The French composer and musician Patrick Broguière was totally unknown to me when he contacted me to review his latest release A Secret World. This album already turned out to be his fifth solo release. Why did I miss his earlier albums Brocéliande (1995), Icônes (1996), Mont Saint-Michel (1998) and Châteaux De La Loire (2000) I asked myself after hearing A Secret World for the first time. This one man band (Patrick does everything on his own by playing keyboards, guitars and doing the programming of the rhythm section) really knows how to come up with a fine tune!
Of course I asked myself also why it took this in Paris based multi-instrumentalist twenty-three long years to come up with a successor for Chateaux De La Loire. Well I read somewhere that during his long hiatus he published books and learned magic. Of course he also composed the music for his new album and recorded it. You could say that he spend his time very well with the music he wrote during his long absence.
A Secret World is by all means a pleasant album to listen to. The ten compositions he wrote are mainly instrumentals and keyboard orientated. On a couple of tracks, on A Secret World and 21st Century Dancing Man for example, you can hear a computer sounding voice. Almost like a vocoder. On a few songs he also lets his guitar speak. The electric guitar on King Arthur's March and the acoustic guitar on the short instrumental Out Of Time and In My Dreams. The acoustic piano can also be heard several times like on the short piece Breath and on the album closer Faust And Mephisto. Too bad Patrick doesn't use a real drummer on the entire album, but instead keyboard or computer programmed rhythms can be heard. This sounds fine on pure modern electronic pieces such as The Blue Unicorn and 21st Century Dancing Man. But I guess his music would come even more to live if he would use a real drummer of flesh and blood. On a song such as the opening piece A Secret World a real drummer would bring the music to an even higher level. It's for me the absolute highlight on the album and the most progressive rock sounding tune with musical references to the organ sound of Keith Emerson and a band such as Monarch Trail.
All in all can I only come to the conclusion that Patrick Broguière has with A Secret World made an album which lovers of progressive rock will certainly enjoy whole heartedly. Listening to this fine album only made me realise how I could miss his earlier releases. Hopefully I will have them in my CD collection one day sooner or later. Because they will fit perfectly with his latest release on one shelf!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2023