Featured Album of the Day / December 2021
“New Age”. We said it out loud. Indeed, some will say the music found on this album has a certain anemic quality. And the point is well taken. Theme of Secret is very much a product of it’s time. Private Music was an independent record label specializing in the “instrumental music” that was so popular with the cheese and wine crowd in 1985. Just mentioning a few names, Loe Kottke, Yanni and John Tesh and the sound is well understood. Yet within the Private Music‘s roster of talent, it is possible to find some fairly amazing music. Among them, Eddie Jobson with this amazing icy classic Theme of Secret.
Perhaps a little background information is in order. Edwin “Eddie” Jobson‘s pedegree is damn good. The English keyboardist and violinist has played with a number of bands which you may have heard; Roxy Music, UK, Curved Air,Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa and Yes. That is some list. (Although, only one walks among the true greats. And it’s not Frank Zappa. Enough said). But it’s the music on this interesting little disc that offers us some special gifts. The production is sterile and prestine; a horrible digital silence surrounds the entire recording. Only, somehow it works perfectly. . The cold-digital soundstage proves to be ideal for Jobson vision of this record. We hear only the towering glacial structures of sound Jobson constructs before our ears. Cold, stoic and complex mountains of futuristic sound. Of course, eventually the compositions begin to reveal themselves as the warm waves of melody bubbling to the surface. Revealing the hidden beauty of Jobson’s compositions. Theme of Secrets is a brilliant record with so much to offer the thoughtful listener that is willing to look beyond the New Age label.
One final point; Apparently, there was a follow-up album in the works called, Theme of Mystery, which had already been recorded but never released by Private Music. The tracks are sitting silent inside a forgotten studio vault just waiting to be reissued. Now, that would be a project that would be worth working on.