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The Best Little Secrets Are Kept

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Album Review

Louis XIV aren't for the faint of heart — more like for the filthy of heart and dirty of mind, as they tear their way through their major-label debut, The Best Little Secrets Are Kept, like a marauding band of oversexed middle-school pirates. Indeed, main vocalist Jason Hill swaggers like a fully cocked smash-up between Bon Scott, Mick Jagger, and Bluebeard the Pirate, winking his way through the album like he was strutting down a catwalk. Brian Karscig adds suitably unhinged vocal support, taking the lead on a couple of tracks, and Hill and Karscig, with the help of drummer Mark Anders Maigaard, concoct a sound that is both tighter than your jeans after Thanksgiving dinner and looser than the Big Bopper's long-necked goose. The Best Little Secrets Are Kept is loaded with a raft of inspired songs that burst out of your speakers like they were on fire, mixing the sparkle of the best glam rock, the low-down crunch of the best of classic rock bands like the Stones, and the direct lyrical approach of poets like David Lee Roth or the aforementioned Bon Scott. Three of the album 's songs came out on the band's 2004 EP, Illegal Tender, and they are probably the best songs here: "Finding Out True Love Is Blind" is a pounding rocker that sends nasty shout-outs to girls of every type and is really just too over the top to be offensive; "Louis XIV" is so cocky and self-important you just have to laugh; and best of all is the goofy and slightly unhinged Adam & the Ants-styled romp "Illegal Tender." It's the kind of song that will have you strutting around the room looking for a mirror to practice your tough guy or gal sneer before breaking out in giggles. The rest of the songs don't show much of a letdown with tunes like the handclap-driven, rifftastic "Paper Doll"; "Hey Teacher," which shows off some piercing falsettos; and "A Letter to Dominique," which is a note-perfect T. Rex boost complete with operatic backing vocals and funky handclaps, made the band's own with suitably dirty (without the sweet) lyrics. The last song on the record, "Ball of Twine," even displays some sincerity, as Hill declares his love of classic rock with the lyrics "God save the Kinks and the music from the Big Pinks." Somehow after all the insane swagger that precedes it, the sentiment is downright moving. Some people may find the band's mix of near-obscene lyrics, primal rock sound, and overtly sexual imagery somewhat offensive. To that one can only reply, as Nigel Tufnel did when Spinal Tap's morals (and the cover of Smell the Glove) were impugned: "Well so what? What's wrong with being sexy?" Or as Louis XIV say in "Paper Doll," "If you want clean fun, go buy a kite." Conversely, if you want some rock & roll so tough and dirty that it would make Brian Johnson blush, Louis XIV just might be your band and their album might be your best kept little secret. [The CD was also released with bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Gotta Love Louis!

Thank you, iTunes, for providing the antidote to the songs that seem to dominate every other radio station! Louis XIV is one of the best newer bands, in my opinion. I can't say I loved this album at first, but the song "God Killed the Queen" was the one to convince me. Actually, "seduce" would probably be a better word than convince. This is most likely the horniest band I've ever come across. Although the lyrics are suggestive, they're really not much compared to some of the other types of music that are around today. "Illeagal Tender" is the song that always manages to crack me up,or at least make me smile. I love the voices/accents. The quiet intervals of "Finding Out True Love is Blind" make the perfect contrast to its chaotic guitar chords, panting, and bell-tower-of-doom like sounds in the background. It has an awesome beat. Some people may find the lyrics to that particular song offensive, even I was unsure of them at first, but the tune really grew on me. "Louis XIV" is a sexy, self-indulgent song with an incredibly catchy chorus. Many of the songs featured on this album are reminiscent of past types of alternative rock, but also have a definite uniqueness and originality about them. You don't have to be wild about the band to appreciate some of their better songs. This album is definitely a compelling one. When my little sister switched my iTunes Music Store to the Austrian version, I flipped out because Louis XIV was not available! So, fellow alternative enthusiasts, give this one a try. For .99 cents, you could have a new addiction. This "Little Secret" is one that should be spread!

It'll Grow on You ...

You might not love this album at first. In fact, you might hate it. It may bore you, disgust you, and then get shoved to the back of your CD case. But this album isn't the kind of album that you can listen to once and get an idea of. On first listen, this album is rather dull, and the lyrics are horribly raunchy. But, a few listens down the road, you might start to appreciate the sarcasm, swagger and pure filth that this album is. Shady pick up lines make up the lyrics and every song on here seems to be crafted during an alcohol induced fit. The best song on this album is by far "God Killed The Queen," the sort of dirty song that you could easily end up rocking out to at a bar until 3 am. While Louis XIV are a politically incorrect, horendously raunchy band, they pull this off so well it's almost unbelievable. Almost.

Modern Music's Best Little Secret

It didn't take me more than one listen (hell, more than one song) to become enthralled with this band. Every song is so deliciously dirty (with dashes of bondage) that is was impossible for me to resist their charms. I don't find the overtly sexual lyrics offensive in the least bit, even as a girl. Rather, I find my self grinning and nodding my head to the beats on the way to work (but might not want to play this album in your office sans headphones ;)) The band's delivery of possibly...disturbing lyrics ("I'll tease you with a knife until you're screaming for your life" - Illegal Tender) make the songs seem hilarious and rather tongue-in-cheek. At the same time however, listeners will need to have a low embarrassment and disturbance point, a slightly dirty side, and a sense of humor. With these three things, give the band a chance and you might just have found your newest little kink. I'm shocked that I haven't heard more about this band! I first discovered Louis XIV on a Virgin Records Recommends CD about a year ago and haven't heard them played on the radio (although on second thought there may be a reason for that) or seen any other publicity. Their lack of exposure may be a bit of a blessing, however, as there's nothing more annoying than having a song ruined by over-playing. Maybe I just havn't been in the right places at the right times, but it seems that Louis XIV is the music world's little secret. For all you Louis XIV virgins out there looking for a little taste to start off with, check out "God Killed the Queen" (that was my first), "Hey Teacher," "Louis XIV," and "Finding out True Love Is Blind."


Formed: San Diego, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The core unit of San Diego's Louis XIV had originally played together in the rootsy, alt-rocking Convoy, which issued an album called Black Licorice in 2001. Having moved on by 2003, vocalist/guitarists Jason Hill and Brian Karscig and drummer Mark Maigaard hooked up with bassist Jimmy Armbrust and began fleshing out the Louis XIV concept -- irreverent, oversexed lyrics and songwriting that channeled glam, scratchy punk, and vintage Rolling Stones. A self-recorded EP caused quite a stir locally,...
Full Bio
The Best Little Secrets Are Kept, Louis XIV
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Indie Rock, Punk
  • Released: Jan 25, 2005

Customer Ratings