Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fruupp Seven Secrets album cover
3.47 | 153 ratings | 14 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

Buy FRUUPP Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Faced with Shekinah (8:23)
2. Wise as Wisdom (7:07)
3. White Eyes (7:16)
4. Garden Lady (9:00)
5. Three Spires (5:00)
6. Elizabeth (7:45)
7. The Seventh Secret (1:08)

Total Time 45:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Vincent McCusker / acoustic & electric guitars, vocals
- Stephen Houston / keyboards, oboe, vocals
- Peter Farrelly / bass, lead vocals
- Martin Foye / drums & percussion

- David Lewis / piano (5), producer
- Michael Rennie / strings conductor

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Farrelly

LP Dawn ‎- DNLS 3058 (1974, UK)

CD Dawn ‎- TECP 25473 (1990, Japan)
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC2102 (2009, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy FRUUPP Seven Secrets Music

FRUUPP Seven Secrets ratings distribution

(153 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

FRUUPP Seven Secrets reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars The third Fruupp album (on the now-collectable Dawn label) actually confirmed all the good thought after their two albums, but did not capitalize enough on them, either- except for the artwork done by bassist Farrely (as he had done the debut artwork too). Seven Secrets (seven tracks, get it ;-) is not only very marginally better than Future Legends from the proghead's viewpoint.

From the seven of those secrets, Wisdom seems to be clearly the one that will rise to rumour and clearly this is the most brilliant track on the album, even if it sounds like it's been done before. Garden Lady is also a higher than average Fruupp track, with its delicate middle section and good guitar solo. Again Farrelly's vocals are a good fit to the music it serves, but a far cry from the "tenors" of prog.

I think one of the weaknesses is that the main songwriter was guitarist McCusker, and that keyboardist Houston was all too often relegated to arranging the tracks. Once Houston starts writing - the opener Shekipah and its medieval feel and the instrumental Elizabeth - you can feel quite a difference. One filler on the album though: the title track, which while completely forgettable, but unfortunately cannot achieve it for its own good.

Not any worse than the average Fruupp album, this third album will see keyboardist Houston leave the group (not given enough space to write?) and will be replaced by Mason and for the winds by Ian McDonald. Good if you are into a soft symphonic prog sound inspired of Genesis but more comparable to BJH or Curved Air, but hardly essential.

Review by lor68
3 stars Similar to their previous album, but this is their first step ahead in the direction of such symphonic pastoral progressive (in the vein of bands such as SAGRADO CORACAO DA TERRA) and a true personal imprinting by FRUUPP.

Recommended, even though it is not their best one...!

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It always goes just a little wrong for Fruupp. The second album Seven Secrets gets off to a fantastic start with Wise And Wisdom which has slow epic sections, darting folky runs, Gothic vocals and a dash or two of jazz, and I'm also inordinately fond of the delicious piano/strings intro to the stately Elizabeth, but by and large the album flounders under the weight of aimless "precious/twee" compositions.

This mushy/lightweight brand of prog starts early into White Eyes, which is aimless tosh, and continues with the tragically uneven Garden Lady, which is equal parts quality atmospheric prog and forgettable pop. It gets almost unbearable during the intro to Three Spires which is well played parlour music that interests me not a jot. Thankfully the main song is more in the vein of what Barclay James Harvest tend to offer, but sadly, the depths of "twee-dom" are really ploughed on the minute long outro track The Seventh Secret which is little more than a cheesy feel-good poem!

The trend of meandering compositions that lack any true kick seemed to dog Fruupp from this point on, placing them comfortably among the most frustrating prog bands I've ever listened to. With the possible exception of the debut Future Legends, I tend to come to their albums expecting to discover a little more, and leave empty-handed. It's a good thing that Wise As Wisdom and Elizabeth are real career highlights, otherwise I might never remember to return to this record. ... 50% on the MPV scale

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Once upon a time, i was in a music store, and the seller recommende this album to me, he said that it`s something like progressive folk, then i said, well, why not?, so after all i bought it and i dont regret of it.

And im sure it was a nice purchase, the album has some Irish - Flokish influenced sound, with a great organ on the most of the songs, and a very special use of the Oboe. In relation with other folkish albums, maybe this is not so good, i think it doesnt have a true creative sound, but im pretty sure that this album could be a great addition for prog lovers, specially prog -folk lovers,despite Frupp is a symphonic band, this album has a lot of folkish passages, like a short tale of a town in Ireland , the songs are soft in the most of the time, the voice maybe reminds you Andy Latimer`s voice, i think is quite similar.

All tracks are good, my favorite is Garden Lady , a 9 minute song which starts with a harder sound than the other ones, but suddenly a dramatic change (all of us already know that one of the beautys of prog rock is the dramatic change in the songs), here a couple of minutes of only keys and guitars in perfect time , then some good bass lines and a great drums rythm. If you`re looking something "new" in your tastes, i mean, something innovative and creative , this is the wrong album, because here we can immediately remind another albums, but maybe you only want to know another band or album, and for that reason i recommend this album to you, because i like it so much, every time i listen to i have a good time, and despite the other reviews i think this is a good album with a nice sound. This could be a good addition for you.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars "Fruupp" (what a weird name !) released a good debut album and this one had to confirm if the band would equal their debut work or not. If I should answer this question after the opening number, the answer would be : no.

This long and jazzy / folkish instrumental opening part is nothing from the other world. "Faced with Shekinah" only starts to be interesting towards the last three minutes while displaying a fully "Trespass-esque" mood. Since I am so in love with this album I was just deeply attracted.

The jazzy orientation is as obvious during most of "Wise As Wisdom". I am really missing their great and pure symphonic prog of their debut. In such a short period of time (a matter of months), their sound is quite different. So far. And this mood is fully on board again during the final part of "White Eyes". Tranquil jazz music. Not what I had expected from the band after their beautiful symphonic "Future Legends".

"Garden Lady" does not really break with the jazz genre either; but at least Vincent McKusker will release a great guitar solo. Nonetheless, this nine minute song is not essential, to say the least. Soporific for most of it.

The same lethargic feeling prevails during the folkish "Three Spires". They should have titled it "Uninspires". Dull, dull, dull. And "Elizabeth" is just on par. A medieval start and a boring and mellowish vocal part. This is real bad. Nothing to do with their brilliant symphonic music I was waiting for. Gosh ! what happened ???

This album should have been titled "Six Secrets" since the closing track (the seventh one) only lasts for sixty-eight seconds. Useless.

This album would better sit in the jazz section. Not for me. It is a MAJOR disapointment. I don't like it AT ALL. Two stars. But I wonder why I rate it so high.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Devoid of oomph

The hope for Fruupp's second album "Seven secrets" was that it would see the band consolidating their fine debut, while making significant strides forward in the composition and production departments. On the plus side, the prog aspirations remain very much in situ, with six of the eight tracks running to over 7 minutes each. On the down side, in general terms "Seven secrets" not only fails to match "Future legends", but is in relative terms a disappointment.

The early Genesis influences are still very much in evidence, with tracks such as "Wise as wisdom" featuring a familiar staccato organ sound. The track though comes across as rather disjointed, wandering haphazardly between styles and sounds. Likewise, despite its length, "White eyes" has the feel of an under-developed piece, which even drifts into a lounge type shuffle at one point.

I think the main problem I have with the album is that is comes across as rather soft. Both the vocals and the instrumentation lack clarity and definition, the overall smoothness of the sound being disappointing. A little more oomph here and there, and this could have been a far more exciting experience.

Despite the guitar and keyboard breaks, even the 9 minute "Garden lady" veers close to the ambient, the impression being given that the tracks are padded due to a lack of material, rather than being long because the band has much to say.

It is only when we get to the penultimate track that we finally come across something with a bit of spirit. "Elizabeth" has a decidedly Elizabethan feel, although the burst of energy at the start of the track soon diminishes and the track settles down into the familiar downbeat mood.

With albums such as this, I run the risk over being over-critical. There is no doubt that this is a pleasant listen, and the album is certainly inoffensive. The lack of enthusiasm and inspiration though is apparent throughout, leaving an overall feeling of disappointment.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Seven Secrets is the second studio album from Irish symphonic prog rock act Fruupp. Their debut was a pleasant and pretty good symphonic prog album, but I was never really excited about it and my overall impression with the album is that itīs pretty average for the genre. My impression with Seven Secrets is just about the same.

The music on Seven Secrets is very inspired by the big symphonic prog bands from the seventies and I think I hear a bit of Yes, ELP and lots of Genesis in Fruuppīs sound on Seven Secrets. I love this kind of music, but the problem with this genre, as it is with most genres, is that there are only a few excellent leaders and way too many imitators. Iīll say that Fruupp is an imitator. Itīs not that their music is a Genesis clone or anything like that, but their sound is just not very personal. Letīs put it this way: When I listen to the music on Seven Secrets Iīm not instantly reminded that itīs Fruupp Iīm listening to. It could be just about any other seventies symphonic prog band playing.

The songs are generally very melodic and at times very classical music influenced ( listen to the beginning of Elizabeth). The vocals are not very exciting and doesnīt bring much to the music and I much prefer the instrumental parts. Wise as wisdom is my favorite with itīs mellow mood.

The musicianship is good, but again I have to point out that the vocals are not that well done and the vocal melodies are average at best. Fortunately the instrumental sections are worth investigating.

The production isnīt the best or most intriguing. The sound is average as the rest of the music.

I realize that my review hasnīt sounded very positive and I actually didnīt mean to sound this negative, because Seven Secrets is a good album, it just never reaches excellent in my book and therefore it deserves a 3 star rating. I liked the debut just a little more.

Review by baz91
5 stars As a seasoned reviewer of progressive music, one can become rather cynical, noticing the bad stuff rather than the good stuff, and longing for something fresh. So when listening to Fruupp's second album, 'Seven Secrets', gave this reviewer the feeling that he was listening to prog for the first time all over again, I knew this was something special. I had not been excited like this about an album in months, and there was something deeply satisfying about this album that kept me coming back for more.

It's amazing to think that buying this album in the first place was a complete fluke. I'd walked into a quirky independent record shop in Leeds, and was browsing the CDs when I saw this album. I had only heard of Fruupp through their entry on the recent 'Wondrous Stories: A Complete Introduction to Progressive Rock' compilation. The track this compilation chose to use is in fact The Seventh Secret, the final track from this album, which is no more than a whimsical poem sung over an acoustic guitar - hardly a good introduction to Fruupp. The name rang a bell, so I decided to pick it up, since I couldn't find anything more interesting in the store. What a surprise I was in for! (As a side note, the owner also pointed out the presence of the band's third album 'The Prince of Heaven's Eyes', which I picked up too.)

Knowing that the group were Irish, and given the album covers I had seen, I expected this album to be quite a low-key folky endeavour, with little lasting appeal. To my great fortune, I was utterly wrong. The songs on here are unashamedly progressive, with a sense of freshness and originality that brings a smile to my face. Discounting the final track, the songs on here are all of medium length, averaging 7― minutes each, allowing each track to breathe, and run its course. Each track is unique, intimate, special, fascinating and, more often than not, adventurous, properties that fans of Gentle Giant could easily relate to. As a result, I shall give a brief review of each track.

For my money, the album opener Faced With Shekinah is the best track on the album. It's certainly the most symphonic and exciting, with frequently changing time signatures and themes. The song is peppered with excerpts from classic pieces including Purcell's Rondeau from the 'Abdelazer' suite, which provides a dramatic coda to the song. There are just two verses to this song, but the lyrics are sung at breakneck speed and with a sense of emotion and urgency. All in all, this is an adrenaline fuelled start to a wonderful album.

Naturally, the second track Wise as Wisdom starts in a very laid-back way. However, this is an ever-evolving song, in the style of Camel (indeed the guitar solo at 5:11 reminds me of Andy Latimer). There is a very brief verse, which prevents the song from being dismissed as an instrumental. There is a fair amount of repetition in this song, but for every duff moment there is an abundance of brilliance around the corner. We hear Fruupp play with their ideas on this beautifully crafted track.

White Eyes is yet another solid track. After a 1― minute quiet introduction, there are a couple of verses that are very reminiscent of the classic Pink Floyd singing style. After a few more fantasy-tinged verses the song begins to wind down in a lovely mellow way. The riff heard between 4:34 and 6:06 is simply divine, and is great for relaxing to. This is the most light-hearted track on the album, and not too distant from the style the band would take on their next album.

At just over 9 minutes, Garden Lady is the longest track on the record. The structure of the song is a particular favourite of mine: a brief lyrical section followed by a mammoth instrumental (here lasting over 6― minutes!) and topped off with another lyrical section mirroring the first, like By-Tor and the Snow Dog, and Firth of Fifth. The lyrical section here is quite fast paced, and contrasts with the spacy atmospheric instrumental. This instrumental is certainly not dull, and includes more Camel-esque guitar work from the incredibly talented Vincent McCusker. Towards the end of the instrumental, the music begins to pick up pace, in order to catch up with the lyrical section, and one can't help but feel that the band's use of dynamics and tempo changes are genius. A truly rewarding song.

Following the longest track is the shortest; at a mere 5 minutes, Three Spires is an acoustic folky affair. This track is relatively light in terms of prog, but full of emotion. The song will be best remembered for the beautiful outro, which lasts nearly half the track's length and consists of the chorus being repeated over and over. Despite the repitition, the beauty carries the listener through right to the end. I can't say that this is a brilliant track, but it's certainly worthy of this album.

The band once again show their classical influences on the final proper track, Elizabeth. With an introduction that mirrors Händel's Arrival of the Queen Of Sheba, the classical feel continues throughout the song via the sound of string instruments. To this one-time Dream Theater fan, there is a progression of descending notes that reminds me of Vacant. This song is certainly progressive, but out of the many great tracks on this album, this is the weakest. It's certainly not a bad track, but the middle section seems repetitive and drawn-out. The instrumental towards the end is more interesting and leads the song out with style.

The final track, titled The Seventh Secret, is nothing more than a fey poem recited in a peculiar accent over an acoustic guitar. Given the style and class of the rest of the album, this track seems right out of place, and the liner notes suggest that this song was tacked on during the recording to bring the total number of tracks up to seven (after all, 'Six Secrets' doesn't sound quite as good as 'Seven' does it?) With such a brilliant album already in the bag, I could have forgiven these guys if they'd let off a series of farts to conclude the album. I wouldn't have this ending any other way!

When I first picked up this album, I had no idea it could have given me so much joy. The music here is sublime and interesting, and everything a prog fan could want. Fruupp are certainly one (or maybe seven) of prog's best kept secrets!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My impressions of this album, having previously immersed myself into the band's debut album, "Future Legends," is that this one is much more focused, more mature, more polished, much more evenly recorded, more band-like, and, yes, more GENESIS-like. It is also very happy, upbeat. (It's like to know what they were taking during this era of their composing/recording). Liking the folk medieval side of GENESIS and ANTHONY PHILLIPS, this album works much better for me than "Future Legends." Start to finish, this is just one notch better--and just under "Trespass" or "Geese and the Ghost." I am so happy to have this in my collection! IMHO, this is a really solid album with a very special feel to it. I would highly recommend this to any lover of HARMONIUM's "Si on avait besoin d'une cinquieme saison" or Ant's "Geese."
Review by Warthur
4 stars Fruupp went into the studio with six songs prepared, but decided to call the album Seven Secrets because that sounded more mystical - The Seventh Secret, the final track which was tossed together in the studio, is a stupid throwaway filler track involving aimless guitar noodling and narration in a goofy fake "old man" voice; the only nice thing I can say about it is that it lasts for barely over a minute and then is, thankfully, over.

Fortunately, it seems that not only were the band short of seven songs, but the six songs they had were pretty decent. This is an album which took a good long while to grow on me - and indeed it was only when I heard the remastered Esoteric version that I came around to it, early CD versions having a somewhat unflattering mix.

Perhaps part of the problem was that guitarist Vincent McCusker, who was such a presence on the debut, seems to have stepped back a little to give the other musicians more of the spotlight this time around - which means that those expecting a continuation of the debut's sound would be disappointed. In addition, Fruupp's compositional process doesn't seem to have come on much since the debut, and often ends up with the band noodling in one particular musical mode or another. The nadir of this is probably towards the end of White Eyes, in which the band end up just playing smooth cocktail jazz for an extended period of time.

Still, on the whole a very solid album which, after hearing the excellent remaster, I'd put a half-notch below Future Legends.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Two months of intense gigging was the aftermath of ''Future legends'' for Fruupp, which ended on November 29th 1973 with a memorable concert in Belfast with the Ulster Youth Orchestra.At the beginning of 1974 the group returned to the Escape Studios in Kent to record the follow-up of their debut.With six basic cores already written and another working song appearing in the process, the album was entitled ''Seven secrets'' and it was ready after two months of recordings.Its official release date by Dawn was scheduled on April 19th.

The result was another well-crafted album of a Symphonic Rock approach and Fruupp sound more or less like a less raw BEGGARS OPERA version.Its basic characteristic remain the Classical arrangements and the good melodies next to the usual rockin' textures.The keyboards of Stephen Houston are again the driving force, mostly his ethereal Hammond organ, which drives the rest of the group to mellow but really strong orchestrations.Some beautiful melodic lines played on harpsichord and piano are also contained in Houston's armour.The vocals remain senstive and warm with plenty of polyphonic choirs, while the guitar work McCusker is rather supporting, still quite competitive with interesting STEVE HACKETT vibes.At this point though originality starts being an issue, as influences by the early-70's British Prog movement are all over the place.The music though appears pleasant and enjoyable all the way with the group taking care of proceeding in long compositions with multiple variations, even if these are quite smooth and lack a high amount of energy.

No question, this is a decent purchase candidate for all fans of 70's Classic Prog.Delicate, elegant and well-executed.Recommended.

Review by Matti
3 stars Some reviewers consider the second album by this Genesis-influenced Irish band a disappontment after the debut Future Legends (1973). I'm not quite sure where I stand. It is pleasant in its hurriless, pastoral approach, but admittedly it's quite uneven and feels lame here and there. In my opinion the band strongly improved on their next two albums, both in songwriting and in production. My favourite Modern Masquerades (1975) was excellently produced by ex-Crimson Ian McDonald.

The fascinating cover art for Seven Secrets was again done by vocalist-bassist Peter Farrelly. The 8―-minute opener 'Faced With Shekinah' I am now listening for the first time, from YouTube; I have the rest on the 2-cd compilation It's All Up Now, as it contains all four albums nearly completely. The long instrumental intro with a brief citation from Händel (if I remember right) isn't very convincing, but the song turns out to be surprisingly powerful and close to the style of the debut. Someone mentioned Trespass (1970) by Genesis. Think of the songs 'Looking for Someone' or 'The Knife'. 'Wise As Wisdom' has some atmospheric vocal harmonies amidst instrumental-oriented prog. There's some boring repetition too in the playing; with just a couple of minutes shorter it would be a great track.

'White Eyes' is pretty mellow, otherwise nice but the instrumental final section repeating the same laid-back theme for a couple of minutes gets boring, as if the band had suddenly totally lost direction but they had to reach seven minutes anyway. 'Garden Lady' (the B side opener on a vinyl) is a highlight, and it features a fine electric guitar solo from Vincent McCusker. However, some editing would have done good for this 9-minute composition too, to avoid a sense of aimless wandering at times. 'Three Spires' is a serene, folky acoustic song featuring a nice string arrangement especially at the beginning. I like this emotional song!

The album is mostly composed by McCusker. Keyboardist Stephen Houston is credited for 'Elizabeth' that kicks off with a very lively string section. A nice, classically flavoured song, but as the album in general, not entirely free of dull wandering here and there. The little acoustic end piece, 'The Seventh Secret', is marred by the irritatingly phoney old man's narration. This interesting album of pastoral prog has so many weak spots and a rather weak production that I can't rate it higher than three stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Fruup made a sonic leap forward on their second album. Abandoning the early 70's hard rock/psychedelic elements and opening up to a more contemporary progressive and ambitious sound, I welcome this step. Keyboards are more present and introducing synths/moog rather than just variations of organ. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2985455) | Posted by sgtpepper | Wednesday, January 24, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In my humble view, Seven Secrets is a big step in the right direction from the debut album. The opening ten minutes moves Fruupp some miles in the direction of the territory occupied by ELP and those classic music inspired bands. Johan Sebastian Bach and Joseph Haydn looms large in that lan ... (read more)

Report this review (#244740) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, October 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of FRUUPP "Seven Secrets"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.