Secret And Whisper
Great White Whale



by Mikesn EMERITUS
May 17th, 2008 | 111 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Great White Whale sounds somewhat like Stutterfly, but luckily, the vocals have improved tenfold.

There's something about Secret and Whisper, and I can't quite place it. The music sometimes feels as though it's been heard somewhere else (Saosin comes to mind), and there are definitely more impressive bands. Yet somehow the Kelowna based band manages to get the job done. Forming in 2006 when vocalist Charles Furney replaced ex-Stutterfly frontman Chris Stickney, the band changed its name to Secret and Whisper to differentiate the sound which the new group hoped to perform from that heard on Stutterfly albums, And We Are The Bled of Color and Broken In Pieces. Ultimately, Secret and Whisper's debut album, Great White Whale, isn't all that different from the material recorded with Stutterfly, but it's rather clear that the band has improved in several areas.

In an almost complete 180 from Stutterfly, Great White Whale's greatest asset is vocalist Charles Furney. Where Furney's predecessor was on the generic, whiney side, Charles adds a dimension to the music that didn't exist before. Furney's falsetto, resembling the talents of Saosin singer Cove Reber and at times, Darron Sudderth of Fair to Midland fame, is the most distinct aspect of the band's sound. Though Furney doesn't really experiment with his singing and usually stays within his niche, his powerful range dictates the direction in which the song takes, particularly in cuts such as "Vanishings" or "XOXOXO". That Furney's wails largely dominate the mix mean that Great White Whale's sound that is somewhat solemn, yet strangely soothing all the same.

Musically, though the melodic, poppy songs like "Vanishings" and "Spider Besider" are highly enjoyable, the most impressive songs on Great White Whale are the slower, more emotive tracks. "Werewolves" starts off in with a soft piano passage, before morphing into an organic, intimate electronic section which brings Templar's "Here We Go" to mind (speaking of which, what ever happened to Templar"). The song is completely chill, and gives the album a relaxing change in pace from offerings like the upbeat "You Are Familiar" or the metallic "Attacker". "My Actress", Great White Whale's other token ballad, is also makes use of some of the electronic ambience of "Werewolves" sporadically, but is more of a straightforward listen, and would likely make a decent single. Lyrically, both songs are a little on the iffy side, particularly in the last verse of "The Actress", which reads "Just for one nigh / You are my only / Just for one night / I won’t be lonely / You are my life / Your star burns bright", but even though they don't top some of "Spider Besider"'s (especially the chorus - "Iachoku, Iachoku / I'm not as sweet as I've lead you") each song makes for a rather enjoyable listen.

Great White Whale was a rather pleasant surprise for me. Having never heard either Secret and Whisper or Stutterfly prior to the album, I wasn't sure what to expect. But the Kelowna quintet has definitely delivered an excellent album, which holds up to some of the other stalwarts of 2008. The majority of the album's songs are melodic, up tempo alternative rock cuts, and manage to express a sound that, while gloomy, remains uplifting all the same. And while the same can be said for a variety of artists mulling around lately, not too many are as tight, interesting or as fun to listen to as Secret and Whisper. Props for that, guys.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 4th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

This album was really good, I preferred the up tempo songs to the chill however. Also, who cares if the lyrics are retarded.

June 4th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Probably my favorite album of 2008 so far.

June 4th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Canadian quintet Secret and Whisper have achieved a nice balance of post-hardcore, alt-rock & something a bit heavier on their immaculately produced debut LP 'Great White Whale'. Rapid-fire drums & an intricate dual guitar attack impressively back Charles Furney's captivating vocals, which lend a sense of mystery & anticipation to some cryptic lyrics. Some slower & more ambient tracks are more hit & miss, but are well-placed to lend this consistent LP a sense of cohesion. If anything, the major concern with SaW is their likeness to Saosin. Recommended Tracks: XOXOXO, Attacker, Vanishings & Great White Whale.

September 26th 2008


This is one of those album's in the vein of Saosin's S/T. It may not have much screaming (there's like two instances in the background) but it just feels so gosh dang hard with the guitar work. The entire album just oozes awesomeness... and stutterfly sucked (that's why they made S&W instead). I have like five favorite songs on here. XOXOXO, You Are Familiar, Spider Besider, Lovers, Great White Whale. This is one of those albums that stays strong throughout. Not perfect but damn near close.

November 4th 2008


Album Rating: 2.5

i didnt dig this that much

it was a quick fix if anything, no lasting power

November 4th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

I deleted the whole thing except for Spider and XO

March 18th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

i love this album...but i agree, and lets face it, this album is nothing spectacular. it was great at making a first impression however. some of the songs on this record just meld together in a way that they don't stand out as well alone. and YES they sound a little unoriginal at times hahaha

but i think all these guys need to do is take the best aspects of their sound and explore it to its full potential. im still really looking foreward to their next album, cuz i think they have the potential to do way better.

March 26th 2009


this band sounds so much like saosin that when a friend played it for me without telling me who it was, i was convinced that it was in fact saosin. the singer needs to find his own identity

March 26th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Right, treos. The singer should have been born with a different voice.

Take it up with his genetics.

March 26th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5


March 27th 2009


wow waior you obviously don't get what i'm saying at all... i'm saying he needs to find his own original style rather than use someone elses... guess that was over your headThis Message Edited On 03.27.09

April 7th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

he doesn't sound like the Saosin singer at ALL, he's much too poppy. Furney sounds to me like a distressed wailing vocalist... it's very different and pretty epic.

I loved this album. I'm just going to go out on a limb and say it reminds me of Anberlin - mainly because of the high-pitched vocals.

April 7th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Treos, dude, that's what his voice sounds like. He can't get a new voice. Is that over your head, or will I have to repeat that over again?

And Sunshine, this is a better album then I give credit for. I actually like it a lot. It's just painfully unoriginal.

April 30th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

I like the guitars in XOXO.

May 6th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

Absoloutly awsome band! Who cares if the lyrics arnt all that long, the drumming, guitaring and everything else in this album is wicked! When my mate downloaded this, i went out and brought it, im supporting them all the way, XO, You are familiar, Anchors, god i might as well write them all down, all wicked songs. ROCK ON DUDES!!!

May 6th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

Also i dont know why you say they sound like stutterfly either, cuz in my opinion they sound completely new. Stutterfly was more, dunno if heavyer describes it, but the fact there is no screaming/roars/etc (except for Great white whale) changes lots. The guitaring is definatly not the same (Im a guitarist 2), drums also have a new sound to them too, but still going hard on the double-kick to my taste.

June 4th 2009


God.. xoxoxo is so damn catchy. :{

This song ruins my purely progressive music playlist. :o

September 3rd 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Obviously not Uhhkris, but yeah...I think I'm a bigger fan of Stutterfly. Still, XOXOXO is to Secret & Whisper as September or Bitter Taste is to Spoken (who I would recommend to anyone who enjoys this band).

September 19th 2009


end of "Great White Whale" gives me chills.

love the verses in "XOXOXO"

October 1st 2009


did not notice that anyone was talking to me
but uh
this is pretty good stuff
3.5 territory

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