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4.3 out of 5 stars16
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 11 January 2007
If there is one critisism of their last outing "Start From The Dark", it's that the album was very samey. This latest release, in my opinion, is their best to date. Each song has something to offer, and it grows with every listen. Unfortunately, because most of the public associate Europe with cheesy 80's pop rock, most people will never get to here this great CD which really is a shame, because if you listened to The final countdown and then Secret Society you'd find it hard to believe this is the same band. If you've never thought about buying a Europe album in your life, then now is the time to think again.
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on 2 February 2007
Their previous album start from the dark amazed me, it had really heavy tunes and their trademark melodies that seem to be rare these days. Suprisingly this album is better! It doesn't happen very often to buy an album that you can listen to from the begining by the time it ends. All the songs here have strong melodies, John Norum's guitar is super and the band is better than ever. Some people might ignore them, thinking they're pase (although it's a modern record), but you know usually ''trendy'' people are very narrow minded.. The rest of us can enjoy a great record written by one of the best hard rock bands ever. Buy it!
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on 16 November 2006
It does seem that Europe are forever travelling musically. Unfortunately Europe often get pigeon holed in their Final Countdown era and ridiculed for their 80's hair rock. But Europe always were and are more than just this. People often forget that they started out as a hard rock band and were musically very competent. In fact they still are and really do put to shame some of the so called musicians that manage to linger on the air waves.

This latest album is dark and introspective. Probably more so than their previous album, Start From the Dark. There is just a completely different vibe to this album. It definitely sounds like no other Europe album. If anything this album for me reminds of the eponymous titled album from Joey Tempest. They just seem to have similar production qualities and you can easily dismiss them upon a first listen. This album needs several complete listens to fully appreciate it. It really does grow then and often the best albums are like this.

The album opens with the title track, `Secret Society' and clearly sates its intent for the whole album. It simply rocks and takes no prisoners. This continues with the excellent track, `Always The Pretender'. A hard hitting chunky riff in the verse leading to a melodic chorus. I can't help but think though that the chorus has similarities to Bon Jovi's, `It's my Life', or even `Have a Nice Day'.

`Wish I could Believe' momentarily halts the ferocity of this album with the introspective and thoughtful musing. It is also probably the closest the album gets to a ballad. `Let The Children Play' then follows reminding you the band mean business with possibly the heaviest and nastiest guitar riff in a Europe album. This is a very good song with excellent guitar work that in my opinions is only let down by the inclusion of the children's choir in the middle of the song. I know they were trying to achieve a Pink Floyd kind of theme, but it just sounds a bit wrong and almost takes away from the aggressive guitar vibe.

One of the stand out tracks on this album for me is, `A Mother's Son'. It open with the melancholy minor arpeggiated piano theme. It does not take a great leap to realise that this is definitely inspired by System of a Down. Even the harmonies in the chorus hark back to a songs like, `Aerials'.

This song is then followed by the best track on the album, `Forever Travelling'. It almost has an ethereal feel in the verse with the uplifting chorus just taking you higher. Coupled with a guitar solo John Frusciante would be proud of. This song is just sheer class.

You can tell that the band has been inspired by other contemporary artist such as Cold Play (the guitar motif in `Brave and Beautiful Soul') and Audioslave (general big riffed guitar and bass parts). However, Europe are more than just a wanna be imitation band. They are clearly influenced, but make everything their own.

It really is hard to categories this album, because it is obviously a modern sounding album. I sometimes wonder whether the rest of the band have to hold John Norum's virtuoso guitar work back to stop things sounding too much like old school rock. That's not to say there isn't some magnificent guitar playing here though. I think the band are walking on a fine line between being modern and including classic Europe touches. Being an obvious Europe fan I find it hard to say whether this album can cut it with likes of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Audioslave. I feel this album is so close to Europe being at their best. If you are a fan of Europe you are going to be interested in this album. Although there no real out and out happy upbeats songs on this album. Like I mentioned earlier this album is definitely introspective. If you didn't like Europe in their Final Countdown Days, then you may be surprise by how much they have changed. They have an edge and are definitely mean business.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 November 2007
I was glad to find out that after such a strong comeback album with 'Start From The Dark', Europe were to release another one with 'Secret Society'.

Whilst I do prefer the previous, this is nevertheless another good release. The guys' new music is pointing in the right direction, and it is interesting to see Europe's music evolve, this is about as far away from the sound of 'The Final Countdown' as possible. I don't like the annoying but unfortunately hard to forget title track, but the radio friendly single 'Always The Pretenders' soon became a favourite of mine, and 'Devil Sings The Blues' provides an amazing climax to the album. Other great songs include 'A Mother's Son', with heartfelt lyrics, 'Let The Children Play', which could have become something of anthem had a single been released and radio stations played it, and the melodic 'Forever Traveling', with Joey Tempest's vocals as strong as ever.

If you are one of those people who might have have forgotten that Europe started out as a hard rock band, and ridicule their old image and hits during their commercial peak, this will surely come as a surprise.
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on 30 April 2008
I bought this album on a whim having enjoyed 'Final Countdown' and 'Rock the Night'and others (not Carrie) wanting to find out what the band were up to in 2006. I listened to this album and of course certain tracks grab you almost instantly like 'Always the Pretenders'.'The Getaway Plan' and 'Love is not the Enemy' are just great to play whilst driving or working. I read the other reviews regarding 'Let the Children Play'and having given this some thought, I think that the children's choir fits in okay, it's a bit Pink Floydish but it is only a brief part of the song and fits in just fine. We are now in 2008 and I have almost worn the CD out,it has really grown on me. I have now worked backwards through 'Start from the Dark' (another excellent album) and have discovered tracks such as 'Scream of Anger', 'In the Future to Come', 'Yesterday's News' etc which I had never heard before but now really love.
I went to see Europe live at Nalen in Stockholm in January (excellent live) and eagerly await their next album.
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on 2 November 2009
From the cover to title track this album suggests that Europe has experimented in a big way.

Start from the Dark showed their rough edge side. Secret Society changes that mood slightly. The message is still the same but the sound has change somewhat. The title track is completely different from anything out there and reminds me of Superstitious when it was released.

Some tracks are fantastic! Let the Children Play, Brave and Beautiful Soul and the best song on this album Forever Traveling are the pillars that support this album. I felt somewhat let down by the first single Always the Pretenders as this was probably the worst song on the CD. The getaway Plan also fails to impress but once you reach track 4 (Wish I could believe) things get a lot better. Although this is not their best album it certainly has enough for rock lovers to enjoy!
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on 29 November 2006
This latest offering from Europe is great and slightly better than their last, so many good tracks to name. John Norum expresses the guitar and is hot?...So many good tracks to name and well worthy of a buy....
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on 18 July 2014
Digging it big time! Listening to it now as I write this. Good production, classy vocals and guitar licks a plenty. This really is a solid effort. You can imagine yourself zooming through the countryside and back roads on a Friday night, hands thumping on the steering wheel. Looser and more creative than their last album (which was a 3.7/5 effort in my opinion), I would have to call this as their best post-reunion album. Okay, all four are in the 'very good' category. As I see it: 1. Secret Society, 2. Last Look at Eden, and equal pegging for Start from the Dark & Bag of Bones. Those in the know...know.
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on 13 November 2006
Europe are back with a bang!

This is the album we've all been waiting for from Europe, every track is a winner. This album is more catchy than anything they have ever done, and is easily streets ahead of any of the current contemporary bands.

Europe have re-invented themselves in the best possible way and have left this pair of ears very happy indeed.

I'd highly recommend to any Europe fans, obviously, and particularly to any new or old rock fans who are after some hard edged melodic rock.

Bold, raw and vibrant....GREAT STUFF!
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on 5 October 2006
This album is Europe on top form with great tracks such as the first single "Always the pretenders",which will soon turn into favorite at the concerts for the fans."Devil sings the blues" should also turn into a crowd pleaser at the shows and "Let the Children Play" with touches of Pink Floyd in the chorus,will please the fans.

"A Mothers Son" a track that will please the Ballad lovers and "Forever Travelling" is a great track that reminds me of travelling many miles following the band and another track that needs a mention is "Love is not the enemy" which would fit in well with tracks in the past like "Let the good times rock". If you are not sure whether to buy,buy it you won't be disappointed.If you're a fan you will be buying this and playing it LOUD non stop.ROCK ON EUROPE!!!!!
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