Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Passionfix — Hello
(Passionfix music no #, 2023, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-10-17
If one looks for Passionfix in almost any search engine, they will inevitably get the question “Did you mean passionflix?” No, stupid, that’s not what I meant, I meant what I typed — Maryland’s best kept secret, the band Passionfix. One would think after so many albums they would be better known. Anyway, if I’m counting correctly, Hello is album number ten. With some bands it doesn’t take more than a measure or few to know exactly who it is, just drop the needle on any song and there is an instant identification, usually by way of the singer — think about it: Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Yes, Family, The Pretenders, Missing Persons... Passionfix is one of those bands. As soon as their signature vocalist Kelly Secret starts singing, you know who it is immediately — her voice is one of the most distinctive and unique of all the female-fronted bands around; there’s just no mistaking, regardless if they are doing their folky style, pop, funk, soul, or out-and-out rocking, and a big part of that is the band’s songwriter Dave Kelly composing and arranging material that brings out the best in the singer, sometimes a bit dark and moody, sometimes plaintive, sometimes bright and sunny, but always superb and instantly identifiable. In addition to Secret and Kelly (who in addition to composing plays guitars and keyboards), the band includes bassist Mike Kearney and drummer Simon Harris, and new member Pete Sklaroff on “lead guitar and guitars,” and I guess that means the occasional steel guitar that one hears from time to time as well, with the overall result of this album being a bit more guitar-centric than its predecessors, at least more so than the three I have reviewed previously. There are fourteen tracks on this album, including many standouts like the moody “Old Church Bell,” the hook-ridden rockers “Half Baked” and “Sunburst,” the folky opener “Rode the Wave,” and the outstanding bluesy number “Dead of Night,” but to be honest every song on Hello is worthy, and all are available for a listen at the link below, so skip the search engine nonsense and jump right in.
Related artist(s): Passionfix
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