JOHN MARTYN Well Kept Secret (Duke): From his early days as a folk strummer to the jazz-inspired, synthesized ramblings in which he has been dabbling of late, commercial success has eluded this British guitar whiz/ vocalist. On Well Kept Secret Martyn makes several major commercial concessions. Half the time, when the tunes reek of calculated commercial appeal, Martyn's strengths, a gruff, grumbling voice and a guitar-style that manages to be both spare and seductive, work against him. But when he stays true to his own dark, spacey musical inclinations, the songs reverberate with power and style.
This review was part of a column by 'Steven X. Rea' in the Philadelphia Inquirer of Sunday, 12 December 1982.