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Boston Noise CD Review

Secret Songs For Secret People
Feb/12/2011

Bettencourt really hits the nail on the head with this upbeat collection of new-age folk tunes. The album has a jaunty vibe, with the forward chug of the rhythm section and the happy-go-lucky pluckings of Bettencourt’s acoustic guitar. On the one hand, it’s very poppy, yet still greatly indebted to old-school Americana with the layers of pedal-steel, chicken-pickin’ guitar riffs, and plush female harmoniesooh-ing and ah-ing in the background. Of course, what really grabs my attention is this guy’s gravelly, slightly androgynous voice. Rod Stewart comes to mind. It’s rugged, but at the same time, undeniably tender. A sadder-but-wiser voice; one that betrays the easy-going nature of the music. The lyrics, too, have a touch of brooding sentiment and bittersweetness to them, giving this album some emotional depth. Secret Songs is the sound of still waters: calm and sweet on the surface, but with an air of mystery down below. Sorry Bettencourt, I guess the secret’s out. (Will Barry)


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