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Trebellious

University of Rochester

Believe - Single (2014)

3.0

November 26, 2014

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This single from the University of Rochester’s mixed group Trebellious combines Believe from The Bravery and Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5, and does so elegantly. But the finished song walks so long on the same rhythmic patterns and prominent downbeats that despite the nice intertwining of the covers, the lyrics may as well be "1-2-3-4". There are also some heavy filters in use that give the work a quieter soundscape instead of a more forward, crisp presence, coupled with gentle deliveries from the leads on top. 

The result of these decisions is a restrained lull instead of an aggressive LISTEN UP, a statement this track really needs. There are natural dynamics at work (with some really great crescendos from the bass section in particular; you don’t hear this much in a cappella music), but the dynamics just can’t shake the too-monotonous feel of the form of the piece, the bones of the song. Even when the group breaks form to slow down the tempo for a bit near the end, it’s just not compelling enough. 

Believe is too locked-to-the-grid and polite in delivery. The musicianship is here, but more excitement is necessary to hold our attention.

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