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Harmonic Combustion

Susquehanna University

Do What U Want - Single (2014)

5.0

Review By Michael Marcus

October 9, 2014

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It is a rare feat to hit a baseball out of the park on one's first at-bat, but Do What U Want, the debut single from Susquehanna University's newest a cappella group Harmonic Combustion, is nothing short of a home run.

The group touts its organic method of learning and arranging music, and whatever the singers are doing has certainly paid off in the studio. The track starts off slowly — a startlingly effective departure from the Lady Gaga/R. Kelly original — with a series of interweaved "oh"s and "hey"s that sound so completely natural and soulful, you can't help but get sucked in. The female leads echo and intertwine each other perfectly, adding harmonies in just the right places. We do get a taste of the original's club groove at the 1:58 mark, but it's also a transformation into a legit hip-hop track: lead-wise, the boys give just as good as the girls, and their vocal battle royale gives this track its furiously beating heart.

Of course, it's not all beginner's luck. Credit is certainly due to Rick Thomas and Vocal Mastering for some stellar board work: the leads are perfectly placed, the backs are cohesive and clear, and everything pops and sizzles just the way it should. There is plenty to enjoy here, even after multiple listens. 

So worry not, aca fans: your dollar will not be wasted. Think of it as a small investment in the continued greatness we are sure to see from this fanstastic rookie group. 

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