ALBUM: The Secret Handshake – One Full Year

Release Date: March 24th, 2008
Label: Sixsevenine Records
Website: www.thesecrethandshake.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thesecrethandshake

Rating:

Solo musicians (not including commercial driven pop acts) are growing ever popular in recent months, including the likes of The Rocket Summer, Kevin Devine, and Lightspeed Champion. With no exception to the rule is The Secret Handshake, consisting of the one member Luis Dubuc. Another prime example of this trend in the fashion of alternative music, and he’s now released his latest slice of electronica/rock fusion, ‘One Full Year’. Equipped with nothing more but a keyboard, a drum machine, and an Apple MacBook shoved into a small confined corridor in his flat, he created ‘One Full Year’, a showcase of one man’s fun and chilled musical labours.

Opening track, and also debut single release ‘Too Young’ brings a calm start to things, though still remains to have a catchy chorus and an atmosphere you can dance along to. Not a common occurrence in most lovesick songs. This isn’t the only moment of relaxed yet dance-a-long songs that the record has to offer, as shown in ‘Midnight Movie’ and ‘Pictures’, which contain properties that some would find boring, but The Secret Handshake can pull-off magnificently. ‘Coastal Cities’ is one song that sticks out a lot on the album, almost performing like a ballad, but somehow containing elements that keep us from thinking that on our first few listens. But don’t worry if this kind of stuff really isn’t your bag, there’s plenty of moments that are crafted to improve your summer experience, showcased in ‘Denton, TX’, ‘Game Girl’, and the more popular ‘Summer Of ‘98’. Simplistic electronic beats occurring on a regular basis with catchy lyrics to deliver a song that will brighten up your day, make you want to dance, and even play the song over and over again. Album closer ‘Crosses Fingers’ is something a little bit different, with every second being coated with electronic and synthetic melodies and vocal effects that leave you bedazzled and intrigued as to what it is that you were just listening to.

So, simply put, if you’re after some relaxing songs aswell as songs you can have a little party with then ‘One Full Year’ is right up your street. The Secret Handshake has presented this package filled to the brim with electronic beats, melodic hooks, the occasional buzzing guitar, wrapped with simple yet heartfelt lyrics. It may not be a total masterpiece, but definitely worth your time.

Written by Zach Redrup

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