Monday, August 29, 2011

Gardening Tips

As I already wrote about the Secret Powers and the Electric Family Choir album I don't think I need to talk more about it. Listen to it, I guarantee it is some of the best 21st century power pop you can find.. If not some of the best 21st century music. I think I will have to skip Lies and Fairy Tales (2010) for now and maybe get back to it later. Today it is time to talk about What Every Rose-Grower Should Know, a 2011 release, the very latest album by Secret Powers. When it comes to this band I think their most strangely-named albums might also be their best.

I like to think about the first album as stylewise the most coherent Secret Powers album and the Electric Family Choir as the most versatile album. What Every Rose-Grower Should Know lies somewhere between these two albums: the soundscape is quite coherent all the way but there are clearly also songs performed in different styles.

Generation Ship has already been declared as “the closest to ELO you can get” or something like that. The song definitely reminds of ELO, though not so much that you wouldn't be able to hear a strong Secret Powers signature in the song. Maybe needless to say, I enjoy this song so much that I used to listen to it many times in a row... There are however other great songs on this album as well. Tarantula comes next, changing the mood to beatlesque – I love it! Then follows Secret Powers' Styx moment (yeah!): What Every Rose Grower Should Know. If anything that riff reminds me of those cool fuga-inspired things that Styx/Dennis DeYoung have occasionally used. The drums in this title track are awesome, as well as the psychedelic background vocals in the chorus.

Candy is real candy. Just give me bouncy bubblegum rock with gentle vocals – and resistance is futile. The same is pretty much true of Crocodile, but instead of bubblegum there is real ear-melting harmony heaven, a definite romantic song for romantics. They got me, I confess...

I'll Be Home sounds like an ultimate Ringo Starr homage. The topic of the song is very serious but the performance always brings a smile to my face. It Should Have Been Me, a joined Secret Powers songwriting effort (a really catchy one, too), has a slightly harder edge. Still, despite its rocking feel the sound is not very hard-rocking. I love the psychedelic organ.

Objectively you might say that the songs in the end of the album are not the strongest material Secret Powers has to offer. However, I enjoy those songs a great deal. Well, yeah, My Idea is not the best Secret Powers song ever but I don't dislike it. It is OK. Besides, the guitar solo is cool!

There you have it, another awesome Secret Powers album. Now that I think about it, is just seems to get more and more difficult to decide which album I like best. I used to listen this album dozens of times while riding my bike all around in the sunshine. There is more to this album that just music... Wonderful memories and charm, too.

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