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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Crossfade - 2011 Secret Love
Crossfade - 2011 Secret Love

ARTIST: Crossfade
ALBUM: Secret Love
LABEL: Eller Music
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Lars Hallback - guitars * Richard Stenstrom - keyboards * Goran Edman - vocals * Per Lindvall - drums * Sven Lindvall - bass * Wotjek Goral - saxes

TRACK LISTING: 01 A Wonderful Illusion * 02 Secret Love * 03 Brave New World * 04 Closer To The Fire * 05 Don't Ask Me Why * 06 Heart Of The Hero * 07 Waiting For A Miracle * 08 Seconds And Eons * 09 Borrowdale * 10 In My Mind * 11 Borrowdale Reprise



Back in 2004, MTM Music released Crossfade's first album 'White On Blue'. From my perspective, it was a highly disappointing album, bland to the point of boring. It takes the band seven years to get their second effort out into the public domain. After the debut, am I really in a position to be reviewing 'Secret Love'? Is there a chance of redemption on my part? The short answer is.. yes. There are many bands playing in a similar style to Crossfade, and I enjoy them immensely. State Cows and Airplay being the obvious stand outs. Yet still, I am yet to completely warm to the Crossfade touch, this new set an improvement, or is that my tastes have changed in the space of seven years? Perhaps it's because this lot veer more toward the leftist fusion side of West Coast rather than the right-leaning side of AOR? There's no doubt that the principle pairing of Hallbak and Stenstrom know what type of music they want to play, so good on them for keeping the faith. Goran Edman adds his class too, and though it's different hearing him on a record such as this, his Alfie Zappacosta vocal noodling makes this all the more listenable from my perspective.

The Songs
Most of the tracks on Secret Love' are fairly lengthy. Only three of the eleven tracks clock in under five minutes. The cruisy opener 'A Wonderful Illusion' has the occasional spicy moment, Edman sounds effortless, the band creating a melodic space in which to build momentum. Nice. The title track 'Secret Love' blends West Coast and Blues. Kinda funky in a way with a delivery somewhere between early Marc Jordan and someone like Mark Williamson. 'Brave New World' exerts some like Airplay like moments, so that can only be good right? True. Gotta hand it to the boys for churning out the lovely Toto like 'Closer To The Fire'. It really is doppelgänger stuff. 'Don't Ask Me Why' takes a step back in tempo and intensity; a lush ballad that should have you heading to the coffee machine in late night due haste! Crossfade take us on a journey to the mid-west complete with mouth-harp blasts on 'Heart Of The Hero'. The chorus on this one is particularly good. It's Toto all over again with the shuffly beat and restrained brass parts on 'Waiting For A Miracle'. I like this one a lot.. very cool. I love the track title 'Seconds And Eons', again it has a huge dose of Toto appeal, but probably more fusiony than those blokes. Crossfade move into instrumental territory with 'Borrowdale'. Not unlike Street Talk used to do on some of their earlier albums. There's a reprise version too, with two minutes shaved off for good measure. The forlorn violin piece is utterly beautiful. Kudos guys.. Let's not forget track 10 'In My Mind' which straddles those two 'Borrowdale' versions.. another cruisy west coast/fusion hybrid, though Edman's vocals bring it's back into the center-zone, sort of like a slowed up version of Chicago.

In Summary
It must be said that I had to dig really deep to extract words out of the aether to be cast downward into this review. I'm glad I made the effort, as this 'Secret Love' has some good moments. I will also say that Crossfade aren't really my cup of tea, but what they do, they do really well. I'm guessing this will go down a treat over at, perhaps less so here.. Still worth a listen for those into the purists form of West Coast with a leaning toward jazz fusion.

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