The Secret Handshake - Night and Day
Record Label: Triple Crown Records
Release Date: Aug. 17, 2010
At what points does an artist reach their full potential? Three albums in? Four albums in? For Texas' The Secret Handshake, a.k.a Luis Dubuc, album four is indeed him at the apex of his career. After five years as a solo electronic-indie-emo project, self-taught musician Dubuc has undergone a sea change and embraced blue-eyed soul and old-school R and B. And the results are nothing short of splendid. Through 10 breezy tracks he uses ample amounts of horns, honey-throated session singers and enough sun-drenched optimism to make Peter Cetera blush.
Much like Oklahoma's Hanson who embraced the "Sunday in the Park," optimism on Shout it Out, Dubuc's Night and Day is awash in freewheeling Tower of Power-esque summer jams. Opening quartet "Every Single Time," "Woman," "Domino," and "Fresh Start," are as refreshing, wide open and embraceable as anything recorded this year. Of the four, the unshakeable "Domino," and the sentimental valentine, "Woman," stand out the most. The CD dips though on the self-indulgent "Magic," but finds its footing on the hopeful "You Got Me." At this point though it's worth noting that not a single verse on the record is worthy of merit.
Dubuc tries to go for something meaningful on the happy-as-a-bird "Stop," that finds comfort and happiness in life's simple pleasure, while "Black Girl," embraces the prospect of a new love. But then Night and Day trails off. It's not so much that the songs themselves fall flat, but that they follow the same pattern. In essence, listening to the last three songs on Night and Day is like listening to the album from the beginning.
Throughout much of his career, Dubuc has had to battle the critics who label him as being derivative, trite and forgettable. Finally though, he seems to have shaken free of those shackles and has indeed found a sound and a voice that's worth embracing. Night and Day is rewarding, redeemable and laden with charm and merit. But now that he's reached his apex, does this mean he's only headed down from here?
yay i love this album. it's catchy and fun. it's worlds above most of the shit coming out right now. i really admire luis for working so hard on it & taking a risk to make the music he wanted to. sure, it's motown themed but i think he gives it a modern pop feel that most people can embrace/
i think its a great look and really paid off.