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JFH Music Review

Secret & Whisper, Teenage Fantasy

Secret & Whisper
Teenage Fantasy

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 11 tracks: 39 minutes, 2 seconds
Street Date: April 6, 2010

Secret and Whisper's debut release, Great White Whale, was a noticeably underrated and under-publicized gem of an album. For those of us regularly scanning the Christian market for new, original music, the band's unique sound and aggressive melodies were a pleasant surprise. This leads to Teenage Fantasy, the band's sophomore album and a continuation of the sound established on Great White Whale.

When Secret and Whisper first hit the scene, they were frequently described as a Christian version of the old Saosin. That similarity continues with Teenage Fantasy, as vocalist Charles Furney belts out some powerful and very high-pitched vocals. He rides a fine line between passionate and whiny, but manages to stay on the passionate side most of the time. The musical approach is still melodic hard rock with some post-hardcore influences, primarily seen in the heavier guitar work and jumpy double bass. This heavy foundation is paired nicely with rolling melodies that fit Furney's voice perfectly. At the same time, the lead guitars lay a meandering, somewhat atmospheric layer for the vocals to mesh with. These are all elements that prior listeners will already be familiar with from Great White Whale.

In fact, Teenage Fantasy is very similar to Great White Whale. The general ideas in the music have been carried over with some variation. This album is somewhat heavier, with stronger post-hardcore tinges, and is consequently less melodic. Most noticeably, it lacks a firebrand single like "XOXOXO," although "Famous For A Century" and "Star Blankets" make valiant attempts at filling that role. There certainly are tracks that are equally as heavy, but they are less catchy and not quite as energetic. At the same time, "Bedroom Galaxy" and "Youth Cats" are among the best we've heard from the band on either album. Fans of Great White Whale's often haunting melodies may be disappointed, while those who prefer the more random post-hardcore influences will find a lot to enjoy.

As a whole, Teenage Fantasy is not quite as memorable as Great White Whale was. It's a little less adventurous and consequently less powerful. As a result, it takes more time to grow on the listener. But in the end, it turns out to be a solid and enjoyable release, one that is sure to satisfy both old and new fans.

- Review date: 4/2/10, written by Timothy Estabrooks of

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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

Secret & Whisper, the hard rock alternative band from Canada, brings us the second chapter to Great White Whale. The first three songs are, without a doubt, the best songs that S&W have produced. The musical genius on this album emerges as being more impressive than the debut album. One will need the lyrics to fully understand the meaning of all the songs, as they are very complex. "Warrior" is one of the songs that has a more direct meaning as it talks about a warrior as the one who has no fear and the faith needed to overcome the darkness. The album creates an atmosphere that depicts a sort of dream world or another time period. This forte was implemented quite often with bands like Queensryche and more recently with Savior Machine. The lead singer has stated that the band is "really inspired by films." Charles has a unique vocal style that will have to be of an acquired taste, however, his vocals blend well for this type of hard rock music. The album seems like a Great White Whale: Part 2 since the music will sound like it's replicating some past material. Anyone who loved S&W's first album should immediately like Teenage Fantasy. Even though it's not a dramatic change from the last album, it's still a great follow-up album. - Wayne Myatt


. Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
. Album length: 11 tracks: 39 minutes, 2 seconds
. Street Date: April 6, 2010
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It:

  1. Youth Cats (3:37)
  2. Warrior (Southern Arrowwood) (3:53)
  3. Bedroom Galaxy (4:00)
  4. Tiny Sparkle (3:06)
  5. Famous For A Century (3:34)
  6. Edge of Wilderness (3:31)
  7. Pretty Snarl (1:07)
  8. Star Blankets (3:59)
  9. Blush (3:50)
  10. Whale Bones (4:09)
  11. Silver Mountain (4:22)



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