This work came to my attention by coincidence only a few months after its original release 1987. Prior to that, I had enjoyed some of Sylvian's work with Japan. His first two solo albums were, however, somewhat boring. A few tracks on each one were focused but too many lacked direction.
That changed dramatically on Secrets, an album hardly without a misstep. It is for the most parts rather slow and soothing, simple instrumentation, often in an experimental style with jazz elements on some of the tracks. Standout tracks are hard to define, they have changed in my opinion through the years. The lyrics wander between hope and despair, domestic rage to the joy of life.
This is without doubt one of my favourite albums through the years. Listening first to it at the age of 22, I remember vividly the strange emotions the album's contradictions had on me. Despite being anything but a album full of catchy tunes, it struck a chord within me immediately.
I am not alone in that opinion, I was surprised seeing so many people stating similar thoughts on Amazon, given it was a commercial failure. I must admit that I haven't enjoyed any other Sylvian album since in its whole, although Dead Bees On a Cake had some splendid moments and his collaboration with Holger Czukay, Plight and Premonition, provides an ethereal listening experience.
The original CD version had one enormous problem; the hiss in the recording overshadowed often the sound (or lack of it). Listening to that version often made one wish that better care would have been taken of such delicate music. This re-mastered version improves that anomaly to an incredible extent. The sound becomes richer and the whole listening experience becomes more fulfilling.
The CD cover has the same artwork but in the so-called digipak. It is well done. An unnecessary poster (mini one obviously) is also included. Added lyrics or written thoughts about the album would have been welcomed.
A debated change has also been made with the album's final tune. Forbidden Colours has been dropped to be replaced by Promised. For my part, I wish that Promised would have been simply added in the end. The end result is still very satisfying. Those interested in buying this album really should invest in this more expensive version, the sound quality is overwhelmingly better and worth the difference in price.