The Beautiful Secret

The Beautiful Secret

(Beautiful Secret Records)

The act evolved from a wish in 2011 by Rachael Hawnt, possessor of an individual singing voice and Hispanic good looks to create a musical character-based musical. Meeting songwriter Ash Cutler led to the recording of songs and the formation of TBS. The collection centres upon different aspects of the Human Condition so potentially can appeal to many. Rachael’s niece Katie-Rae has Asperger’s Syndrome thus proceeds of the lead cut and single release What’s Inside will go to support The National Autistic Society.

Let’s run through the tracks on the album release now:

What’s Inside being the single has a clean acoustic guitar intro, piano and slightly breathy but composed vocal by Rachael. At 00.40 a full-blooded band sound punches in. The lyric concerns feelings of detachment but as the voice toughens up the positivity is abundant. A strong performance of a dynamic song, the electric guitar over the chorale works well. Imagine Judie Tzuke with a Jim Steinman arrangement and this is close.

Anytime Soon has mysterious arpeggio’d guitar and a controlled vocal. Has this lass worked in musical theatre? The delivery and clarity hints at this, for sure. Also it all sounds rather radio-friendly, clear guitar sound and all against rich keyboard chording. I hear echoes of Moonlight Shadow, by Mike Oldfield; I Won’t Stay starts with spooky guitar and you almost expect Kate Bush to start singing. But an altogether softer vocal come in. She seems to be able to harden her singing tone in an instant, so much intent in the singing. Again the electric guitar is bold and effective, a really pro sound.

Chloe takes funkier tempo and an unusual double-tracked vocal. It makes a success of the choppy beat and construction. Great drumming, full of emphasis and detail. The Night Is What You Make It has Minneapolis whiplash beat and funk guitar, Ash’s voice to the fore. The song would be at home in Footloose type soundtrack, catchy chorus and all. Great night-time music, to be segued into Rhythm Of The Night.

Time Goes By has Steely Dan type electric piano and it’s back to the breathy vocal treatment. A tricky construction, well-handled; Watching And Waiting starts nimbly with the melody darting here and there and a folky singing performance. Could be a Joan Armatrading number, allowing for the sweeter voice. Tin Man sounds like a song from a musical with pristine arrangement.

Never The Bride is the longest cut at five and a half minutes and may be Joni Mitchell-inspired in its mix of delicacy and power? Like many of the songs the delivery sounds so confident and tuneful too. The saxophone is a nice touch. Don’t Be Afraid has a calm piano intro and again sounds like a hit song from a musical.

This pair make strong music that is as supple as it is forceful. They have many vocal timbres to draw upon and an ear for dynamic arrangements. Occasionally it sounds a tad too business-like but discipline needn’t neuter musical impact and I expect they loosen up in performance. Fans of Barbara Dickson and the like will find much to enjoy, here.

Pete Sargeant

(Thanks Cat)



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The Beautiful Secret’s new self-titled album is out now on Beautiful Secret Records.

All proceeds of the lead cut and single release ‘What’s Inside’ will go to support The National Autistic Society. 

You can purchase the album from Amazon UK here: http://amzn.to/2pQ3Qke

For more information visit the band’s official website here: http://bit.ly/2p2tAHf

The Beautiful Secret