The opening of “Ten Silver Drops” coalesces the last forty years in rock music to create something that authoritatively speaks to all who listen to music. This is not just rock music, but taps on a number of different styles while doing so. This means, during a song like “Alone, Jealous, and Stoned”, segments of the track come forth in a very indie rock style, but the vocals soon after elicit hints of Mick Jagger and Blur. The atmosphere created by The Secret Machines gives the final finish to the track, and will drive individuals from being mere fans to being converts to the new gospel.
It does not matter if a Secret Machines track is five, six, or even seven minutes, as the band has more than enough talent and material to fill whatever medium that they are given. Where “Now Here Is Nowhere” seemed to be an album in which The Secret Machines stoked their egos, “Ten Silver Drops” is an album for the fans. There is little on the disc that will not be immediately digestible by the listeners; a track like “All At Once” mixes Starship, Foreigner and The Cure to make something completely new. The driving beat of the drums during the track drive the vocals to a whole other realm.
Where songs on “Ten Silver Drops” may need to have a minute or two lopped from them to fit on radio stations, each song on the disc shows that The Secret Machines ‘ sweet spot can be found in the five or six minute length for song lengths. While there is not a specific theme for this album, each song has a rich narrative and even richer instrumentation and arrangement to allow for complete immersion in this album. Songs like “Lightning Blue Eyes” will find adherents of all stripes, as fans of solid instrumentation, fans of pop-laced music, and fans of intricate interplay between band members will all find something they can latch onto during this track. The Secret Machines have grown a lot since “Now Here Is Nowhere”, and it is only up from here that they can travel. The diversity of styles and approaches that the band takes on “Ten Silver Drops” is evidence of this, and listeners would be fools not to realize this. This goers beyond simply being rock or alternative music, but The Secret Machines come up with something always new and always compelling, in their desire to win over all listeners.
Top Tracks: Daddy’s In The Doldrums, Alone, Jealous, and Stoned
The Secret Machines – Ten Silver Drops / 2006 Reprise / 8 Tracks / http://www.thesecretmachines.com / http://www.reprise.com / Reviewed 29 April 2006