Gifts in Secret - Reaching review by Phantom Tollbooth

The husband and wife duo of Gifts in Secret delivers a solid ethereal rock experience with their second full length album Reaching.

Title: Reaching
Artist: Gifts in Secret
Label: The Fossil Dungeon
Time: 11 tracks/43:40 min.

Everything about Gifts in Secret's new album Reaching just screams "ethereal." That word might be a little overused and cliché in the music business, but it really does apply here.  The music, vocals, and packaging all have that other-worldly vibe.  The husband and wife team of Mike and Beth have really dialed in to that classic 80s sound - hovering somewhere in between The Cure and Blondie.  The Cure is even further represented with a convincing cover of "Picture of You."

The main musical mode on this album is swirling, echoing guitars layered with expressive and emotive vocals. There are occasional flourished of other styles, like the aggressive driving rock guitar attack of "We Had It All" or the acoustic lament of "Still Missing You" (which happen to be back-to-back tracks). Personally, I have always been a fan of this style of music, so this entire disc is a pleasure to listen to for me. There is enough variety to keep it from sounding like the same song over and over again. But those who never got into 80s alternative or modern indie rock may not find much to like here – there is no attempt at being flavor-of-the-month to be found here.

By Matt Crosslin (June 23, 2011)