BILL CHAMPLIN and WunderGround – Bleeding Secrets [Japan Edition +2] (2018)
Former Chicago Bill Champlin is about to release “Bleeding Secrets”, the debut album from BILL CHAMPLIN and WunderGround, the combo formed with guitarist Gary Falcone (Kenny Loggins, David Foster) and Tamara Champlin. The Japanese edition appears today, including 2 bonus tracks.
“Bleeding Secrets” features guest appearances by Steve Porcaro (Toto), George Hawkins Jr (GIG, Chicago), Joe Porcaro, Will Champlin, Burleigh Drummond (Ambrosia), Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger) and many more.
Seeing all these names involved you would think about a Wescoast AOR album, but “Bleeding Secrets” is not.
What we have here is a Classic Rock album, with pretty strong guitar riffs and of course, exquisite vocal harmonies and polished production.
Just check the powerful guitars and driving rhythm of the opening track, “Man vs. Machine”. There’s some sort of Toto vibe from ‘Falling in Between’ era, and the connection doesn’t end there as following song ‘The Only Way Down’ feature Toto’s Steve Porcaro on keys. Great song.
‘ Love Knows’ is one of the more AOR oriented tunes on the album, with a certain CWF (Champlin Williams Friestedt) feel, with Bill Champlin sounding greatly despite his age.
‘Dreaming Of Chagall’, with lead vocals by Tamara recall Chasing Violets, while ‘They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To’ makes justice to its tile, a pure ’80s rocker with strong guitars, Bill’s classic Hammond playing, and a terrific George Hawkins Jr. slap bass contribution. A highlight.
‘Genius’ is perhaps the only slightly Westcoast impregnated song on the album, very dynamic anyway bringing to mind Champlin’s ’80s solo albums.
The organic ‘Light Up The Night’ has some Eagles on it, while more Toto feeling comes with the title track, another strong rocker with superb pulse.
Japanese edition bonus tracks are worth to have: ‘What Will Be’ is pretty guitar driven rock song with all vocalists involved, while ‘Popcorn’ is a must listen for Chicago fans, especially their classic era.
Bill Champlin never stops to surprise; at his 71 his creative flame still burns hot, his vocals are in very good form, and his band mates here perfectly fit into this new project to deliver a fresh, very enjoyable collection of songs.
Mostly Classic Rock oriented but including, of course, AORish melodies, soaring vocal harmonies and slick guitar riffs, “Bleeding Secrets” is one of the unexpected highlight this year.
Yeah, it’s that good.
01 – Man vs. Machine
02 – The Only Way Down
03 – Love Knows
04 – Dreaming Of Chagall
05 – Imaginary Friend
06 – They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To
07 – Fireships
08 – Evangeline
09 – You’re Gonna’ Love Someone
10 – Genius
11 – Light Up The Night
12 – Bleeding Secrets
13 – Limbo
BONUS TRACKS FOR JAPAN;
14 – What Will Be
15 – Popcorn
Bill Champlin: Lead and Background Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Keyboards, Synths, Programming, Hammond B3, Keyboards, Bass
Gary Falcone: Guitars, Lead and Background Vocals
Tamara Champlin: Lead Vocals on #4, 7, 9, 13, Background Vocals
Will Champlin: Piano, Keyboards, Synths, Programming, Bass
Steve Porcaro: Synths, Strings, Keyboards
Alan Hertz: Drums on #1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13
Burleigh Drummond: Drums on #3, 5, 8
George Hawkins Jr.: Electric Bass on #6, 10
Dean Cortez: Electric Bass on #3, 5, 7, 8, 12
Joe Porcaro: Percussion on #13
Paulie Cerra, Howie Shear, Terry Landry: Horns
Eduardo G. Del Barrio: Strings Arrangement
Kelly Keagy: Background Vocals
BUY IT !