No Secrets: No Secrets Album Review

No Secrets: No Secrets Album Review

NoSecretsAlbum

Top 3 Tracks: That’s What Girls Do, Kids in America, What Are You Waiting For?

Score: 50/100

That’s What Girls Do: 8/10

One of the more fun songs on the album. It’s a sugary-sweet pop song that uses every 2000 teen pop trick in the book in its production. It can feel rather generic and predictable, but it is quite fun to sing along to. It paints the band as first and foremost, a group of friends, which is an important image to convey in a girl pop group. While I do wish they had branched out with less atypical stereotypes of girls, the track is a fun sleepover song for tweens.

On the Floor: 4/10

I like the R&B-lite flavor the track has, but it offers little else. The range of the melody is limiting to the girls who, over the course of the album, show that they can carry a note. The lyrics are bland and forgettable, and it feels like the girls are sleepily singing the chorus. The faux rapping on the bridge doesn’t help any either as it comes across as forced. The track doesn’t stand out on the album or as a party jam.

Skin Deep: 7/10

Sweet little bubblegum pop ballad that feels girly and feminine. It has a good message for pre-teen girls, that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and being able to tell a boy that. Their voices blend well and sound good on the track, but I could do without the creepy whispering at the beginning.

Kids in America: 7/10

I think fans of the original will think that No Secrets completely ruined this song, which is fair. They’ve updated the 80’s tune with all the fixings of the new millenium, complete with slick production and effects. For me, I think it’s pretty good. It’s danceable, fun, and energetic and a great kids anthem.

It’s Alright: 5/10

I would have given this sweet and simple track more points, but it gets bogged down by another odd rapping interlude that has even odder lyrics: “I feel love I depend on/Anyway, I see a sun ray/What you see, smile made of day-glow/Never walk never turn around.” It’s terrible writing and a really weird rhyme scheme. The song comes across as silly and rather boring.

I’ll Remember You: 7/10

This fan favorite is a sweet, simple piano ballad. Their voices sound great on it, especially as it reaches that key change in the last half of the song. It does come off as predictable and overly simplistic.

Here I Am: 7/10

This track is about the girls’ quest for stardom — each wanted to be pop singers since they were little. It’s a nice message about following your dreams, though it does get a little iffy with lyrics like “You can be just like the girls on TV.” But the chorus is catchy and it’s all laid over a sugar-sweet pop beat.

Hot: 3/10

Easily the worst on the album, mostly because it sounds so incredibly forced and unnatural. There’s the talking at the beginning, trying to paint the girls as tough girls who “like the thugs” and “holla.” Keep in mind, these girls are between the ages of 14-16. Some of them can barely drive. The material in the song is a little too mature for their ages and voices to come off as convincing, especially when they name-drop NSYNC (who are only months from breaking up) and JLO. I don’t like the melody in the chorus, the rhyme scheme feels a little off, and the lead singer’s voice can get a little grating. And so many points off for saying “Dance Break” before a dance break.

I Know What I Want: 7/10

I like the beginning and overall instrumental of the song. The vocals and lead singer sound much better on this track, though it has its irksome spots. The “ba da da ba ba” lead-in into the chorus is a little cheesy. At first, I liked the song because of its abrasiveness and the fact that the girls are being up front about what they want. But when you dig into the lyrics, you see they’re actually being more passive. “When are you going to ask me out?” the girls rant, understandably frustrated. The better question is “Why don’t you ask him out?” I would have liked it more if, lyrically, the girls took control instead of waiting around for the guy. Also, the song never reaches the height that it could have — each chorus is the same with no vocal differences. It would have helped to have the lead do some vocalizing over the last few choruses.

What Are You Waiting For? 8/10

It has the same problem lyrically as the previous track — girls being passive waiting for guys to notice them. At least this one doesn’t try to hide behind an aggressive exterior. Some of the lyrics are pretty silly — “Now here’s a clue/Her favorite color’s blue/That’s how she’ll feel if she can’t be with you.” Despite its faults, I really enjoy this song. It has that anthemic chorus and I love the buildup to the last half of the song. It’s catchy and the melody and the beat are really fun.

No Secrets: 6/10 – Let’s get this out of the way:

It’s an ok track. It uses a storytelling form of lyricism to tell about a girl who cheats on her boyfriend (at least I think she does. At least kisses him. The lyrics are intentionally vague about it.) Then she wants to be forgiven for her mistake. It invokes a lot of religious imagery, making the song a little over dramatic and even dark, making it stand out more on the album.

Comes Back 6/10

You get pretty conflicting messages when you go from the previous track to this one. Where “No Secrets” was about seeking forgiveness and redemption, “Comes Back” is all about cutting that ho who talked behind your back. I like that the song is sassy, but again it does come off as silly as the girls try to be really tough with phrases like “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” They also almost say ass.

Conclusion:

I remembered liking the girls of No Secrets back when they debuted. Listening to them now, their album does feel horribly dated. Their songs and appeal are mostly directed at a pre-teen audience and they’re good role models. At this point in the decade, teen pop stars like Britney and Christina had already morphed into their more sexual images. No Secrets combines the Britney-style beats with a more wholesome image that girls their age can latch onto. The album is pure sugary pop sweetness so there’s nothing of any real substance on it, but some songs are catchy and nice to sing along to. The girls are pretty decent singers too and they harmonize well on the tracks, but none of them really have distinct voices. What’s disappointing is that there’s really no individual personality to any of them that’s prevalent on the record, and songs that try to evoke attitude come off as forced, contrived and unnatural. As a group, they really didn’t have much to make them stand out among the other teen pop stars of the era. Good record to buy for your thirteen-year-old, but anyone older than that will not take them seriously.

Nickelodeon "Kids' Choice Awards"

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