The Critics Corner | Albums

Stages Brooklyn foursome craft solidly fun and poppy self-titled debut album
Olly Murs
Album name: Secret Someones
Label:  Cherrytree/Interscope
Release Date: October 2, 2015
Rating: -- 3.5 out of 5

Review written by: Maura Harwood
Secret Someones is a New York-based alt-rock band composed of singer/songwriters Bess Rogers, Hannah Winkler, Lelia Broussard and multi-instrumentalist Zach Jones. I actually had the chance to sit down with them last fall in New York City and chat about their newly released EP I Won’t Follow. I can promise you that they are some of the loveliest people you will ever meet, in addition to being absurdly talented.

Therefore, when I heard they were releasing their debut self-titled album, I was more than excited. Following a great EP, this album is an exciting and fun debut for the band.

The album starts with “I Won’t Follow,” the title track from their last EP. It is an edgy and fun song that I think really sums up the band’s personality and Secret Someones as a whole. It is the perfect introduction to the band and to a great album. It is one of my favorites (it’s a great break-up anthem too!)

Fans may also recognize “Chase Your Shadow” from the EP. I’m not sure if it was intentional or if it was just the way my brain works, but the album as a whole brought me back to the late 90s-early 2000s. Many of the songs have that sort of vibe to it, especially “Chase Your Shadow.” Though the song closes out the album, it’s a fantastic addition and a great song in general.

Another one of my favorites is “Quit Pulling Me Down.” It’s another anthem-like song, featuring a driving beat and fierce guitar. It’s in the same vein as “I Won’t Follow,” not submitting to another person in a relationship and letting them walk all over you and your happiness. Wise words.

“Let You Go” is a classic pop tune and again, is reminiscent of the late 90s-early 2000s songs that I grew up loving.  It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am a sucker for simple pop songs and “Let You Go” is exactly that. “Heartbreaker” has an extremely similar vibe to it. I really love this song as well.

“Hey Hey Honey” should empower anyone who listens to it. “No one’s perfect all the time/but honey, you’re doing fine.” The lyrics preach self-acceptance and it’s a great message that everyone needs to hear. It’s a bit cheesy but it gets the job done.

One of the only songs I didn’t love on the album was “Headfirst.” The verses are sort of robotic (which may be intentional!) but it didn’t do much for me. It was sort of a departure from the other more exciting songs on the album. Same goes for “Only One I Want.” Though there was nothing particularly wrong with the song, it simply wasn’t memorable for me.

The album was produced by Chris Kuffner, who has also worked on Ingrid Michaelson’s albums in the past (and Secret Someones has toured with Ingrid as well!) The same pop influence that is evident in Michaelson’s newer albums is also evident in this album. “Surrender,” in particular, reminded me of Ingrid Michaelson’s music. It has the alt-pop vibe that I’ve come to expect from this band and I absolutely love it. “Dead Weight” also had that fierce style that I’ve seen from Ingrid Michaelson before. The song is fast and funky, one of the more interesting songs on the album.

All in all, the album is a fantastic debut from Secret Someones. There are moments when the album can get a little repetitive and the lyrics may not be the most in-depth lyrics in the world, but the album is fun, poppy and enjoyable to listen to. I look forward to more from this band!
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