This is a review of the new Harvey Summers album ‘Jupiter’, which was kindly sent into us by Tony May.
Jupiter by Harvey Summers:
‘Jupiter’ is indeed a rare beast. Not only is it an album which showcases the birth of a major new recording artist, it is, akin to the Phoenix, an album spawned from the fire of passion and from one mans need to re-invent (or perhaps release) himself. Previously known by millions around the world as the master of ‘New Age’, ‘Feng Shui’ and ‘Relaxation’ music with ‘Jupiter’ Harvey Summers is no longer the ‘faceless genius’ behind beautiful music he is a real, honest and astonishingly communicative person who, on the evidence of this album, it is going to be a joy getting to know.
Using traditional instruments, modern and vintage recording techniques and equipment and his many years of experience as a top notch producer, Summers has created here an album worthy of a lifetime of listening and here is why…
‘By The Riverside’:
A glorious, shimmering, lyrically and musically rich slow-burner. Its mixture of dreamy, breathy vocals, thoughtful lyrics and exquisite spacey and whirlpool like musical effects and production will soon hook you into the soul of the album.
‘Last Lonesome Mile’:
As warm and comforting as large mug of Horlicks in front of the fire on a bitterly cold day, ‘Last Lonesome Mile’ is a song everyone can relate to. So often in life we find ourselves almost in reaching distance of our dreams only to find we are unable to quite get to where we so wish to be. Harvey Summers bears his soul to the world here and it is no exaggeration to say that you will feel all the less lonely in this world for buying this song…
The first single from the album, its the perfect soundtrack to winter. Hauntingly beautiful, with its plaintive piano stabs and organic musical sounds the song shimmers with sensitivity and nostalgia as if a cobweb hanging to a holly bush on a wet and snowy morning. Summers tuneful, understated vocals have a whisper like quality to them and so, once immersed in your dream like state, it becomes easy to feel as if the words to the song are being blown gently towards you by the wind. Completing the effect, wistful lyrics connect the listener to personal memories of winter, fun, mystery and magic…
‘Light In The Sky’:
A light hearted but never the less sincere, jiggy, uplifting song about Harvey’s belief and interest in aliens and U.F.O.’s. Featuring Mr. Summers trademark accordion playing, it’s a feel good foot tapper and a nice diversion.
Patrick Moore’s ‘The Sky At Night’ put to music. All the magic, mystery and wonder one can gain looking through a huge telescope into the abyss that is space is summed up musically here. The randomness of our existence, the sound of tiny explosions, the jaw dropping vastness of space, radio interference – the ringing chimes of a million souls past echoing down the chasm of time…
This song is I feel the vocal counterpart of the previous two instrumental tracks. With a slightly jazzy/rock twist to it the song features the legendary, Danny Thompson.
Though it sounds absolutely nothing like it, I always think of ‘Space Oddity’ whenever I hear this song. I guess its because its catchy and evokes the same feeling of wonder at just what it would feel like to be sitting in a small ‘tin can’ staring back at the Earth from Space. Could easily work well as a single this.
‘What Am I For’:
The most emotionally charged record on the album, ‘What Am I For’ is the kind of naked, honest, beautifully painful song that a certain Steven Patrick Morrissey is renowned for. Kind of like ‘Badly Drawn Boy’ sings ‘There’s A Place In Hell For Me And My Friends’. Dark but delicious.
‘Non Mea Culpa’:
An anti-war song that shouts as loudly above the noise of a billion egotistical Politicians as a million rocket launchers but that does so in Summers relaxed, under-stated way. Sweeping strings, piano and bongos also give it an old fashioned and epic quality. Immense.
‘Earth From Space’:
The third instrumental song on the album, it somehow evokes thoughts of Sir David Attenborough and ‘The Blue Planet’.
At first this short, ‘Captain Beefheart’ like, mouth organ, guitar pickin’ blues track seems like a bizarre end to an album with a astronomic theme. That Harvey Summers loves to combine musical styles, constantly surprise and challenge his listeners to ‘think again’ about such a tracks inclusion here however, in time only ADDS to the enjoyment of this fabulous album.
With not a single hair out of place, ‘Jupiter’ will undoubtedly send you into orbit.
A (future) modern classic.
‘Jupiter’ is available for download now from Bandcamp… http://harveysummers.bandcamp.com/album/jupiter
…Amazon.co.uk and iTunes.
For more information on Harvey Summers/Broadoak Studios go to http://www.harveysummers.com/
Or visit: http://www.broadoakstudios.co.uk/