Secret & Whisper - Teenage Fantasy

Album cover
Post-hardcore
Tooth & Nail Records
Secret & Whisper
Teenage Fantasy
Secret & Whisper - Teenage Fantasy Review rating:
3
User rating:
Average: 5 (3 votes)

Since switching from the standard sing-scream methods of their Stutterfly days, a brief stint on the Madonna-owned record label Maverick Records, a name-change, and relatively little publicity, the band Secret & Whisper decided to take a stab at a different approach. Their product Great White Whale (Tooth & Nail), was such a highly-regarded debut that, in fact, caused many to nickname them “The Better Saosin”. The guitars were like Burchell’s, but more cut-throat and cathartic, the drumming patterns were like Rodriguez’s, but more rhythmic and under-control, and their vocals were like a combination between Green and Reber. All the components were there, and the next swing of the bat is just about as much of a replica as you can get.

Teenage Fantasy is an album that unfortunately doesn’t offer anything fresh. As solid as the guitar work is; their debut served just about the same amount of creative leads. Lead-off track “Youth Cats” sounds literally like a continuation of Great White Whale. The collection of synths is just about the only addition since their highly-touted debut. Had this been the debut album, it may have been given just as much praise, but because this is the sophomore effort, there isn’t much else to say other than they really should have tried a little harder to bring something fresh to the table.

Although the album lacks originality, S&W is due for commendation on their excellent display of rhythm (please listen to “Warrior”) on Teenage Fantasy. Drummer Ryan Loerke is just about as good as they get. His style of percussion provides the back-bone, but also sets himself apart from the pack with his sporadic use of double-bass, and his impressive fillers. Also, a nod to the production by Andreas Magnusson is necessary. His use of providing atmospheric layers to the already stout instrumentation is brilliant. My only issue with him is that he didn’t encourage the band to spark any new creativity, but I suppose that’s the band’s responsibility, and not his. Lyrically, Ferney’s lack of cohesiveness and original story-telling is obvious. However, when listening to this album, the focus is more on his vocals along with the music, rather than the words he uses. His vocal range is not very wide, but he can hit those highs with the best of them.

If you’re new to Secret & Whisper’s music, then Teenage Fantasy would be a pleasant surprise, but for those who have listened to their debut, not much can be said except that the musicianship is equally remarkable, but it lacks the lyrical prowess of Great White Whale. However, this is certainly a solid effort, and is still better than anything Saosin will ever release again.

1. Youth CatsSince switching from the standard sing-scream methods of their Stutterfly days, a brief stint on the Madonna-owned record label Maverick Records, a name-change, and relatively little publicity, the band Secret & Whisper decided to take a stab at a different approach. Their product <em>Great White Whale</em> (Tooth & Nail), was such a highly-regarded debut that, in fact, caused many to nickname them “The Better Saosin”. The guitars were like Burchell’s, but more cut-throat and cathartic, the drumming patterns were like Rodriguez’s, but more rhythmic and under-control, and their vocals were like a combination between Green and Reber. All the components were there, and the next swing of the bat is just about as much of a replica as you can get. <em>Teenage Fantasy</em> is an album that unfortunately doesn’t offer anything fresh. As solid as the guitar work is; their debut served just about the same amount of creative leads. Lead-off track “Youth Cats” sounds literally like a continuation of <em>Great White Whale</em>. The collection of synths is just about the only addition since their highly-touted debut. Had this been the debut album, it may have been given just as much praise, but because this is the sophomore effort, there isn’t much else to say other than they really should have tried a little harder to bring something fresh to the table. Although the album lacks originality, S&W is due for commendation on their excellent display of rhythm (please listen to “Warrior”) on <em>Teenage Fantasy</em>. Drummer Ryan Loerke is just about as good as they get. His style of percussion provides the back-bone, but also sets himself apart from the pack with his sporadic use of double-bass, and his impressive fillers. Also, a nod to the production by Andreas Magnusson is necessary. His use of providing atmospheric layers to the already stout instrumentation is brilliant. My only issue with him is that he didn’t encourage the band to spark any new creativity, but I suppose that’s the band’s responsibility, and not his. Lyrically, Ferney’s lack of cohesiveness and original story-telling is obvious. However, when listening to this album, the focus is more on his vocals along with the music, rather than the words he uses. His vocal range is not very wide, but he can hit those highs with the best of them. If you’re new to Secret & Whisper’s music, then<em> Teenage Fantasy</em> would be a pleasant surprise, but for those who have listened to their debut, not much can be said except that the musicianship is equally remarkable, but it lacks the lyrical prowess of <em>Great White Whale</em>. However, this is certainly a solid effort, and is still better than anything Saosin will ever release again.
2. Warrior (Southern Arrowwood)
3. Bedroom Galaxy
4. Tiny Sparkle
5. Famous for a Century
6. Edge of Wilderness
7. Pretty Snarl
8. Star Blankets
9. Blush
10. Whale Bones
11. Silver Mountain
... read more

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