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License to Trill

Texas Christian University

Ride or Die - Single (2017)

4.0

Review By Sean P. Gorecki

December 25, 2017

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It’s not often that a song hits so close to home for me. But Ride or Die by License to Trill from Texas Christian University manages to combine a powerful song with an equally powerful arrangement. Being both blind and in an “interracial” relationship (there are no races, just people), I’ve observed bigotry on many levels. So it warms my heart that this song exists and that License to Trill is introducing it to the a cappella community through ICCA performances and this single.

Stepping back from the emotional response, there are a few technical aspects in this recording that tip my head. Primarily, the mix feels unbalanced. The percussion is fantastic, but very in your face, while the solo sounds like it is in the background, with some reverb making it sound even more hollow. The background voices land somewhere in the middle. The solo is clearly heard, but some of the energy evaporates because of the perceived distance. Another area of note is that while the arrangement is strong and stays true to the feel of the original, it jars the ear a couple of times with the transitions or the flow of the track. It’s minor but worth mentioning.

Even with these nits I decided to pick, Ride or Die not only sounds fantastic, with a terrific soloist and arrangement, but it’s a song that touches on something important, and that makes it worth listening to and sharing with others.

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