Best Little Secrets Are Kept

The Best Little Secrets Are Kept

4.8 5
by Louis XIV

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Glam -- the mysterious witches' brew of preening vocals, omnivorous sexuality, dandified duds, and fuzzy guitar that found its apotheosis in T. Rex and David Bowie -- was little understood in America. Maybe that's why San Diego's Louis XIV had to go to Paris to record the EPs that would eventually be compiled as


Glam -- the mysterious witches' brew of preening vocals, omnivorous sexuality, dandified duds, and fuzzy guitar that found its apotheosis in T. Rex and David Bowie -- was little understood in America. Maybe that's why San Diego's Louis XIV had to go to Paris to record the EPs that would eventually be compiled as The Best Little Secrets Are Kept. To the Bolan formula, bandmates Jason Hill and Brian Karscig (along with departed drummer Mark Maigaad) add sneering put-downs (mostly of women) that owe a bit to the Hives' Howlin' Pelle Almqvist and some giggling silliness (especially on the title track) that might have been inspired by Monty Python. The whole thing, conceived originally as a kind of rock opera about a delusional child who thought he was the French monarch, could come off as a joke if the songs weren't so good. "Finding Out True Love Is Blind" is a laundry list of fetishes, from black girls to redheads to girls with glasses, that would make Mötley Crüe proud, if it wasn't undercut by the titular chorus. Multi-tracked chorus vocals, cello, and vintage guitar choogle fuel "A Letter to Dominique," easily a ringer for an outtake from The Slider, while the hush-hush bondage tale "Pledge of Allegiance" bears the addled swagger of a Rock 'n' Roll Animal–era Lou Reed. Only the aimless psychedelia of "Ball of Twine" (seemingly delivered by Elmer Fudd) brings the mood down. At their bell-bottomed best, the dated sonics and sexually regressive lyrics gleefully convey a band that have declared themselves rock stars by fiat. Which is probably how the Sun King would have had it, anyway.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
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.

Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Louis XIV   Primary Artist
Andrew Shulman   Cello
Mark Maigaard   Drums
Lindsey Troy   Vocals
James Edwards Armbrust   Bass,Group Member
Jason Hill   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Brian Karscig   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Mark Anders Maigaard   Drums,Group Member
Clayton Bullock   Violin
Louis Caverly   Violin
Robert Arthur Dodds   Guitar
Michelle Negele   Viola
Frank Palumbo   Trumpet
Jimmy Armbrust   Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

Mark Maigaard   Composer
Jason Hill   Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
John Hofstetter   Artwork
Brian Karscig   Composer,String Arrangements
Sam Buffa   Collage

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The Best Little Secrets Are Kept 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The critics have innumerable darlings these days. All it takes is a Sex Pistols t-shirt and a guitar to be heralded as the next big thing. I don't know if Louis XIV are the next big thing, but they sound like The Kingsmen playing T. Rex songs, which surely OUGHT to be the next big thing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with the critics about the sexuality but it is a great rock and roll CD. After buying it randomly because i like "finding out true love is blind" i fell in love with it. This is a great CD if you dont get offended easily.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this music reminds anyone how beautifully mean and vulgar love can be...remember your first time, if it wasn't beautiful, it was fast, and it hurt, and it was with someone you didn't like, or someone you didn't like that much; or your fifth time, or hundredth time....everyone who loves casual sex (protected, of course) and isn't afraid of sexuality in general, get this CD, it's the best of its kind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've known the guys in Louis XIV for years, since they went under a different name. They are some of the most down-to-earth, friendly guys out there. Their CD is not meant to be taken seriously. It's supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and fun, and I think it really is. It's meant to be blasted from car windows and shimmied and shaken to. Their live act, if you are lucky enough to catch it, is AWESOME. Jason and Brian have so much fun up on stage. This is the perfect band for people who appreciate old fashioned rock-and-roll that does its own thing and leaves scream-emo in the dust.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just saw these guys in concert with the Killers and they kick butt! Their songs have a catchy beat and funny lyrics and they're such great performers. Their songs will have you humming them all day long, even if you've only heard it once.