Secret and Whisper - Teenage Fantasy


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Circa Survive
Lorene Drive

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1. Youth Cats
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

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Secret and Whisper formed from the ashes of Stutterfly and The Bleeding Alarm back in 2007 and released their debut, Great White Whale, shortly afterwards. The album turned heads and took many people by surprise; two years later, the band is back again in hopes of earning the same kind of positive recognition for their sophomore effort Teenage Fantasy.

First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room by noting that, yes, Secret and Whisper have completely ripped off Saosin’s style, from the dueling guitar leads, to the aggressive drumming, and even the high pitched vocals. That being said, they do a damn good job of mimicking a band that many others have tried to copy but ended up failing miserably doing so.

What makes Secret and Whisper stand out from the rest of the pack is the mastery of their instruments. The guitars are technical, with blazing fast melodies, but the slower, more melodic moments are just as memorable and well done. Percussion wise, Ryan Loerke is one of the more interesting rock drummers you’ll hear. He effortlessly ties together his impressive beats with even more impressive fills that successfully complement the guitars. Additionally, Jordan Chase’s bass lines aren’t groundbreaking, but they provide a nice, heavy filler while the rest of the band goes to town.

As the for the vocals, Charles Furney’s style is an acquired taste and will probably either make or break Teenage Fantasy for many people. It took a few listens to get used to Furney’s voice, mainly because he doesn’t really follow any of the guitar melodies and just does his own thing throughout the album. It’s a risky vocal approach that pays off sometimes, while falls flat at others. Overall, though, Furney makes it work and it’s hard to picture anyone else doing a better job singing over the music.

Teenage Fantasy has some stellar moments with standout tracks like “Warrior (Southern Arrowwood)” with its crushing choruses and “Famous for a Century” where Furney belts out his lyrics over infectious guitar melodies throughout the entire song. But for all the great moments, there are just as many where the album is lacking. In the opening track, “Youth Cats,” Furney sounds like he’s trying to catch up to the rest of the music throughout the song, which becomes disorienting at times. Also, the vocals are extremely grating on “Edge of Wilderness" to the point where the track is almost unlistenable. Moreover, the last few tracks aren’t nearly as strong as the earlier ones; it’s not that they’re horrible songs, but they basically use the same formula as the rest so it starts to get old as the album progresses.

Secret and Whisper have another winner on their hands with Teenage Fantasy. While some of the songs don’t live up to the band’s potential, there are plenty of other tracks that well exceed what the band has written in the past. Plus, the music and vocals create an interesting dynamic, so that alone merits giving this album a listen.

--Nicholas Fritz

Last updated: 04/29/2010 07:10AM


Rick Gebhardt
Age: 34

I really enjoy this band and like I've mentioned in the past, they do Saosin better than Saosin did on their last album.  I'm also glad to see the majority of the guys from Stutterfly still going strong in Secret and Whisper. 

One thing I think I disagree with you about a bit is in regards to the vocals. I think Furney is actually pretty stellar and don't really have any issues with his vocal performance.  I actually think, like you said, it's a perfect fit for the band.


Nicholas Fritz
Age: 32
Quakertown, PA

Yeah, I don't know, something about his voice doesn't sit well with me at times but I can't imagine it being easy to sing over this kind of music so overall, I think he's a solid singer. I wasn't expecting to like this album but it was a pleasant surprise.

Age: 33
Olympia, Washington

this album is much more of an artistic venture for them. you can tell that they're really starting to find their sound, which in my opinion isn't as much a saosin "rip-off" as it is a meshing of stutterfly and furney's vocal stylings. stutterfly were starting to write more accessible songs when they broke-up, and furney has always had great range as a vocalist. it will be interesting to see how they progress on future records.


I really enjoy this album.  When I first listened to it, it really didn't get me like Great White Whale did, but every time I listen to it, it just gets better and better to me.

Age: 33

I am enjoying this as well.  I still have yet to grab their first album, but I'm sure I would like that equally.  Solid review.
The drums are the standout for me; the guitar work isn't too shabby either...