Listening to veteran singer/songwriter Christian Parker’s new full length release Best Kept Secret is a bit like a sweet, easy grooving sauna for the ears, with his dreamy, sweet-flowing vocals and bright, jangling acoustic and electric guitars bringing us back to the sweetness of great late 60s and 70s pop/rock and offering a sometimes stark and melancholy but ultimately hopeful view of love and the world around us.
So even as we’re “torn between two worlds” and realizing that “loss of love is a hopeless scheme” (on a song, “Eternal Flame,” that sweep us up and away with the call and response harmony vocals by Parker and Phil Hurley), the singer reassures us on the sparkling romp “Better Day” that indeed, “lightning sparks the hue of a better day.” The fact that this is a stellar listen from the infectious, grooving and ethereal opener “Weight of the World” through the wistful and weightless acoustic reflection “Loves Final Amen” goes without question.
What’s interesting is that while we’re told in the bio he’s released seven studio albums (beginning decades ago at age 17), his three albums and multitude of singles are all listed as 2022 on Spotify. In one place we read that these transcendent songs were written during the winter of 2020-21, then on his website bio it says that Best Kept Secret, is a collection of previously unreleased material spanning the last two decades.
Assuming Parker’s music pierces the heart of everyone who listens and sets them on an immersive course to experience his entire output, getting details like this straight kind of matter. Still, no matter when they’re originally from, a glorious meditative gem like the piano tinged story song “Diamond Sailor,” the urgent and plucky romance “Life Without Regret” and the melancholic nostalgia piece “Heartache is My Friend” sound great no matter their point of origin and speak to Parker’s truly timeless sound and songwriting style. Christian Parker is indie pop’s Best Kept Secret no more!