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Topaz - 1990 World Of Secrets



ARTIST: Topaz
ALBUM: World Of Secrets
LABEL: Topaz Inc/CAI Records
SERIAL: TPZ301
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 2010. Retrospect Records, ?

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Tony Porfirio - vocals, bass, keyboards * Mark Grzelak - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Dino Meo - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Time Passes On * 02 Searching * 03 Guiding Light * 04 World Of Secrets * 05 Away From You * 06 Hands Of Fate * 07 Can We Go On * 08 Could This Be The Way * 09 Take That Step * 10 Crazy 8ths * 11 Shadows Of My Dreams


Background
Topaz were a melodic rock trio from Chicago who upon first hearing, operate in the same vacuous space as Zebra, Alpha, The Cauze and a few other indie projects from the late 80's/early 90's timeframe. The trio deliver a polished 11 track CD, which though high on quality and production ideals, lacks a little in the excitement department.


The Songs
Instrumentally, Topaz are pretty good, I'm sure as a live proposition they would be interesting to catch a glimpse of. Porfirio's bass lines are at times very funky, and it seems he is a very accomplished slap bass line player too. There are mega keyboards everywhere, and these provide a layered blanket on all of the tracks. The vocal parts don't quite match the occasion, but the band gets its point across nonetheless. Occasionally the band trip up with some overly tricky parts that aren't as seamless as you'd like them to be. The intricacy of 'Searching' is probably too clever even for these guys, the same could be said of the title track 'World Of Secrets'. 'Hands Of Fate' is very funky with a heap of parping synths to boot. The Zebra comparison can be heard early on with 'Could This Be The Way', a layered structure with inventive guitar lines providing the catalyst. 'Take That Step' is a very likeable power ballad - the build-up and solo sections are impressive, while the instrumental 'Crazy 8ths' demonstrate what these guys can do.


In Summary
Where are they now? Tony Porfirio and Mark 'Spiv' Grzelak at the time of writing was playing bass and guitars respectively in a Chicago based band called Blackmaker. That band plays alt-metal, a far cry from the pomp and ceremony of Topaz. This is an album for faded memories and a bygone era; one in which the former band members have well and truly left behind. Again, like a few recently reviewed CD's, this album goes for big dollars on Ebay. Why - I'm not quite sure, but as an investors item, you could make a tidy profit at someone else's ignorance and expense.


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This article has been tagged
Tags: Topaz 
 
Comments
#1 | swazi on January 18 2010 13:58:37
Retrospect Records announced back in Nov 09 that they would be re-issuing this CD, apparently together with some yet unreleased tracks.
#2 | Recordjnky on June 11 2010 16:28:08
This CD will available in a few days on our website!
thanks!
Aaron
Retrospect Records
#3 | super80boy on June 05 2016 19:39:27
I've always given A World Of Secrets high marks on production and slick harmonies, but Topaz stay too much in their comfort zone and don't venture into more stimulating realms, thus there are no real standout tracks. Even know the album's songs seem to blend together, it's still a quality pick up for a private AOR obscurity.
 
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