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Jupiter Rising


(Chime Entertainment; US: 11 Sep 2007; UK: Available as import)

History need not be old to be influential. Spencer Nezey got interested in music production upon hearing In Search Of…, the 2002 debut album by N.E.R.D. (see: the Neptunes plus some guy). Five years later, he’s working with an outstanding vocalist named Jessie Payo under the name Jupiter Rising. What’s perhaps most surprising about their first album—Electropop—is that even though it doesn’t cover any new territory, it hits that pop-rock sweet spot early and quite often. “Hero” is the big Mariah-styled ballad, but Payo never overuses her pipes like Mimi does: she has the occasional flutter, but that’s it. Her vocal presence is distinct, powerful, and full of personality. Same goes for Nezey’s productions, even though he can’t really decide if he wants to be the next David Foster or the next Timbaland. The excellent “Go!” is Nelly Furtado with a rock edge, and “Foolish” comes off like a great Amy Winehouse B-side (even if its bridge is a little weak). Even with the great moments of genre deviations (like the jazz-pop of “They Say”), Jupiter Rising feels most comfortable when they’re up-tempo. The title track has the flirtatious banter of Furtado’s “Promiscuous”, a ready-made synth club beat, and even gives a slight name drop for 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop”—it’s ridiculous fun. Notice all the name-dropping that’s been going on? Jupiter Rising never pretend to be doing anything profoundly different—they’re just taking the best parts of all their favorite songs and styles and mixing them together into on concise little album. Electropop is far from groundbreaking, but who needs to be revolutionary when you’re having so much fun?


Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and many more. Evan has been a guest on HuffPost Live, RevotTV's "Revolt Live!", and WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album, and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.

Jupiter Rising - Electropop
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By PopMatters Staff
20 Mar 2009
The LA electropop duo Jupiter Rising may not be re-inventing the wheel with their club-friendly pop, but as Evan Sawdey noted back in 2007 "who needs to be revolutionary when you’re having so much fun?" The duo's (Spencer Nezey and Jessica Payo) new record, The Quiet Hype came out March 17th and the recently sat down for PopMatters' 20 Questions.
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This remix effort of "Go!", a song that has been getting play everywhere from the Disney Channel to NBC and Fox Sports, gets the royal galactic treatment here.
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