Rod McInnes – Best Kept Secret [1997]

Rod McInnes - Best Kept Secret (front)Country Canada          

Style Melodic Rock/WestCoast AOR

Rating 82/100

Band Members Rod McInnes – Lead/backing vocals,keyboards, Craig Skala – Guitars, Marco Luciani – Keyboards, Jeff Saakot,Mark Shannon,Matthew Gerard – Bass, Greg Critchley – Drums, Lis Soderberg, addie Willis – Backing vocals

Tracks 01. When you fall, 02. Someday, 03. Trials of the heart, 04. It’s ok, it’s alright, 05. Last night of my life, 06. Piece of your heart, 07. While you were sleeping, 08. Find the love, 09. Road of love, 10. Price to pay

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Profile The ’90s was a gloomy decade for the light, delicate AOR sounds, and many very good albums in the genre were released through small record labels, hence, turning out of print soon and hard to find in years to come. One of these is “Best Kept Secret”, by Canadian singer & songwriter Rod McInnes. Produced by the same talented knob twiddler as the recent featured here The Kite (and Rush among others) Terry Brown, expect a crystal clear sound on this CD.

McInnes’ style is elegant, melodic Light AOR / Westcoast with a touch of melodic rock in the vein of Paul Janz, Kurt Howell, Tim Feehan and alike. His vocals are sweet and quite harmonized, while the back up band is excellent featuring Zappacosta / The Bushdoctors keyboardist Marco Luciani and Keven Jordan / Gowan drummer Greg Critchley. Highlights include the extremely melodic opener “When You Fall” mixing relaxing poppy AOR keys with a Westcoast feel, the elegant “Someday” with its lovely little chorus, the Journey-like “It’s OK, It’s Alright” and the pristine ballad “Trials Of The Heart” that sounds taken from an ’80s movie soundtrack. Then “Last Night Of My Life” is quite weak, but Rod raises the bar again with the excellent uptempo AOR (again, very ’80s) of “Piece Of Your Heart”.

Rod McInnes and this album are indeed one of Canada’s “Best Kept Secret”, his one and only album as far I know. It’s a must for fans of this breezy AOR sub-genre, with the songs & production definitely focused in the late ’80s – early ’90s.

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