording, but rebuilt the entire score. I adore all the Floyd influence. But you are a much better singer than David or Roger. That Echoes-like bass driven section in the middle is fantastic. It’s no rip off (like I did on Memories of the Fallen from Dark Days and Afternoon Sleep). The harkening to those Floyd songs are there but you built a ton of layers around the song and it stands on it’s own (don’t want you to think I’m accusing you of ripping off Floyd).
This is your “The Wall”. I also wanted to point out a few random thoughts that occurred to me as I listened.
You are remarkably good at recording and mixing bass tracks. The bass on this record is so rich throughout. It’s up front, growling and round.
You employ a ton of guitar tones on this record. It will make playing it live a challenge. But all of those tones and changes are necessary to give this record a larger than life feel.
Speaking of larger than life. Your use of ambient synth tones and soundscapes all over this record also makes it epic. Listening to the older demos of these songs with fewer synth part is like the difference between U2 with Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno and without. How would The Unforgettable Fire sound without them. Kudos on your fantastic use of that medium.
I absolutely love this record. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Floyd fan, but people either try to copy the Floyd sound too much (and fail) or they butcher it. You have masterfully taken that influence and married it with your other influences and sounds. Any fan of original progressive music should absolutely love this!
I am not lying to you when I say that I will listen to this on purpose. You’ve created a monster! A beautiful, brooding monster!!
These are my unedited thoughts – written down as I listened 🙂
Do you like a physical CD? – http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/10617183-jupiter-vi-moveable-walls-2014