Saturday, May 8, 2010

Review: Secret Smile "Hurry Up And Wait"

How did this CD from 2005 evade my radar? Connecticut's Secret Smile is a throwback to the heyday of 80s melodic rock - they sound like what Survivor might have been like had they fully embraced the hairband era. In other words, imagine songs written by Survivor's Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan performed by Faster Pussycat or White Lion. To hear a band like this today is a dream come true for AOR and hard rock fans.

Secret Smile has actually been around since the early 90s with their debut album "Anatomy" surfacing in 1994. But catchy rock with understandable lyrics and tasty harmony vocals stood no chance against grunge, so these guys flew well under the radar. Fortunately, they are persistent and have been quietly cranking out great stuff over the years.

Singer T.J. Gabriele sounds a lot like Mike Tramp (White Lion) - I also could have sworn I heard a little Ted Poley (Danger Danger) in his vocals at times, but that's because it IS Ted Poley! Poley contributes guest vocals on "Feels Like Forever To Me" and the band's revved up cover of the Fleetwood Mac hit, "Go Your Own Way".

There really isn't a sour track on "Hurry Up And Wait", but the best tracks to my ears include arena-ready rockers like "Tears In The Sky", "Runaway", "Here With You Tonight", and "When We Were Young". And don't miss the holiday bonus song buried as track 25 - a rockin' version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". You'll become a fan if you like Danger Danger, White Lion, or Enuff Z’ Nuff, but I also think you'll dig Secret Smile if you like early 90s Goo Goo Dolls.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 25

Secret Smile on MySpace.

Check out the video for "Runaway":

No comments: