Rod McInnes - Best Kept Secret

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited November 2022 in Year-1997

ARTIST: Rod McInnes
ALBUM: Best Kept Secret
LABEL: Hourglass
SERIAL: HG 1001340-0
YEAR: 1997

LINEUP: Rod McInnes - lead & backing vocals, keyboards * Craig Skala - guitars * Marco Luciani - keyboards * Jeff Saakot, Mark Shannon, Matthew Gerard - bass * Greg Critchley - drums * Lis Soderberg, Maddie Willis - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 When You Fall * 02 Someday * 03 Trials Of The Heart * 04 Its OK, Its 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


Another in the brooding Canadian singer/songwriter tradition is Roderick McInnes, Rod to you and I. At the time of its release, 'Best Kept Secret' was pitched by the Hourglass label as a 'new country' album. I'm not sure that definition is strictly correct, as McInnes has more of a leaning towards the West Coast/AOR side of things.

The whole album (beautifully produced by the way - from none other than Rush maestro Terry Brown) can best be compared to the softer melodic moments of the Eagles, Keven Jordan, plus WC guys like Kurt Howell, Russ Irwin, and Tim Feehan.

Apparently, Rod took a good two years to get the material together, so it's had a decent amount of time to stew before being recorded. Worth the wait too, especially for a splendid soft rock recording like this. Joining Rod on the album are Regatta drummer Greg Critchley and Alfie Zappacosta piano/keyboard accomplice Marco Luciani.

The Songs

Opening up with 'When You Fall', we're greeted with some juicy keyboards that you'll find on the best WC/AOR crossover albums, completed by verses that'll melt you with melody. You'll love the brief solo too. Poppy and breezy is how best to describe 'Someday' - in ways similar to 'Pray For Rain' era Tim Feehan.

The first single off the album was 'Trials Of The Heart' - here Rod's husky-like vocals sung over an acoustic/string arrangement oozes charm in the same way the Eagles did a decade before.

The tempo increases on the vibrant 'It's OK It's Alright', hard not to mention this song in the same breath as Journey ('Raised On Radio or Trial By Fire era), as Rod's impassioned vocals have obviously worked out on many a Steve Perry sung tune!

'Last Night Of My Life' - a desperate sounding title, is the album's obvious tearjerker, thankfully the 'sad sack' theme lasts for this one tune before we are swept up into another AOR gem 'Piece Of Your Heart'. This one is Tim Feehan all over, for sure!

The piano get a good tinkling on 'Find The Love', very much like Keven Jordans 1994 album, west coast/midwest all rolled up into one with a horn solo to boot.

'Road Of Love' has Bryan Adams balladry written all over it, unlike the closer, the fantastic 'Price To Pay', a brooding piece of AOR which undulates with atmosphere; searing guitars competing with fat keyboard layers when the action heats up mid-song. it contains the same sort of intensity last heard on the Joe Pasquale album 'Prey'.

In Summary

An impressive album that only obscure melodic rock collectors would consider hunting down. I think this is the only recording made by McInnes, nothing seen or heard of him as of late.

Hopefully, he'll indulge us in some more of his musical magic a second time around. Another big thanks to Cdchaz7.

All written content on this website belongs to copyright. Duplication elsewhere on the Internet is strictly prohibited, unless specific permission is granted.

Sign In or Register to comment.