With the recent announcement of Versailles doing a show again, the importance of this single suddenly grew. I'm a big fan of the band, so of course I got myself a copy. But since Yuki and Masashi are going to leave and Versailles is active again, there's a real possibility that this seemingly normal single is the last thing Jupiter will ever release. I certainly hope they keep going in spite of everything, but only time will tell on that one. Topaz came out later in the year not too long after Jupiter's absolutely excellent second album, The History of Genesis. Following the footsteps to that album, the 3 songs on Topaz are all quite a bit different in style and showcase the band's diversity.
One of the things I really admire about the band are Zin's vocals. I know he has a lot of detractors, but the guy is extremely talented. The excellent vocal performance he gave on Jupiter's second album continues here. The single opens up with the title track Topaz which is also a ballad. It's a risky move, but they manage to make a great ballad. Zin does have quite a bit of engrish in the beginning, but his delivery is fantastic. His voice is full of emotion and passion throughout the whole ballad and carries the melody perfectly. Another really nice thing is that Topaz isn't instrumentally lazy at all. Masashi does a lot of really cool bass doodling, and Teru and Hizaki come in later with some really nice harmonized leads. It's quite a nice, moving song.
And as if to troll you, Jupiter follows up with one of Teru's goofy songs. lolite is an "only in Japan" mixture of metalcore and power metal that's a bit cheesy, but it actually works. Zin does some nice growls in the middle, and there's plenty of nice riffs and leads here. The real highlight of the short single is the closing instrumental track, Rose Quartz. It's actually been quite a while since Hizaki has penned an instrumental track like this, but it's certainly welcome here. Despite the lack of Zin singing, the instrumental work is top-class and his absence isn't too missed. There's a few progressive elements tossed in at times, and the song features really nice neoclassical lead work from both Teru and Hizaki. Of course, there's plenty of other goodies from Masashi and Yuki throw in, and overall it's a wonderful track.
I like Jupiter and Versailles; the latter reuniting is certainly good news for me, but I hope it doesn't mean the end of Jupiter. They're a different group with their own identity, and it would be a shame to seem them go.Rating: 90/100