SECRET – The End Of The Road +1 (2023) *Exclusive*
91 Suite was perhaps the best Melodic Rock / AOR band ever emerged from Spain and caused a stir in the melodic rock scene with their debut album in 2002. The singer sounded like a mixture of Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Bormann. Years later vocalist Jesus Espin and guitarist Ivan Gonzalez reunited again under the name SECRET.
SECRET just released few weeks ago their very good second album, but also reissued their first album titled ”The End Of The Road’‘, half of which is melodic rock / AOR, the rest much more rocky. This new version has a re-arranged track list and includes the bonus track ‘Fly Away’, originally the Japanese edition bonus track, a CD now out of print.
After a period of musical inactivity, and given the friendship between them, the pair decided to once again join forces with the idea of just to have ‘a good time making music they like’.
If you remember 91Suite they were a band characterized by an extremely polished sound and refined arrangements: well, expect the same from Secret, with an edgy, punchier approach on some tracks. The good thing is the guys have grown as musicians over the years, and not only the songwriting is more solid, expansive, but also their playing and harmonies / vocal arrangements done in English, without accent.
Songs like “Give Up The Fight” are a blast. The powerful chorus against the background of tasteful licks and splendid solo makes one of the record’s instant highlights out of it. “Here With Me” is another track in the similar vein, with its AOR-ish polished chorus, blistering guitar riffs and a dynamic melody with slight bluesy overtones.
Then Secret go for a more commercial, radio friendly poppy AOR with “Since I Fell For You” and its acapella, harmony vocals intro, tinkling keyboards and hooky chorus. The same approach is heard on “Just To Hear You Say”, a rock&pop piece that could have ended up on any of the recent Bon Jovi releases.
We find a solid, charming AOR-infused songs in “Bring You Down”, “Trust Someone”– a real showcase of Ivan Gonzalez’s musical sensitivity as well as technical prowess on the guitar, the sweet power ballad “Wherever You Go”, and the highlight, the excellent keyboard / guitar laden “Peace Of Mind”.
All the aforementioned cuts are balanced by more direct, catchy melodic rock numbers such as “Out Of My Life” which reminds me 91Suite’s debut, or “Bring You Down”, quite hard rock oriented driven by groovy riffs.
Many of us have been missing 91Suite for many years, but don’t worry, Secret filled the gap with an even augmented quality. Great songs, catchy melodies, and wonderful vocal harmonies are the rule through the 13 songs featured on this debut. Gonzalez’s instrumentation is impeccable, especially his splendid guitar work, all wrapped by a crystal clear production.
A high quality Melodic Rock / AOR product to enjoy from start to finish.
01 – Here With Me
02 – Since I Fell For You
03 – Just To Hear You Say
04 – Give Up The Fight
05 – Trust Someone
06 – I Believe In Love
07 – When You Really Love Someone
08 – Peace Of Mind
09 – Wherever You Go
10 – Out Of My Life
11 – Bring You Down
12 – Angeline
13 – Fly Away (bonus track)
Jesus Espin – lead vocals, backing vocals
Ivan Gonzalez – guitars, bass, drums, keyboards