ALBUM REVIEW : SECRET LADDER
ARTIST : CHRISTOPHER CROSS
GENRE : POP
DATE RELEASED : 2015
He won five Grammy awards for his debut album CHRISTOPHER CROSS, and made history as the only act so far to scoop Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of theYear, and Best New Artist in a single year(1981). However, with the advent of MTV, his songs were deemed not fit for the video generation thus his star faded but still he continued making music not only for himself but also for other artist as well. As one of the million listeners who enjoyed “Ride Like The Wind,” “Sailing”, “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” and many other top 40 hits, I am curious to know how is his music in this day where hip hop and EDM rule the charts, radio, and streaming network.
Depending on your point of view, it is a good thing that he insisted to remain true to his musical style which is to use conventional instruments and do away with heavy synthesizers. The next good thing about this album is his talent to compose down to earth lyrics; no poetic words just words that hit your heart and emotion. In this record, he talked of so many things such as hypocrisy of religion and its leaders in the song “Reverend Blowhard.” He also discussed marital discord in “I Don’t It See It Your Way.” And if you are familiar with Madonna’s “Tell Death Do Us Part,” you will feel the same guilty feeling of eavesdropping on the personal aspect of Mr. Cross marital life.
There is a sunny attitude when he paid homage to someone who was there when he needed the person the most which is quite an interesting take on what could be a very emotional song in “The Times I Needed You.” In “Island of Anger,” the singer said so many things about possible regret with being angry with life, instead, he chose to be reflective and he opted not to preach on what should be done; he just went on with his reflection. “V” is a good song to play for someone who missed someone especially if it is a very dear friend. This is a very serene song and you will be surprise that you will be endeared to this song each time you play it repeatedly.
“Experiment” is a song about continue growing. “Love Is Simple” is just all about simplicity of loving yet people make it complicated. “Wonderland” feels like an old Dire Straits song.
There is also sort of New Age music in this record “Light of The World.” This is the best song in this record. Stephen Bray is credited as co-writer of this song and surely I miss this person crafting songs like the way he did with Madonna in her True Blue and Like A Prayer album. Thus, it is of little wonder if this song is the best in this record; he has a good track record of composing songs. “With Me Now” and “Got To Be A Better Way are very typical Chris Cross songs just like his good old days; loaded with guitar, sax, piano, and other conventional musical instruments.
The last song “A Letter To My Children,” is a plea to remember him when time for him to go away and cross the bar. However, there is no need for him to beg for music lovers to listen to this album. As a whole, this record is a huge help if you want assistance with your personal introspection. If you want third person ideas on personal issues like love, marriage, and children, this is a good personal soundtrack.
I rate this record 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.
1 star = Ignore it
2 stars= risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 = buy, keep, and treasure it