Reviewed by Bob Longman
Mr Abegg comes forth with his second album, this time with Vector-mate Steve Griffith in the production seat. Last time up, the Flying A had a savoury pop debut, surprising people with a clear voice and a guitar which deserved ample raves. 'Secrets' takes a somewhat different turn, toward the guitar/rock side. On the rockier tracks, such as "(This Ain't No) Perfect World", Abegg shows his great sense of what to play with his guitar and displays a harder edged side to his smooth voice. "Perfect World" and "Sweet Angel" continue one of his running themes, that of angels and angelic imagery to describe aspects of people and of life. The pop side of the A Man is well represented by "Rain" and "I Believe", which have distinct Beatlish overtones and "River Deep River Wide". "I Believe" should not be mistaken for the kind of creedal stuff that is the staple of Jimmy A's current tourmate Rich Mullins; it has that element to it, but is more of a personal vision relating to his own life. Abegg's mellow side comes through with a real winner in "Something's Moving Over Me", with its joyous lyric and gently moving rhythm. 'Secrets' displays what must seem like a well kept secret to Abegg's fans, the amount of common ground he shares with Phil Keaggy (who also plays on the album). They are each extraordinary guitarists, each has strong pop sensibilities, they each base their tunes on many of the same modes and each has their wife and children as a recurring theme in their music. One of Jimmy A's distinctive characteristics is his use of the spoken word on his albums. The final track, "The Dream", is a spoken word tour-de-force which should win itself a solid place in that long train of songs of the faith which use the imagery of God's railroad train to the Kingdom. The background wall of guitars and special effects provides a good modern backdrop for that old, old theme.
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