Artist: The Secret Handshake
Album: My Name Up In Lights
Label: Triple Crown
1. All For You
3. Nothing Can Change That
4. Little Song
5. What’s Wrong
7. Make Up Your Mind
8. Hey Girl
9. Brand New Love
10. Last Song
As I’ve said before, I was never into The Secret Handshake before now. One Full year, the record prior to this, had way to much vocoder for my tastes before vocoder was the epidemic it is now. Sure there was a few tracks I dug, but nothing of large importance. However, a few years later and here we are with My Name Up In Lights, the new, and amazingly better album from Luis Dubuc, aka, The Secret Handshake.
“All For You” kicks things off with no vocoder and a hook to make you move. However, it’s the second track, “TGIF,” that really lets us know TSH came to conquer. Not only is the hook and beat amazing, but there are enough references to 90’s family sitcoms to please people of any age. Those older kids in the scene will put together the references and the younger audience will just get into the music. Though it starts similarly to the first two tracks, “Little Song,” really has something to offer. Luis has never sounded better than he does hear and his desire to, “write the soundtrack to your life, and live it with you,” will make females from 13-36 swoon. We then get just a dab of funk influence with the halfway track, “What’s Wrong.” The effects are more present here, but the style change make it quite enjoyable.
Kicking off the back half of things, we have the anthem of Summer 2009, “Saturday.” If you were a fan of the old, more synth based tracks, there’s something here for you, but it maintains the more organic sound of this record as well. Without a doubt, the best work The Secret Handshake has put out. Period. “Make up Your Mind,” feels like a pretty blatant rip of, “Into The Groove,” from Madonna, so I can’t say that I was digging it too much, but, “Hey Girl,” has some nice bongo work to get us back into the record as a whole. This is one of the most well structured tracks on the record. The instrumentation is through the roof and the vocals/lyrics are perfect. I don’t know how we got from the last record to here, but I love it. “Last Song,” the closer for the disc, is quite an interesting tune. It begins with a basic beat and chord progression, but then busts our with a military drum roll which leads into a marching band type beat riding tempo. Then just as we adjust, we get a fresh breeze of synth laced beats to accompany it all. Luis pulled out all the stops here and finishes the album with quite a bang. Kudos.
If Summer were to start tomorrow, we’d be all set musically. The Secret Handshake’s My Name Up In Lights is the soundtrack to Summer 2009. The evolution this “group” has taken since the last record is incredible and it’s all only gotten better. As the traces of the oh too familiar vocoder begin to fade the instrumentation continues to rise, I can not even imagine what we will get next from Luis Duboc, but I know one thing, we will be first in line.
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