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RARB REVIEW

School: Boston University
Group: Terpsichore
Album: Terpsichore

Total time: 58:23, 14 songs
Recorded 1995


Track Listing

  1. Cornflake Girl (6.8)
  2. Don't Give Up (6.8)
  3. Least Complicated (7.4)
  4. Constant Craving (6.2)
  5. Walking on Broken Glass (6.0)
  6. Everywhere (6.8)
  7. My Lovin' (5.0)
  8. Say, Say, Say (5.2)
  9. Mexico (5.0)
  10. Abba Medley (6.8)
  11. Only You (7.2)
  12. Linger (7.4)
  13. These Are Days (7.0)
  14. Leader of the Band (6.2)

Reviews

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.

Overall

  1. The group can sing well, and does all right with the material that they have. While the arrangements are fine (and some are very good), they all sound very similar — listening to one song, it will sound good, but listening to a whole album, things get somewhat monotonous. This is probably at least partly due to the fact that ten of the fourteen songs are arranged by the same person (actually the first ten songs on the album). Since the remaining four are some of the strongest on the album, I would think that the group would benefit from using a broader variety of arrangers (including more from members of the group). Also, the group doesn't seem to be taking many risks or breaking new ground musically. There are no original songs on the album (which might be a good thing for a college group, actually), and there aren't really any obscure songs — this material is all done well, but it's all been done before. The group does have a lot of vocal talent; I would hope that in future albums, the group would be willing to go out on a limb more. In their choice of material and arrangements, the group has managed to avoid major disasters, but also managed to avoid doing anything especially bold or daring.

    Lead vocalists are adequate, but none particularly stand out; in fact, I didn't realize that there are different soloists on almost every tune until I read the liner notes because so many of the vocalists sound so similar. My only real complaint about the general sound of the group is that it can be overly choral/classical at times. Being an all-female group, they obviously have the inherent range limitations, so if you're inherently biased against female groups, this album probably won't change your mind.

    The group blends well in the mix, but there are often times where it just seems like all of the voices are at the same level, as opposed to having things that are more important or more interesting being louder. One of the strengths of this album is that there are many subtleties that are only noticed after a few listenings — it would be nice if some of them were emphasized a little more in the mix (what's the point of putting cool details into an arrangement if they're going to be buried by everything else that's going on?).

    One thing that really impressed me was the quality of the liner notes, which included recording information, and composers, arrangers, and copyright information for every song.

    Overall, a well executed album, if not a particularly adventurous one.
    Rating: 7 (6.4)

  2. Although this album never really reaches any fantastic heights, it's still a good album. Why? Well, because doing women's a cappella right is so darned hard. There are so many pitfalls one can run into. So many groups sound bad because they're just, as Lucy said to Charlie Brown, to darn wishy washy. Lots of groups recognize this problem and try too hard to compensate. The resultant sound is a usually a silly attempt at bass or vocal percussion from singers who don't have the requisite range. Terpsichore falls into neither of these traps. Instead, they strike a gracefully balance: they are neither wimpy, nor do they bite off more than they can chew. Most of the songs are competently arranged by an out side arranger. But the best tracks are a version of Only You arranged by Deke Sharon (the best version on any CD I've heard), These are Days and an imitative cover of Linger. These are Days and Linger are the only two songs arranged by the group and serve as a clear indication that the Terps should be arranging their own material. Although most of the lead vocals are undistinctive, I still have to heartily recommend this album as mandatory listening to anyone out there who's either starting or in a new women's group. Terpsichore will serve you well as role models.
    Rating: 7 (6.6)

  3. This is a remarkably consistent album. It has one dynamic, one tempo, one genre. Of course that is an exaggeration, but after a few listenings, I'm hard pressed to think of any dynamic variation within any particular song. All of the songs are from the same era, mostly pulled off alternative radio over the past years with a few songs reaching back a decade or two. What's worse, each of these songs were arranged by the same person giving the entire album the unpleasant sensation of solid colored wallpaper.

    Perhaps what disturbed me most about the arranging aesthetic of this album was the irritatingly imitative nature of all of the songs. The arranger obviously sat down with the recording and did his best to echo all of the parts in an a cappella setting without any real sense of what is appropriate for this particular medium. The songs almost always follow the exact form of the originals which, more often than not, result in songs that feel far too long and become repetitive after the first minute. Just because it works in an instrumental setting doesn't mean it will immediately translate to a cappella. What feels like a compelling and varied hook in a studio recording quickly deteriorates to ostinato in the homogeneous setting of a choir.

    You'll notice that very little in this review mentions performance problems. The group is well rehearsed with a nice blend and good pitch. I was hard pressed to find any objectionable blunders. The result is an album of uninteresting material sung very well. There are only three or four songs I have any particular desire to hear again, the rest just fade from memory.
    Rating: 5 (5.3)

  4. I leave this album with one question: Who the heck is Larry Loh? He's clearly not a group member, yet he arranged all but three songs. Pretty well, too, though if he helped the group in their execution I have some real beefs with his sense of expression.

    Overall this is a good album. These women have a good sound that is choral in the right ways — pitch, blend, accuracy — but their voices don't sound like a misdirected chorale. Only one real dog on the whole thing — a solo that doesn't just bomb, it should be used as a form of punishment. But aside from that, this album is nicely polished, not overstudioed, and a nice example of what an all-women group can do. Nice is a good word — none of this stuff is impassioned or anything. But some of the songs, particularly Everywhere and These Are Days, are really well done — creative, original, good, and not missing anything. Syllabification can be a problem, but overall it is varied and decent. The Abba medley is a great piece of a cappella — if we could have gotten to them beforehand and changed a few syllables it would have been among the best of all-time.
    Rating: 8 (6.9)

  5. This album is a definite keeper. Terpsichore gives a consistently solid performance of a good selection of songs. This all-female group benefits from the large number of voices they have, since each voice part plus percussion are usually done justice. The group also benefits from the quality of their arrangements. Musically, the voices in the group are beautiful. This group sings with confidence and their own style. One thing that makes them good is that they don't try to sound like the original performers of the songs which they cover. Their consistently good blend and good use of dynamics are also notable. Overall, a very enjoyable listen.
    Rating: 8 (6.9)


Individual Tracks

  1. Cornflake Girl (6.8)
    1. The mouth percussion on this song is very mechanical and doesn't add much — I was getting into the song for the first four bars, but as soon as the mouth percussion came in, I became less excited. The song stays interesting, even though it is fairly long, because the background patterns have lots of variations that keep them fresh, as well as some nice swells in the dynamics. Also, whistling is used effectively on the intro.
      Rating: 8

    2. Doy! An odd syllable and an odd song to start this album with. This is the one track on the album where they sound like they're trying too hard to do the Rock and Roll thing. When you think of all the Tori Amos song that would suit themselves to a cappella, this one doesn't make the list. (Even Tori, who normally performs with just a piano, her voice, and a fistful of passion, has to spice this up with drum machines.) Nice whistling, but other than that...Doy!
      Rating: 5

    3. I'm not sure how well the "Doy" syllable works for the introduction to this one. Feels a bit self conscious. The "doo" syllables are annoyingly pinched for a "dew" sound instead. The group sounds pretty good. Good blend and generally good tone production (aforementioned "dew"s excluded). The arrangement quickly gets monotonous and goes on for far too long. This is the beginning of a trend that lasts for the entire album.
      Rating: 6

    4. Solo sounds more like Shakespear's Sister than Tori Amos — not nearly as wispy, much clearer. I like her very much, particularly when she lets her own style come through. Has some lovely moments in her lower range and does a good job varying head and chest voice in the lower range depending on the desired dynamic or emotions. The higher range may actually be the duet taking over the brunt of the solo, but it works well. The choruses seem to work — the solos jump into the stratosphere and always seems poised on the brink of annoyitude but fortunately never get there. I think the rest of the song would have come together perfectly if they had mixed the background lower during the verses. The solo gets lost a little and as a result the song is quite off-balance. Seems like a nice arrangement, pleasantly varied if a little long. Missing the bass and some of the feel of Tori's piano playing, but that's to be expected. Intro sounds like Superman — maybe Cornflake Girl is a long-lost cousin.
      Rating: 8

    5. Nice arrangement, very nice vocal percussion, and tight cutoffs as a group. The solo is solid, with a deep and soulful voice. The only problem with this song is that the sopranos are weak at times.
      Rating: 7

  2. Don't Give Up (6.8)
    1. Originally done as a duet between a male and female (Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush, but you knew that), this song doesn't work as well with both parts sung by females; the contrast is missing, even to the extent where a listener might not realize that it is a duet because the two female voices sound too similar. Some of the lyrics don't make sense either — it's odd to hear a woman singing "I'm a man..." Also, the original has a nice build toward the end and gets more of a gospel feel, which doesn't happen in this version. Some rhythms sound stiff and mechanical, and there is one chord in the background harmonies that doesn't fit in with the rest of the arrangement where all of the voices shift by a half step. This is probably one of the longest a cappella arrangements I've heard.
      Rating: 7

    2. This song is a duet between a down and out guy contemplating suicide (or at the very least, at the end of his rope) and the voice of life. The original made wonderful use of the contrast between Peter Gabriel's strained tenor voice and Kate Bush's otherworldly vibrato. I've also heard it work well with Tracy Chapman singing the Voice of Life part (also otherworldly, but two octaves lower!) In the beginning of the Terpsichore version, there simply isn't enough contrast between the two female voices to give the song it's full dramatic effect. As the song goes on and they add full harmonies to the Voice of Life on the chorus, it does get effective. If only they did it sooner...
      Rating: 7

    3. The soloists are excellent, and besides a few sloppy entrances, the ensemble work is fine. However, this arrangement is FAR to long, slow, and generally uninteresting to be placed second on this album. The second song is the album's chance to really grab the listener, to prove that the first song wasn't just a fluke. The last thing in the world to put there is a six minute snoozer. And this arrangement just goes on forever.
      Rating: 5

    4. Pretty but pointless. Both the solos seem to be singing the words without really thinking about the "why" of the song. The second solo in particular is missing a lot of the syncopation and crispness that makes the original so effective — everything is smooth and held to the end of the measure. Neither soloist makes more than a token effort to sound like the originals, for which I applaud them. The background is a little wispy but I guess that's in keeping, and there are some quite nice moments. It contrives to sound wonderfully like a gospel hymn with the "when times get rough" section toward the end, and also with the lovely blended oohs that dominate the arrangement due to surprisingly appropriately used soprano vibrato. The chord right before the final "there's a place where we belong" seems out of tune — poor choice of place to be glaring. Also, "wop" is not a syllable I would milk the way these chicks seem to.
      Rating: 7

    5. Although I am not a fan of the original, I really like this cover. The soloists' voices are both beautiful, and the 2nd altos are great. The background is very together — the timing, blend, and dynamics are all there.
      Rating: 8

  3. Least Complicated (7.4)
    1. The song starts out with some disorienting syncopations in the backgrounds — there are some complex cross-rhythms that aren't exactly in time that make it hard to hear exactly where the beat is. I liked the fact that the arrangement changes from verse to verse, but it started out too busy — I would have liked it more sparse at the opening, so there would be more impact when new background lines came in. There are some harmonies and countermelodies that sound great, but they aren't as effective as they could be be because they are obscured somewhat by the busy background parts.
      Rating: 7

    2. The leads, while strong, don't have the same blend as the Indigo Girls, but that isn't something that can be imitated. The "bass" line, which keeps this track going, would have been murdered by other female groups, but the Terps pull it off with grace. The arrangement makes the most of the "Naa naah naa naa na-na naah" line.
      Rating: 7

    3. Once again we're treated to pinched "dews". However, this song has much merit. Finally a song interesting enough to match up with the generally solid musicality of the group. Great rhythmic intensity in this one. I'm especially fond of that groovy dominant seventh lick after the chorus (hard to describe in words, but if you hear it you'll know what I mean).
      Rating: 7

    4. Wonderfully blended, but to what purpose? Often sounds flat, particularly some of the guitar lines. Solo sounds a good bit like Emily Saliers, and the second solo blends very well. The first verse is very strong — the upbeat bridge and then the whole second verse seem a little busy and not always in the right sort of tune. Repeated listenings have gotten me used to the song's quirks, and I have to say it sounds pretty good overall.
      Rating: 8

    5. This is a great cover of a great song. Very nice blend of the two lead voices. The arrangement is inventive; there are parts and percussion all over the place, giving the song fullness and depth. It really works. Nicely handled by the soloist.
      Rating: 8

  4. Constant Craving (6.2)
    1. A nice ballad, but way too repetitive for me - once you hit about the thirty second mark, you've pretty much heard the whole thing. Rhythmic bassline drops out toward the end, creating a nice effect; this tune would have benefited from more variations like this.
      Rating: 6

    2. My favorite part of this song would have to be the "instrumental" bridge. One of the voices sings a melody line (it also runs under the lead vocals on the verses.) The start of the phrase is done as a subtle imitation of a some kind of horn, but then, at the end of the phrase, it fades into a more open throated, human sound. Very interesting.
      Rating: 7

    3. Once again a very pretty song. Not too fond of the "Chingaa" syllable. After a while the arrangement starts to lack variety and goes on too long again. These folks just don't know when to edit a song.
      Rating: 6

    4. I don't recall the original having such a measured, relentless 4-4 rhythm. Solo is light and doesn't take the verse anywhere, and the chorus _really_ doesn't move. As long as you totally forget the point and the original, this is a lovely song. They do what they do well, particularly the soprano, but there's so much they could and ought have done with it that it doesn't seem to matter. The "constant craving" parts should be teeming with emotion, you should feel the craving, the wanting, the needing. And by the way, solo chick? It's con_stant_ not con_stent_.
      Rating: 6

    5. This song is a little monotonous, but that is not Terpsichore's fault. Their version is not bad. The nice descant and well- controlled dynamics caught my attention. No big flaws here, it's just a little bit boring.
      Rating: 6

  5. Walking on Broken Glass (6.0)
    1. The thing I liked best about the original version of this song is the contrast between the lead singer and the "classical" sounding backgrounds. In this arrangement, the backgrounds don't sound nearly "classical" enough for my taste, probably because other tunes on the album sound more classical than they should. Also, this song would have provided a nice opportunity for the group to experiment with different syllables and vocal sounds to try and capture the flavor of the instrumentation of the original, but instead, the backgrounds sound just the same as all the other songs ("doom doom doom..."). The tempo seems a little fast and the group rushes slightly at times.
      Rating: 6

    2. This often covered (and often butchered) Annie Lenox song is best when it's aggressive. On the verses, the leads vocalist is solid, but when she gets to the higher parts in the chorus and they add harmonies to the vocals, it sounds frail (I think it's meant to sound delicate). On the percussion side, there's some good trills and rolls, but the cymbal imitation starts and ends abruptly and without any dynamic range. It's distracting and unconvincing.
      Rating: 6

    3. That's it!...PINCH those "dews"!...work it work it... (Sorry, that's my pet peeve for this album.) This one doesn't quite have a grove working for it. It's really missing that piano line that makes the song move. And again, it's too long. It just doesn't feel like it's going anywhere...
      Rating: 5

    4. I have never in my whole life heard a version of this song that didn't have that trademark high piano bit anywhere. Not an octave or two down, not nowhere. The two solos do not seem to be in tune with each other on the octave-apart refrain. Nice job on the moving chords of oohs, particularly before "my whole life has crashed" and the whole second verse. This arrangement really shines in spots, which is good since the solo is pretty and rather useless. On the high bridge the solo doesn't seem to have any feeling when she sings "you know that I might bleed," you know I'm going to be in pain and hurt like hell and don't you even feel vaguely guilty, you slimeball? It's too meek. Even if this soloist is too nice to be that vengeful, she often doesn't sound hurt enough to be properly pitiful. The lightness does serve her well in the little ornamentations on the chorus, and toward the very end she even gets into the solo. How you can sing a song like this and not get into the solo until the end is beyond me, but eventually she comes out. She is smart to keep the ornaments simple and concentrate on her strengths, like blending with the cool duet and letting the background keep the song up and moving. Nice percussion, too.
      Rating: 7

    5. Of the many a cappella versions of this song which I have heard, this is one of the better ones. The percussion is good, and I like the fact that the soloist doesn't try too hard to sound like Annie Lennox. She is good as herself. However, the blend between the high and low parallel parts is lacking.
      Rating: 6

  6. Everywhere (6.8)
    1. Catchy, very pop-y tune, but very bland and forgettable — when I wrote my review, I accidentally left this one out, and when I went back to put the song back in, I couldn't remember _anything_ about it until I listened to it again. Seems a little like filler compared to most of the other tunes on the album.
      Rating: 6

    2. No complaints here. A basic little tune, which is what a cappella is suited for. A pleasant "Rum bum bum" base line and light finger snappin' punctuate the easy goin' sound of this Fleetwood Mac cover.
      Rating: 7

    3. I LOVE that introduction. Very neat sound and an excellent use of fade-in. It's a very simple arrangement for a very simple song, but it possesses a strong soloist and clarity of purpose. And it's not too long.
      Rating: 6

    4. Nice buildup into the song, and then balancing the way smooth with the precisely staccato. The solo has the right idea for the song too — its mellow style suits theirs. My only gripe is that the "ahs" on the chorus don't move quite the way they could, and should if the dynamics/energy elsewhere are any indication.
      Rating: 8

    5. Nice fade-in at the beginning, and nice, strong presence of the 2nd altos. Good balance, and good background control. The rhythm is steady, but the song could use a little more energy.
      Rating: 7

  7. My Lovin' (5.0)
    1. An extremely repetitive arrangement — the song sits on the same chord for the whole song, rhythmic backgrounds just repeat endlessly. The swing section at end doesn't really come off because there's not enough of a contrast from the rest of the song. I hated the "Owww!" a lot; it sounded like someone trying to do some kind of a character voice and failing miserably.
      Rating: 5

    2. This arrangement attempts the same complexity and intensity that Cornflake girl tried for, but it works better here. I like the breakdown section, but the spoken intro ("and now it's time for a break down") to the breakdown sounds silly. (They almost always do in a cappella covers.)
      Rating: 6

    3. This one just doesn't work at all. There are far too many voices dedicated to an annoying imitation of the upper parts of the groove without any satisfying bass line. The whole thing feels sparse and silly. The soloists have the right amount of sass and vocal flexibility, but with an a cappella setting instead of a hard groove, they just sound flaccid. There is also an unfortunate arrangement flaw that places the annoying rhythmic groove in the exact same register as the vocal chorus ("Never gonna get it...no you're never gonna get it") so they get lost in each other. And of course, there's the real reason this thing would EVER get arranged for a cappella, the "breakdown". It feels a bit rushed to me, and I think the first phrase is not transcribed quite correctly.
      Rating: 3

    4. Soulful, but in a very white way. Nice enough, but this song isn't musical enough to do anything with, and unless you are the Lorelei you don't have a soloist/trip worth doing it anyway. The spoken bits are poor, though the "ows" are inspired.
      Rating: 5

    5. A cappella funk is often attempted and often falls short, but Terpsichore gives it a fair shake here. They have enough voices to fill in the arrangement, and the soloists infuse the soul and attitude.
      Rating: 6

  8. Say, Say, Say (5.2)
    1. This song was lame when it came out, and unfortunately the group has done nothing to update it in any way. (I would be curious if the group actually likes this song, or if they are just doing it for nostalgia or camp value.) The "scat" background syllables are very awkward, particularly the "dwee's." This arrangement also has one of the weakest endings I've ever heard. A couple nice points are the "scat" soloist in the middle, and someone doing a solid harmonica imitation.
      Rating: 5

    2. This Paul McCarthy song was a good choice of material, but it's basically innocuous. There's a strong bridge section and a good harmonica impersonation — it isn't overly showy, so it blends in with the rest of the voices well.
      Rating: 6

    3. Wow. That introduction is squarer than the squarest pablum ever conceived by Mr. McCartney. And he's spewed some pretty rhomboid pablum. "Dwee da do"? Did they REALLY sing "Dwee da doo"??? I'm not sure if they arranged this for pure camp value, but this is really bizarre. Well, at least it's not too long.
      Rating: 4

    4. This is rich — it sounds so 70's, so Gloria Gaynor. If that's on purpose, they get definite cool points. You'd think they were too classy to try a cheeseball vocal guitar, but no such luck.
      Rating: 7

    5. Overall, the performance of this one is sung a little too straight, but more problematic is the fact that the second soloist rushes every single line. This one was not a great song to start with, but at least this arrangement is not bad.
      Rating: 4

  9. Mexico (5.0)
    1. The soloist sounds like she's straining to sing in the low register this is arranged in, but otherwise all right. Nice and short.
      Rating: 6

    2. The trouble with any James Taylor song is that he's got such a beautiful and interesting voice that he can get away with writing ridiculously simple melody lines. The problem when other people try to sing them, Mexico in particular, is that most of the verses are on the same three notes. The lead here sounds odd spending most of her time singing an almost monotone line toward the lower end of her register. On the few words where the song moves around the scale ("sounds so SWEET") you can tell the lead is actually a strong vocalist. This is the first really distinct vocal on the album. It's a shame the material is so cramping and restraining.
      Rating: 6

    3. A lot of songs on this album seem to fade in, but I'm not quite sure why. I guess they just like it like that. The soloist uses a very odd tone in this song. I'm not sure if she really sings like that, or if she's just trying to be imitative. There are some nice moments in this arrangement, as well as a few rough ones.
      Rating: 5

    4. Is this solo for real? It sounds like a parody, until you realize that she isn't going to stop and they are doing the whole thing. Eeeeeew. Before she came in, I was going to comment that the background sounded nice but I wasn't sure about the merits of a fade-in. The second altos sound good too.
      Rating: 4

    5. Well, I have to say that the quality does waver a bit here in the middle of the album. This is a great song choice and a great arrangement, but the solo is too heavy. The notes are there, but polish and finesse are lacking. Outside of that, the background is very good.
      Rating: 4

  10. Abba Medley (6.8)
    1. Just for the record, Super Trooper has to be the dumbest song ever written. Now that that's out of the way . . . this medley will give you whiplash with it's abrupt transitions. The transitions and key changes have nothing to do with the rest of the music — you've got your perky 80's pop chugging along, and out of the blue, the group comes to a dead stop on a chord, and does a big fat V7 — I into a totally different key. It's like you're listening to a song on the radio and all of a sudden SPEBSQSA pirate radio jams the signal for a few seconds. (I hate to admit it, but even though there were a lot of things that bothered me about the medley, I still found it kind of amusing)
      Rating: 6

    2. It's an ABBA medley. Add two points if you liked ABBA when they were big in the 70's. If you're too young to have heard of ABBA, add two points if you like Ace of Base.
      Rating: 6

    3. OK, we're jumping on the Abba bandwagon here. Once again, the group is quite solid. The arrangement is pretty nondescript. It's probably really popular on campus.
      Rating: 5

    4. "G'dung"??? It only shows up once predominantly a few times, but why ruin such a great rendition of Dancing Queen with syllables like "g'dung" and "jigga." Other than that, it's great, the transitions are good, the solos too and overall this just kicks. The ba doobas in SuperTrooper showcase some terrific voices. But those damn syllables in Dancing Queen. Still, any Abba fan can look behind them and love this.
      Rating: 8

    5. Points for choice here. This is fantastic because it is so classic, and it is fun. Though the first two songs in the medley, "Dancing Queen" and "Take a Chance," are the best, the whole thing is pretty good. Musically, it is solid — great choral work. There are no holes here.
      Rating: 9

  11. Only You (7.2)
    1. Very sick of the song, but the arrangement has some original ideas, particularly some nice counter lines and a strong introduction. The bell tones that are the main feature of this song go away on last verse, making for a nice change of pace.
      Rating: 7

    2. I love this song on paper, but I've never really liked anyone's performance of this song (including Yaz, The Flying Pickets, and any of the college groups out there...). They all strike me as botched attempts at a lush sound, when all the song really needs is a simple, "street-sound" arrangement, This arrangement, by Deke Sharon, does good job adding a layer of lushness to the basic melody and the Terps have strong enough diction so that the doo wop syllables don't get lost. Best recording of this I've heard in a long while.
      Rating: 7

    3. Very nice texture. The bell tones aren't always right in rhythm. The solo line is smooth and lovely. It's a very different use of the voices than any of the other tracks and a welcome change. Very easy to listen to.
      Rating: 7

    4. Very jazzy, Deke. I know you're running out of creative ways to arrange this song uniquely, so I suppose I'll tolerate it's cheesy, overstudioed baby-Puerling mood. The two-voice melody adds to the fuzzy chorus effect. Tee hee.
      Rating: 7

    5. I like this song, and this is by far the best arrangement of it I have heard. There are a few "bum"s off in the background, and though they are not many, they stand out because the rest of the song is so tight. I like the multiple voices on the lead. As a whole, it is soft and warm. Well done.
      Rating: 8

  12. Linger (7.4)
    1. The lead vocalist sounds a lot like the original. There is a descant that is _annoying_, way too much vibrato — reminded me of the woman singing on the old Star Trek theme. The backgrounds are more rhythmic than many tunes on here; they support the melody well without cluttering things up.
      Rating: 8

    2. This is the best song on the disc. It is also the first track to be arranged by members of Terpsichore. The soloist is doing an imitative performance of the Cranberries right down to the accent. But it doesn't come off as phony. Instead it seems to give her a character to sing as, and I suspect that where a lot of her strength lies. Take my advice girls: stop playing with the boys and do it yourselves.
      Rating: 8

    3. ARGH! This does a horrible job of trying to imitate the open strummed feel of this song and it just doesn't work at all. Add to that a pretty mediocre attempt to imitate the vocal stylings of the original recording and you've got a really annoying track. Well, maybe it's not that bad. The arrangement does end up filling out a good deal and the vocalist could have been a lot worse. Still, I'd like to have seen something else done with this song.
      Rating: 5

    4. Another fade-in. Unnecessary this time. Hint #2: 'dang' is not a good syllable on which to base an arrangement. On to the rest of the song. The whole thing sounds very much like a tribute cover by the Judds. Rhythm, solo, all are rooted in the original, but get a little more swing and honky-tonk. Not bad, but maybe not what I'd ever choose — if you've ever heard Alan Jackson do "Summertime Blues" you know what I mean.
      Rating: 7

    5. Another really good track. This cover really does justice to the original. The dynamic changes are smooth. The percussion is quality, and the descant is very clear and on - good control. The solo is easy to listen to, and changes intensity well.
      Rating: 9

  13. These Are Days (7.0)
    1. Nice "echo" effects in the backgrounds. Otherwise, nothing really jumped out at me — a solid arrangement, but nothing really unexpected (with the exception of a cool ending).
      Rating: 7

    2. The backing vocals are strongly attacked. The two soloists are in fine voice and have a gentle blend, but they need to come at this song with stronger projection, higher energy, and more umph to really make the lead soar over the background. It's about two and a half minutes into the song, when they switch from an in-sync duet to true solo lines, that they really let loose.
      Rating: 7

    3. The group is fine and the arrangement, while true to the original, is quite uninteresting. It just vamps endlessly. And then it ends.
      Rating: 5

    4. I have to say I like this arr, perhaps more than any other I've heard. The soprano oohs are elegant, particularly on top of the rhythm in the rest of the background. The transition into the second verse is superb. Solos are breathy, but for the most part work, except for one anomaly line, the one with "...you might fill with laughter" which sounds terribly misplaced. Overall, nice job.
      Rating: 8

    5. As in the previous two tracks, this is quality a cappella. Percussion really makes all the difference. The sound is full and balanced, and the solo is well-suited to the song — nicely sung, musically as well as emotionally.
      Rating: 8

  14. Leader of the Band (6.2)
    1. I liked the unaccompanied opening solo, although some notes were pitchy. The simplicity of this one made for a nice ending to the album, a good contrast to the fairly busy arrangements leading up to it.
      Rating: 6

    2. Great idea for a cover. It's nice to hear women wrap their vocal chords around this classic folk rock ballad about father a father and son relationship. It's also about musical inspiration. It comes off as a tender valentine here. The track starts off with a few lines sung totally solo until the backing vocals ease there way in. Honestly, I could have listened to the whole song as a solo. Speaking of solos, the soloist brings a deep and sure voice to this song, without ever having to belt.
      Rating: 8

    3. Interesting choice to end the album, but somehow appropriate. Pretty low energy and low interest. The notes are all there, but I have no particular urge to hear it again.
      Rating: 5

    4. I like the opening style, even though the solo's voice is not _quite_ up to the task. I think if they'd pushed the whole thing up a step and she had lightened up it could have gelled a bit more. For this most part, this song is fine, nothing special.
      Rating: 6

    5. The tempo of the single voice at the beginning is difficult to find, but evens out when the rest of the group joins in. The soloist is very good until she forces, which roughens her control and texture. The 2nd altos, again, are good, and the choruses are well blended and well balanced.
      Rating: 6

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