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Swaram A Cappella

Texas A&M University

Skyfall/Saans - Single (2013)

4.0

Review By Catherine Lewis

November 4, 2013

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Swaram from Texas A&M is a South Asian a cappella group. With its latest single Skyfall / Saans, the group is continuing the recent trend of fusing Western and Indian music by pairing Adele's Skyfall with Saans from the film Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

The recording sounds good; the group members recorded this themselves, to impressive results. Either half of this mash-up could stand well on its own. Opening with Skyfall, Swaram sets a haunting tone, and lead Melissa Mathew commands attention with her sultry solo. The transition to Saans is a bit jumbled; the soloists here are equally good, but there's such a difference in tone from Mathew's Skyfall lead that the switch is a little jolting.

I wish that the mash-up aspect of this track had been a little more prominent. There seem to be snippets of Skyfall in the background of Saans, but it's hard to tell. The track peaks in its last 30 seconds, when both songs come together for a surprisingly unified mash-up. This is the best part of the group's performance; the arrangement is great, and the soloists cut through the backs in a really interesting way. I understand that the track needed to set the stage by giving each component song its moment to shine, but this climax passes by a little too quickly.

Despite the disappointing balance among the song's three sections, this is still a very good track. The recording is great, the soloists are solid, and the performance is engaging.

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