The long-awaited Secrets album from the electronic music legends X Marks The Pedwalk is finally out. We were eager to hear their new material and see what they have for us in 2017.
Over the years their sound evolved from ebm-oriented to more synth-pop coloured expression. And synth-pop is undoubtedly what we can hear on this release. They open with “Masterpiece”, a pulsating, dance-inviting synth-pop hit with Estefania’s leading vocal. The track’s catchy chorus makes it perfect for the dance floor; it’s vibrant, seductive and uplifting. After the very promising introduction featuring Estefania, “Secrets” continues in the similar manner. Dance beats and recognizable pop formula is there. This time Sevren Ni-Arb gave the main vocal for the track, providing the diversity. Even though the track is more melancholic, its dance beat and poppy chorus makes it a dance floor piece again. Even when they seem to slow down with “Ghost”, it is again one perfect synth-pop track from start to finish. “Sacred” starts with a wonderful synth soundscapes and builds up around the theme slowly, progressing into a rhythmic, yet atmospheric piece. Estefania and Sevren take turns singing, that makes this track sound as a gentle vocal duel. “Photomatique” on the other hand is punchy, dynamic and enthusiastic, to say the least. So far, the personal favourite of mine. However, after this exciting number, they slow down the pace offering “Breathe”; an emotional, ethereal, dreamy synth voyage. “Prisoner” seems to find a middle ground; it offers a dreamy, atmospheric feel combined with the dancy beat. However, I feel the track more as a listening at home material. “One Time” sticks to the atmospheric and melancholic idea but goes back to the original pop formula relying on the distinguishable refrain. They close Secrets with the instrumental piece “Crankmachine” as if they left the last secret to unfold in our minds and hearts that I believe will be deeply touched by this latest X Marks’ synth-pop treasure.