The Charlestones and Secret Friend

The Charlestones “Off The Beat”
This impressive Italian band sounds very similar to Supergrass and Oasis on the opener “Off The Beat” full of driving rhythm and Mattia Bonanni’s wailing vocal. “Love Is A Cadillac” has the airy guitar work and echoing melody along the lines of Coldplay, its a great stadium-sized rocker and proof that Brit pop can still find a home beyond the borders of the UK. Each song is compelling, like “The Girl Who Came To Stay,” it has great melody and one of the many highlights of this album. Unlike the debut, no filler here and fans of great alt. rock like The Kooks or The Stokes will also love this. Highly recommended!

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Secret Friend “Time Machine” 
Secret Friend is a new all star collective that includes Willie Wisely, Kelly Jones, Linus of Hollywood, and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. Organized by Australian songwriter Steven Fox, Time Machine is rooted in classic 70’s singer songwriter pop. Wisely has a cadence like James Taylor here, but the rich melody and backing make the opener “Who Am I?” a sure-fire hit.

“Starting Today” is another gem with sweet harmonies, and “Never Before” has subtle strings and lyrically falls into Gilbert O’Sullivan territory. Wisely’s “Oblivious” is a note perfect pop ballad and Kelly Jones “He’ll Never Know Me” is the jazzy answer to the narrative. Each musician helps make this LP a success. Foxs’ songwriting is very much like Andrew Gold, albeit with a modern POV. Many great songs here — it makes my Top Ten list for 2013 easily! A delectable slice of adult piano pop heaven.

6 thoughts to “The Charlestones and Secret Friend”

  1. Thanks for the heads up on this album- love the Wisely voice over the Linus of Hollywood-style backing vox on ‘Starting Today’. Definite 2013 top-5 material for me for sure- and that’s just after a couple of listens.

  2. SecretFriend reminds me of the best songs of Mike Viola and Ben Folds. I think the most romantic lyric I’ve heard in a long while is You’re still the girl I fell in love with – minus the belt : My heart melts!

      1. Is he doing the lead vocal on all songs? then it’s his voice I don’t like, yeah. I will give the record a few more spins. “Pron” is a real great track, nevertheless!

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