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This album was reviewed by five members of
RARB. In this compilation, their comments are
always listed in a consistent order. Thus, for each song (and in the
"overall" section), all comments numbered "1" are from the same
reviewer, as are those numbered "2", etc.
There are two dud tracks on this disk, but with a generous 20
tracks total, who cares? They are more than made up for by a touching
"Superman Song," the amazing harmonies of
"I Believe," and the simple, doo wop-esque
"I Should Have Told Her." When you add in a
reworking of "Sweet Child Of Mine" as a ballad and
the emotional "They Won't Go Where I Go" — forget it!
You'll be able to recommend this to friends without a second thought.
Rating: 8 (6.9)
The first thing that strikes me about this group is the
bass section. Wow. They lay the groundwork for almost
every song. The tones are rich and deep, and consistent.
As for the group as a whole, they have a good sound as a
large co-ed group, and they have got some really great
voices, but have some occasional blend problems. Generally,
however, they work well together, and the album is tight
for the most part. Overall, this is a solid album to have
in your collection, if you like their choice of songs.
Rating: 6 (6.3)
This is the most frustrating album I've reviewed so far. All
of the soloists are very capable, they have a varied
repertoire, they have clever and creative arrangers, but they
just didn't seem to take the time to get their ensemble work
down. It feels like a collection of talented singers who just
haven't figured out how to sing together. There are a few
tracks where they actually seem to gel ("Just Like
You" and "Wanna Be Starting Something")
but almost all the tracks have either glaring problems or just
an all-around unstable feel to them.
I'd be very curious to see what the day to day activities of
this group are. How often they rehearse, how frequently the
personnel changes, what the audition process is like. Perhaps
there are some fundamentals that are not being addressed.
I think it's possible that I'm judging this group a bit more
harshly than I should be. It just frustrates me to see so many
tracks with so much potential for greatness that just don't cut
it for one reason or another.
Rating: 6 (5.3)
Ok, who let the chorale out? Coincidence, or a draft from the voice
department. Either way, it is clear that all the women in this group have
strong voices and a lot of training. This is great for the wonderful clear
strong blend, less good for the over-the-top, vibratoey head voice solos
that dominate the album. Ranging from inappropriate to downright muppet-like,
the inability or decision not to turn off the broadway/classical training
makes some songs difficult to listen to. The men are standard issue —
reasonably on-pitch, blendy and no standout voices or memorable bass
lines. The male solos are well done and for the most part well chosen for
their ability to stay within the limits of the available voices.
AIR's real strength lies in their willingness to innovate and reinterpret.
None of the songs on this album could be called tired standards, a rarity
in and of itself, and the arrangers show a willingness to not just adapt
but change the idea of the songs they choose. Their version of Sweet Child
of Mine should be required listening for any college group who has ever
covered a Green Day song, and even the flops are attacked with the same
intensity as the more standard songs. The overall quality of the songs in
terms of accuracy and musicality is quite high — many of my low ratings
reflect stylistic differences. (Although if "Respect" represents a deliberate
reinterpretation than someone has a really sick sense of humor.)
What I'm trying to say is, if these song descriptions pique your interest,
buy the album. You could (and probably have) done far worse, and for
all its faults it is a novel and intriguing listen.
Rating: 7 (6.5)
An impressive album; the group sounds great and seems to be
having a lot of fun. Overall, a high level of musicality. Good
soloists (especially the female voices), strong basses, consistently
solid intonation and blend. I was especially impressed by the song
choices and overall pacing of the album. Nice variety, and when the
album's over, you're eager for more (although there are a couple
numbers that seem like they're thrown in just for the novelty or
nostalgia factor). From a recording standpoint, the engineering is
very transparent; I got the feeling that what I was hearing would be
pretty close to what the group would sound like live. Unfortunately,
the CD I listened to had some noticeible audio glitches, particularly
toward the end of the disc. Hopefully the copy I have is an
exception, and not an indication that the manufacturer was slacking
off on quality control or anything like that. Also, it would be nice
if the song credits/album info were a little more detailed and
consistent. In all, a really enjoyable album; if you're one of those
people who doesn't get into coed groups, this might be the record that
gets you to change your mind.
Rating: 8 (6.5)
Not one, not two, but three, count 'em, three soloist! This opening
track relies heavily on it's trio of female leads, who mostly sing in
harmony, but occasionally each take a phrase as a solo. The overall
blend is solid, although one of the higher voices is on the thin side.
Fortunately, she is balanced by a strong "bass." Towards the end they
slip in a quote from "That's the Way (uh huh, uh huh) I Like It."
This is one of the few tracks on the album with any sort of vocal
A good track to start out on, this one is full of energy.
It's also got some good vocal percussion, and plenty of
soul. Nice disco riff, too.
The pseudo beginning seems a bit smug. The melody line doesn't always
swing quite right. The background vocals occasionally lack intensity. Ending
is a bit flaccid. It tunes pretty well, save the occasional rough chord ("Our
love is here to ?STAY?") I like the very busy feel towards the end. It goes
on for just the right amount of time before feeling harried. I like the song
The trio has a glorious blend that makes this a fun
rendition of the 70's classic. The training that makes this possible
results in solos that are a heavy-handed and over vibratoey, but boy
do they have a nice ensemble sound. The background keeps the mood
going and doesn't rush too badly. Nice use of Queen in the intro.
Nice trio featured doing the lead in three part
harmonies; blend is incredible. Some tasteful (no pun intended) mouth
The Artists attack this bouncy track with a little more
aggression than they had on "Got to be Real".
Overall, a good song to listen to while driving in a convertible on a
hot summer afternoon. The catch? There's a bridge section in the
song where the tempo slows down to a more grinding pace. All the
parts suddenly seem out of sync. It's hard to listen to.
It moves, but it's a little busy for my tastes. It really
could be tighter, and the tempo transition is a little muddled.
Nice bass part.
This active arrangement has a good feel. Soloist is strong and has a
voice well suited for the song. The half time section in the middle is quite
cool. Again, a very good song choice.
Best female solo on the album. The arrangement moves too, more than many on
the album. The rhythm change in the middle is well-executed, as is the
transition back to the driving pace of most of the song. Nothing too complex
here, which may be its real strength. Nice job.
Catchy tune, good groove. Tempo change a little
It might seem obvious to open this Crash Test Dummies parable with a
section of the score from the Superman Movie, but they work it into
the arrangement with admirable grace. The lead vocalist can't compare
with the distinctive bass on the original, but who can? Once you get
by that, and it isn't hard, he's darn good and actually hits some
surprisingly low notes. What makes this track a winner is the
harmonies on the chorus which are an improvement on the Dummies'
original track and give it an extra push of poignancy and sadness.
Chris Campell and Joel Slotkin's voices fit together perfectly on
their duet sections.
I really like this one. Though I know I am already repeating
myself, that's a great bass solo — wow. Nice blend, nice flow
as well. Changes in intensity are effectively executed.
The ensemble work is a bit spotty, Occasional voices sticking out and
sloppy cut-offs complete with a tuning problem or two. The soloist has a very
nice resonant voice. It's not an incredibly interesting song.
The Superman theme intro segues very nicely into a
solid rendition of the Crash Test Dummies song that
hasn't always made such a smooth adjustment to a
cappella. The first solo has great pitch and lyric
sense but the second solo has the bass resonance the
first lacks. The tenor obbligato doesn't blend with
them very well, making the final line without him my
Humorous (or attempted humorous) intro pretty
cheesy (too "doo doo" heavy), but the song itself is really strong,
especially the soloists. A couple minor things: backgrounds get somewhat
repetitive, also the harmony part above the lead is shaky at times.
I've never been good at foreign languages. I have no capacity to
learn them. I resent the fact that I've been required to take over
nine years of Spanish in my educational career and just about the only
things I know how to say are "Tu hermana es bonita" and "!Que
desayuno!" (One of which will get you slapped and the other will get
you committed.) In short, I hate Spanish. So why is it that I find
myself singing this Gypsy Kings' song in elevators and other public
places? Well, it's a catchy tune. The leads vocals grab you in and
the fun (if vaguely silly) interpretation of the horn lines keep you
there. A great song choice.
The Latin rhythm and sound of this one are very well done. This
Spanish-language tune is something not commonly heard in pop
a cappella. Nice dynamics, and tight entrances and cutoffs in the
This is very clever arranging. Quite rhythmically rich. The soloist
feels on shaky ground every now and then. This is not a song I would expect to
work in an a cappella setting, but they do an admirable job.
Too muddy to carry the rhythmic intensity of the
original, this version nonetheless has some great moments, such as the
soprano bits in the second verse. The soloist has reasonable style
and does a great job with the verses, but is unfortunately not
consistently in tune in the choruses. Nicely original song choice.
On first listening, I thought I was losing my mind
because I couldn't understand any of the words. Then I realized they were
singing in Spanish. Jazzy with some thick harmonies, and they really pull
it off. My only complaint is a few annoying syllable choices in a couple
background lines (the "dee dee dee's").
So close, and yet, so far. The chorus on this song is
an original, not imitative arrangement. Unfortunately, it's not a
good arrangement. It's too sparse and rushed. It's a shame, because
the verses are a real piece of work. Sparse (which works in this part
of the song), emotional, electric and surprising. Surprising because
the leads are taken by Jennifer Saito. The original implied that the
lead (former history teacher Sting) was the professor in question.
Now the implication is that the lead is taking the point of view of
the student! Wow! There's also a nice quote from "Lolita" (that book
by Nabakov). If they tried a different arrangement for the chorus,
this would be one for the books. No pun intended.
This one features a nice solo voice, but she pushes a little too hard.
Good arrangement of the opening. And an interesting arrangement of
the rest of the song — the solo carries the song with seemingly
The reverb is particularly noticeable on this
Bobsesque arrangement. The soloist does a good job of propelling the
song in an otherwise sparse setting. The background voices during the
verses are very exposed and do not always lock in.
Remember how I said some interpretations work, and
some don't? Well, this is a real lemon. I do respect their
willingness to go whole hog, however — if it's gonna flop, might as
well flop big time. I don't think the overly dramatic solo or the
Lolita reading were meant to be, but better this than a mediocre
rendition meant to be taken seriously.
A really emotional interpretation of
this song. I liked the female lead; it gave the song a new twist. Very
I like the way the album segues from Don't Stand So
Close to Me to the opening line of Steam ("Stand Back!"). I'm a Peter
Gabriel fan. I like the lead vocalist (who did killer work on their
last album.) And yet this does nothing for me.
I can't pin it down. The imitative arrangement is solid, but it just
doesn't grab me.
A full arrangement with nice balance of parts and a
strong solo voice. Cool percussion — I like it. The song
moves along with a very steady beat, but gets a little
The soloist has a nice voice, but this arrangement
just isn't doing it for me. The original is just too dependent on a
more intense rhythm track and really beefed up engineering to
translate well. This just feels ploddy. The background chords have
some voices sticking out and they don't always tune.
Nice job of reinterpretation. The female solo makes this song her own, giving
it a tad of funk and sailing over the melody with energy and pizazz. This is
even more impressive given the distinct lack of zip in the background.
"Dig-idit" and "bump" are poorly conceived bass syllables, but most of the arrangement is a good base from which to work.
Good 'n' funky, although backgrounds get monotonous after a
This track is reminiscent of U Penn's Off the Beat's
cover of "Soul to Squeeze." While it isn't as complicated an
arrangement (actually, it's a very basic, choral arrangement) it has
similar grungy lead vocals. The verses hold up, but the chorus isn't
enough of a crescendo. It doesn't growl and grind as much as it
I am not familiar with the original of this song, and this version
didn't really appeal to me. Nevertheless, the performance has
merit in its strong, smooth solo and stylistic variations. The
background does tend to get too loud sometimes.
Suffers from very bad tuning in the introduction, and then it doesn't
get that much better. I like the approach of the arrangement (especially the
upper parts in the chorus, nice choice of syllables for a really neat sound),
but the ensemble work just doesn't cut it. The bass line is intensely low and
seems to make the group feel on unstable ground. Soloist is quite good. It's
a mediocre performance of a pretty inspired arrangement.
Grunge ain't my thing — this song has that Hootie
threechordness and a low raspy solo stretching to find a melody.
Having said that, this is decently done. The background is in tune a
reasonable percentage of the time, the solo is competent and seems to
like what he's doing.
Really good song choice, not an obvious one to do
a cappella, but it works well.
Hats off to them for trying an original (most of the lyrics aren't
direct quotes from Seuss), but this is still unfunny and unpleasant to
listen to. It starts off sounding like a Philip Glass opera and then
settles into the less dissonant harmonies of every other Manhattan
Transfer song. Skip it.
Points here for cute song choice and originality. The jazzy feel is
a nice change of pace, and who doesn't love Sam I Am? However,
the high background parts are overpowering.
Very cool beginning. In fact, incredibly cool. One
of the neatest a cappella sounds I've ever heard. This track swings
pretty well. There are still careless endings (e.g., right before the
Carmina Burana send up, the women just fall apart) but most of it
locks right in. This makes me think it's more of a concentration
problem than lack of ability.
I like the intro a good bit, and was beginning to get
psyched up for some sort of funky, punk-synthesizeresque really odd
interpretation of this Dr. Seuss classic. Instead I got the Manhattan
transfer, minus the va-va-voom. *sigh*
Some really nice elements in this one, but
they just didn't fit together; it seemed like the arranger was just trying
too hard. The dissonant harmonies sound cool, but everything going on
seems to overwhelm the lyrics (the music seems awfully gloomy for these
lyrics, too). The words are changed from the original, which I don't see
the point of: can you really parody Dr. Seuss? Can you improve on Dr.
Seuss? In this case, the answer seems to be no. Liked the Carmina Burana
The lead vocals and the main backing vocals are taken by the female
members of the group, but they in no way make fun of Michael Jackson.
No high squeaky, impersonations for them. If only they'd taken the
whole track as seriously. On the lines "You're a vegetable/ They hate
you" they add a mocking echo sung in a cartoon voice reminiscent of a
pack of nagging mother-in-laws. Really irritating.
As usual, the basses are steady. My big problem with
this one is that the "yeah yeah" background parts seriously
lack blend. This is very distracting, and the solo is weak in
Now this (as opposed to Steam) is a groove that works. The soloist
really belts it out during the first half. Things take a questionable turn
during the second half (vegetable?), but the "hee haws" and the "mamma says"
make up for it. Very enjoyable track.
The basses could smooth out and bring the background
together, but even so the women have some great opportunities to
showcase that velvety blend. The solo has a good feel for the song
which gets her through occasions when her voice isn't quite up to the
task. For the most part she does well, and her Michael Jackson
squeals are wonderful.
A decent version, but the song just
doesn't do much for me (sounds kind of dated). Soloist not as strong as
most of the other songs on the album. Also, some of the lyrics were
_really_ odd — made me wonder if this was supposed to be some sort of
parody (in which case it totally went over my head), or if the words were
really the same as the original (in which case it still went over my head).
The only downside to this Stevie Wonder gem comes in the
verses. The lead vocalist has to make a large jump up the scale and
it sounds like he's sliding up to reach the note. That aside, the
leads are great, the blend is impeccable and the harmonies,
particularly on the deceptively simple chorus, are the best I've heard
in years. I repeat: THE HARMONIES ARE THE BEST I'VE HEARD IN
YEARS. Did I mention that the harmonies are the best I've heard
This is a very nice ballad, and also a nice slow-down after the last
several songs. The solo is smooth and gentle, but strains just a
bit for the high notes. It's a pretty song with a pretty chorus -
nice group choral work, but ornamentation should be left to the
soloist. It just doesn't work in a background part.
Ensemble problems throughout. It's a very pretty arrangement and the
soloist has a nice voice, but the group never feels solidly planted in
tonality. Very frustrating.
The pitch on this isn't up to snuff for these guys. The solo does a
surprising job of having a higher chest range than his tone would indicate,
and there are some lovely moments between him and the duet, but for the most
part this song doesn't go anywhere and isn't strong enough to be memorable.
It isn't really fair to hold anyone up to the legacy of Aretha
Franklin, but, on the other hand, it's impossible NOT to hear her
voice whenever you hear this song. This imitative arrangement can't
compare with the memory of the original. The group does score points
for styling a semi-religious opening.
Good effort on the part of the soloist, but otherwise unexciting.
The harmony sounds off on the echo parts.
This arrangement is much too busy for this song. The soloist gets
completely swallowed up. (It probably doesn't help that it's sung entirely in
head voice.) The group sings to be singing everything correctly but I feel
that the arrangement is not working. It seems to feel more like a calliope
than a funk grove.
Blasphemy. This is just wrong. This woman has a good voice, but for her
safety and everyone else's, under no circumstances should she be permitted to
sing anything approaching motown.If Miss Piggy had chops — ahem, I mean
singing talent — this is what it would sound like. It's a sad day when the
only thing to recommend an Aretha song is the Gregorian chant intro.
Aside from the funny intro, a fairly conventional
arrangement. Song just isn't the same without Aretha (and the soloist
doesn't really come close).
This comic monologue about a tormented, "sensitive
artist" simply doesn't work. The backing music is unassertive. The
lead is a good vocalist, as witnessed on track 17,
but not much of a character actor. He simply has the wrong sort of
voice for the role.
The talking voice on this song is soothing and captivating. The
song itself is a clever concept. Nicely balanced background, too.
A little tongue in cheek spoken word piece. Pretty
nondescript. The ensemble is filled with glitches, but
it all seems pretty inconsequential. It's just there.
This is wonderfully funny, from the deadpan lyrics to
the overlays of other songs hidden in the background.
Even the flat "I am a sensitive artist"s at the
beginning and end seem to fit with the general mood of
the song. Nicely done.
The original version of this song is hilarious;
what happened to this one? There are some clever musical quotes from
other songs in the backgrounds, but since the lead is spoken (and very
deadpan at that) I ended up listening to the backgrounds and ignoring the
words (maybe not a bad thing, since the lead's delivery is pretty lame and
You might think that coed collegiate a cappella groups
would only embarrass themselves by trying to cover a Guns and Roses
song. You'd be right if they tried an imitative arrangement.
Instead, what happens here is an inspired reinterpretation of the song
as a tender ballad (as arranged by John Bennet). In another case of
gender bending, the leads are handed over to Shara Miller, who turns
in such a tender performance that men everywhere won't even notice
that she's addressing the song to a "she", not to them personally.
They minimalize the "where do we go from here" section of the song. I
think they could have elaborated on that section more than they did,
but hey, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?
Well now here is a cover of this song that is different and
unexpected. It is smooth and pretty, and very easy to listen
to. I was apprehensive, but I was pleasantly surprised.
A straight faced rendition of the Guns and Roses
original. It's not particularly interesting. I think they're trying
to capitalize on some irony, but as it is, it's pretty forgettable.
Jazz, swing, bounce — everything a good Guns n' Roses cover should have.
The solo sounds like a lighter version of Joni Mitchell with Sarah McLachlan
accents. I rather liked her, but even if she annoys you this wonderful
interpretation is a real treasure for its musicality, style and verve. (The
scary thing is, for once I'm not being sarcastic.)
Some surprisingly complex harmonies for such
a simple song (although a couple chords sound a little awkward). Group
blends really well.
A good idea for a medley. It's got massive nostalgic
value and most of the songs are good candidates for covers anyway.
"Footloose" is handled with spirit. It has particularly nice slap and
clap percussion section (which unfortunately falls apart towards the
end). The medley segues into a brief bit from "Let's hear it for the
boy" and then onward to "Almost Paradise". This duet is a nice paring
of the two leads. (It makes you wonder why they don't do any duets
elsewhere on the disk. Probably cause they're cheesy. Never mind.)
Pay attention to the echoes in the background vocals. This is the one
section of the song that seems to get cut a bit short. Fortunately,
its by a kicking "I Need a Hero." The lead exhibits the self assured,
roaring female leads that make Artists in Resonance a stand out group.
Too bad they tack an extra "FOOT LOOSE!" onto the end. It rounds out
the medley, but it detracts from "I Need a Hero."
I got the feeling that this medley is probably better
live. Including Footloose, "Let's Hear it for the Boy",
"Almost Paradise", and "Holding out for a Hero", the medley
starts out lame but gets progressively better. The title
track doesn't have the energy it should, and there are some
blend problems throughout. Fear not, though. The songs get
tighter as the medley goes on.
The worst ensemble problems on the album so far.
There must have been over a dozen true winces. The arrangement isn't
particularly inspired either. ("Oh yeah...yadda yadda yadda yadda")
The stomping/clapping routine at the end of the "Footloose" segment
was nowhere close to being in rhythm. The transition into "Lets Hear
It For the Boy" was pretty poorly conceived. The entire track is
clumsy and poorly executed.
Great intro, and neat music too. Once the song
starts, the Footloose arrangement doesn't bop enough, and the solo is
too heavy, to really be cutting loose. The middle bits with the
clapping work better. "Let's Hear it for the Boy" is okay, even if
the solo does whine a bit. "Almost Paradise"'s soloists are a little
too flat to be ethereal, but alto has great tone down there. "I Need
a Hero" has a nice sop line and those blendy women, but overall sounds
a little too desperate to be effective. Ending has bad pitch problems
— not a good way to leave.
Sorry, but I just don't like _any_ of these songs (it
doesn't help that the arrangements are the weakest on the album).
Transitions are abrupt, medley goes on forever. I imagine this would
get a good crowd response live, but on a recording, it just bombs.
This song falls into the rare genre of a cappella songs
about alcoholism. The only problem with this track is that the
diction is weak. The lead vocals seem to be on the right track, but
the cautionary lyrics never seem to be able to break away from the
The soloist on this one has a rich voice, but is very
hard to understand. In addition, the background in kind of
all over the place.
Once again, a neat song, a clever arrangement, a capable soloist, and
sloppy work in the ensemble. The rhythm, pitch, and blend are all shaky pretty
much throughout the track. It isn't so bad that destroys the listening
experience, but it definitely detracts.
Soloist makes great use of her break. Seems to me
the background is a little frantic, but I haven't heard
the original so that could be the idea. Solo is
excellently clear over the muddy background, and as a
whole I think the song works.
Starts out high-energy, but doesn't go anywhere.
For those of you who haven't heard the original by Vinx,
you're in for a treat. For the rare few of you who have heard this
song before, you're also in for a treat. They've taken the original
sparse, world/jazz song and given it a doo wop style arrangement.
Although the arrangement is more complex than doo wop would normally
imply, the label still fits, largely because the song is sung mostly
by the guys and it isn't hard to imagine them bemoaning their lost
loves on some typical NYC street corner. Even though this is a song
about regret, the arrangement is upbeat with bright harmonies.
A good song, and a good solo who has nice voice
texture and sings with feeling. This track sounds like just
the men are singing. The overall sound is not as full, but it
works on this one.
The ensemble problems have cleared up (for the most
part), but that's probably because the arrangement is very simple. It
didn't leave much of an impression on me at all. Pretty forgettable.
The simple, catchy rhythms of Vinx are very welcome after the slew of busy,
overactive arrangements. The solo isn't flashy but turns in a very solid
performance. The repetition is lively and has a good tempo that doesn't wander
much and keeps it together. Nice choice, nicely done.
A feature for the guys in the group.
Simple and catchy.
Upbeat silly fun. It's a Johnny cash song originally so
the lead goes to a bass. He manages to avoid the
pitfall of sounding like he's doing an impersonation of
Johnny. His vocals have a convincing, light drawl. An
This is a hokey, silly country song, originally done
by Johnny Cash and sung here by a deep voice with an
appropriate twang. It's got cute lyrics and a good beat.
A cute country western tune. The soloist is right on.
The ensemble does just fine. Still...pretty innocuous.
Nothing to write home about.
Wonderful. Old country is a much-maligned genre
whose serious musical contributions should not be
overlooked. Even if you don't buy that, the strong bass
solo, catchy lyrics and general cheerful mood make this
song a nifty listen. Sure, there are pitch problems,
but they are under control for the most part, and I
guess the goofy guitars are a pre-req.
I can't think of a reason why there's a country song on
here, other than the fact that it seems like every a cappella group in
the world sticks a country song on their album about three quarters of
the way through. I could do without it.
The first few bars promise a killer version of this
George "Please-Forgive-Me-for-Wham" Michael cut. Unfortunately, the
backing vocals aren't coherent. There's a lot going on and none of it
QUITE fits together. Oddly, when they blend in "I Want Your Sex"
everything meshes perfectly. From there on in, they switch styles
(basically to a more synchronized, choral sound) whenever they get the
chance. It keeps the arrangement from getting boring, but, in the
end, it feels as if they cut the whole song short.
This is a popular song among college a cappella groups, and may have
already reached the status of "overdone." But this particular
version is not bad anyway. The two lead voices are good, but
the background arrangement could really be more interesting.
The arrangement starts out pretty well. A straight
enough translation of the original. It takes a weird
turn just in a transitional section. ("I think there's
something you should know") I'm convinced that those
chords are just wrong. It's certainly not the way I
remember the song and it sounds very uncomfortable. The
chorus feel very dead. Just as the arrangement seems to
stall, it inexplicably breaks into "I Want Your Sex".
Then it goes back to a pretty unconvincing "Freedom" and
just leaves me wishing the arrangement worked better
than it did.
The song seems to drag — the arrangement and
syllabification are not conducive to keeping the thing
light and moving along, and often the arrangement is way
too busy for it's (or anyone else's) own good. The two
male solos are better than the song plays them to be,
and the echo solo in particular is surprisingly soulful.
The lyrics-only bridge into "I Want Your Sex" is quite
successful but when both songs come in the music
degenerates rapidly. Mistake number 2: letting that
"Respect" woman loose at the end.
That sort of, um, talent, should be placed in a box with
a glass cover and a sign that says "break to scare away
aliens invading the planet" or something similar. Or
just encourage her to back off the notes, or maybe sing
something that doesn't necessitate chest voice.
Some tempo problems between the soloists, the
backgrounds, and the basses (or maybe the arrangement
just has some _extremely_ awkward syncopations, hard to
tell). Some distortion in the recording.
This track has a great, fresh, full harmony sound. The
leads are sung by pretty much the whole group. This
leads to unintelligible lyrics. I try to follow them,
but I keep getting lost in the overall sound.
I like this one. The arrangement is well done — it
sounds difficult to sustain but is carried off well.
Nice blend and nice use of voices in the group.
Fun track. It's still plagued with the ensemble
problems that are a signature of this album, but it sets
enough of a groove that it's not as bothersome. It's a
The only cool thing about this song is the way the
coed lyric singers blend on the unison "bright" in the
hook phrase. Okay, the intro riff is kind of cool too.
Otherwise, the harmonies are either too dissonant or out
of tune to really justify listening. I think there are
some neat ideas hiding in here, but it is not polished
enough for them to really come through.
A combination of multiple people singing the lead, and
backgrounds that are too busy cause the melody to be
overwhelmed. Disappointing — I like this song, but it
could have been done a lot better.
Think you heard them do this track on their
Wrong. Last time it was a just another cover tune.
This time it's a tour de force for Jennifer Saito. The
arrangement brings her into sections of absolute frenzy
and then suddenly drops back to complete calmness. The
track achieves a rare emotional rawness. Before I heard
it, I assumed it was a rather down song to end an album
on. Now I know it had to close the album: you need a
minute of silence to cool down after listening to this
This is not an easy song to so, musically of
emotionally. It is very intense and is full of strange
chords. The solo is strong and clear, and the basses
are good, but the ending is a bit much.
An interesting choice for a closing track. The
soloist muscles her way through this one, with little
help from a shaky ensemble once again. It's a pretty
This is a very solo-centric song, and although she has
some great moments, I'm not sure it's quite strong
enough to justify the length and dirge-like feel of the
song. The background is very out of tune in many
places, except for the sopranos who are only a little
bit out of tune. Like the other Stevie Wonder track on
this album, it is not recognizable as such but I don't
think that's nearly as big a deal. The oversinging solo
actually works and has some real power in places on this
one, but overall the song can't quite pull itself up.
Good soloist featured on another strong ballad. Other
than the somewhat obnoxious high note on the last chord,
a strong end to the album.
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