Album Review: Keep Your Secrets

 

Artist Vs. Poet has released their new album, Keep Your Secrets.  It’s been a highly anticipated album, especially with the recent changes within the band.  Most notably with the change in lead singers, after Tarcy Thomason left and Joe Kirkland stepped up, some fans have been a little wary.  Then add in Joe’s time on NBC’s The Voice, and loyal AVP fans may have gotten a little antsy.  Though Joe didn’t make it to the finals, he was able to get his name out there, and perhaps get some extra vocal tips for the new album.

Fans did have a brief preview of Joe, Jason, and Dylan this past April, but now the full-length album is here, and it’s clear that Artist Vs. Poet hasn’t gone anywhere.

Joe’s voice is certainly his own, with a rougher edge and not quite as much of a range as his predecessor, Tarcy.  But both Joe and Tarcy have a familiar twang that seems to have come to define Artist Vs. Poet, and their poppy, upbeat sound remains consistent on Keep Your Secrets.

It’s clear that these guys have fun with their music, which can translate well to the fans, especially for live shows.  The title track alone has a very energetic feel, with definite potential for a dance jam at a live show.  Other promising dance numbers would have to be “Crazy About You” and “Love To Hate Me.”  The latter instantly had me hooked, especially with the catchy underlying beat.

“Love To Hate Me” is the perfect example of Joe’s voice, and the rougher side unique to the singer/songwriter.  “Miscommunicate” also works well to show off Joe’s talent.  Some listeners might be put off by the raw voice, labeling him untalented, but with the depth and lyrics of this song, Joe really brings it home.

It’s a bit surprising how many slow songs there are on the new album, but AVP seems to really know how to balance out sound, meaning, and tempo in their songs and performances.  In particular, “Crazy About You” is interesting for its measured and deliberate break around the 2:30 minute mark.  The song feels like classic AVP, fitting in right along with other Favorite Fix hits.  It seems they’ve carried on a theme from Favorite Fix all the way to Keep Your Secrets, as well.  Take a quick listen to “Ready To Roll” and I guarantee the clever album artwork of Favorite Fix and their single “Damn Rough Night” will pop into your head.

Even though Joe’s voice might not be up to The Voice’s par, Keep Your Secrets is definitely worth a listen, even if it’s just for a fun time.

And if you happen to make it to an Artist Vs. Poet show, let us know!  We’d love to hear how these catchy tunes come across live!

Recommended songs:
“Love To Hate Me”
“Hang Around” – For fans of The Summer Set; a bit slowed down but still quirky and fun
“Miscommunicate”

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