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Album Review

A true masterpiece, Secrets is the massive culmination of Allan Holdsworth's years-long legato technique and SynthAxe development. Conceptually inspired by but significantly different from the electric guitar, the SynthAxe is not a guitar-controlled synthesizer; it's a completely unique instrument of its own, making the guitarist's gripping performances all the more impressive. Holdsworth actually plays both instruments at a world-class level, setting an almost unreachable technical standard for aspiring rock, jazz, and fusion players. In addition to Secrets' technical accomplishments, Holdsworth contributes some of the most inspired songwriting of his career. The instrumental choruses are subtle and fluid, and the vocal lines on "Secrets" (performed by Rowanne Mark) and "Endomorph" (Craig Copeland) surpass earlier Holdsworth-penned efforts with their touching lyrics and melodies. Simply put, this 1989 Enigma release is a triumph, the final contribution to the artist's seminal '80s collection that includes Metal Fatigue and Atavachron. Fans of progressive music (no matter the genre) are recommended to search out the furtive Secrets, and unearth the sadly hidden knowledge of a musician's sublime transcendence of form, through passion and genius.

Customer Reviews

A Different Language

Those who listen to Allan Holdsworth know what I mean by the title of this review.

When one first listens to his music, it can be a little disorienting because of the novel way he approaches harmony.

But for those who can stick with it, his music pays great dividends. It is like being a member of a secret society and only his fans realize how under appreciated this man is.

He is definitely one of the best guitar players and improvisers in the world. His legato phrasing and skills with the whammy bar are unsurpassed.

But all that would be for nothing if the music would not move you.

"Secrets" is the album that opened my eyes to Holdsworth. I was intrigued the first time aroundand hooked by the third. To this day, this album still moves me like few others do. I wish I could create something this substantial in my lifetime. Great album!! Check it out..


For those who know, no words are needed. If you haven't experienced Holdsworth's music, you have been missing out on one of the true treasures in the history of guitar, jazz, fusion and rock. This is one of his most fluid collections of songs, performed to perfection.

Genious work!

The only album that can be compared to this title is Chick Corea's Mad Hatter. The true genious work... Allan H. is the player that plays 50 years ahead of his time...and he is one of the best in a world.. I would put him in the same ligue as Pat, Paco and Chick...


Born: August 6, 1946 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Guitarist Allan Holdsworth is widely considered to be one of the finest instrumentalists in all of jazz fusion, yet has never truly received the recognition that he so rightfully deserves. Born on August 6, 1946, in Bradford, Yorkshire, Holdsworth was originally taught music by his father, who was a pianist. Holdsworth didn't pick up the guitar until he was 17 years old, but learned the instrument quickly. After playing in local outfits (and learning the violin), Holdsworth relocated to London, where...
Full Bio