Total time: 58:39, 20 songs
Tracks 2-5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20 recorded by the 1993-94 Clef Hangers.
Tracks 1, 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18 recorded by the 1994-95 Clef Hangers.
The University of North Carolina is a school that has produced a number of remarkable things. It's athletics department is known world-wide. Michael Jordan came from North Carolina.
That being said, it's a cappella has not reached such heights. The Clef Hangers are a friendly looking bunch of guys who love to sing. I'm guessing, but I would have to imagine that they are a fun group to see perform live. They sound like they are earnest about what they do, but their recording does not measure up. It is a 20 song trip through Mediocre-Land.
So you know, it's not just the recording quality which is poor. The blend, the intonation, the pitch is just not there. Every song has signs of sloppiness. The arrangements are typical college fare: a little sloppy and uninspiring. They just sound like a young, messy, college guys group. I think we all know what that sounds like, so I won't bother going into it any longer.
I can't recommend this album for much of anything. You probably have
bad bootleg recordings of your favorite college group performing
that are better than this.
Rating: 5 (5.4)
The biggest problem with this album is that all of the good songs are the
first 6 or 7, and it all goes downhill from there. It's like they were on
top of a mountain for a while, and then the quality of the album just drops
off. They need to spread out the good songs in between the not-so-good
ones. They don't have much dynamic variation (I'm noticing that not a lot
of groups do!) and the recording quality is muted, sometimes cloudy, and
fuzzy. Some of the soloists are great on this album, but the arrangements
don't really help them out. Their better songs are usually ballads, where
simple arrangements work much better than complicated ones for them.
Overall, I definitely like some of the songs here, but nothing is stand-out
fantastic, and there isn't one song on the CD that sounds completely
polished and thoroughly rehearsed.
Rating: 6 (5.8)
The Clefs would be a very good ivy league group..and when the arrangements
are in that ivy league vein is when they're at their best. However, their
rock chops leave something to be desired. Their best songs on this album,
however, were the country songs....it may be the locale, I dunno. But I
was left flat by a lot of the album. The best word I can come up with
is "uneven" — good solid tracks mixed with not-so-good ones with one or
two winners on the album. All in all, though, if I had paid $10 for the
tape, it would probably sit on my shelf 95% of the time.
Rating: 6 (6.3)
this album is simply not very good. technically speaking, pitch is off all
over the place, solos are sung in a style completely inappropriate for the
song in question, arrangements are simple and unimaginative, studio mixing
is uneven, vibrato is found on most of the rockers, percussion is weak.
when the clef hangers delve into modern rock, they do so with the attitude
of a glee club, not that of a rock band. when they go for the old
standards, their performance is just not up to snuff. where they
succeed a little better is on tunes like "little rock"
and "love, me", simple little story songs with a sweet
message and an easy feel; these are easily the best tunes on the
album, with rawhide a close third. but the songs that might get an
audience or a listener excited are performed with little to no balls
and absolutely no musical vision. the tragedy is that there's 20
SONGS ON THIS ALBUM. why? if you're lookin' for the best that
collegiate a cappella has to offer, well, keep lookin'.
Rating: 1 (2.3)
Except for three tracks, this is an excellent CD. The harmonies tend
toward tight and balanced. I really liked the arrangements of Greg
Bowman and Ron Mourad. Brad King's solos also deserve special
mention as they either carried the tune or enhanced an already good
track. My one major disappointment is with the tracks that didn't
quite have the right blend between solo and support. Had those tracks
been better mixed, I would have been willing to give plenty of 9's and
maybe even a 10. I also applaud the diversity of music offered: a
little country, a little disco, a little rock, a little classic, a
little pop, and a standard or two. Keep up the country aspect, it's
fairly neglected and it shouldn't be so. I know when the song average
comes down, it'll say a 5.5 or something like that, but don't let 2 or
3 tracks spoil it.
Rating: 7 (5.3)
The title song from Green Day. This is a fairly energetic tune... but
then again, it had better be for Green Day! It has a few blending
problems, and it gets a bit sloppy, but nothing too bad. One of the
better tunes on the album. And no, that does not bode well for the rest
of the album.
Great opening tune, since lots of people know it. I like the minimal use
of percussion — not too overbearing. The soloist's voice is a little too
clean for this song, and he makes it sound a little too "choral". The riff
in the middle of the song with the "ba ba ba's" is a little out of tune, and
the song sounds rushed towards the end. Overall a strong start with nothing
too flashy, but the arrangement is pretty good.
Musically, very well, very clearly sung...which I think may be part of
the problem given the source material. Soloist makes a game attempt
but ends up being annoying...although the fact I find the song annoying
probably doesn't help that. Basic case of a well-executed average
arrangement with very little "quirkiness" that made the original work.
gotta have some balls to try this one. it's guitar rock at it's best.
this version, however, is contemporary a cappella at its worst. i found
myself cringing at numerous things: the solo is horribly obnoxious and
broadway, and cracks everywhere; the arrangement is dah and bah and bop and
dit and doo, and adds absolutely nothing to the song other than displaced
energy; the percussion is fine, albeit really high-pitched, except at the
end when a couple of ridiculous fills pollute the sound canvas. i found
this to be a truly bad version. rock and roll by a group that is
essentially a small glee club just ain't happenin'.
Interesting choice as it doesn't seem to be a song that lends well to
an a cappella arrangement. The Clef Hangers do a nice job though. Tim
Fiscus seemed to have fun with the solo, which was fun. If anything
bothered me about it, it was the mixing; the solo drowns out a
Da' Beatles! That's what this song needs: the Beatles. It could have
used some dynamics, too. This is not bad, but it leaves me feeling on
edge. I'm not sure why. A bit abrupt sounding.
Amazing how they can take a simple song and be consistent with it without
getting boring. The "help" chords are a little out of tune from time to
time. The "do do do" by the tenors really keep the song moving without any
need of percussion. I think the basses were a little heavy, and if a
group's going to snap, they need to make sure it's together. The solo is a
great range for the guy who is singing. He takes great control of the group.
The song sounds a bit too glee-clubbish for me...a LOT of block chords, and
while this is early Beatles, this is also the first acknowledged "growth
point" of the Paul's and John's songwriting...I expected more depth. The
soloist was pretty good until that nasal "ooooh" at the ending. The
verses were well-written though, even though I found the chorus' "bop
bop bop bop" to be fairly pedestrian arranging.
with this track the clef hangers seem to return to more familiar ground.
bops and doos and dahs and dots sound much better on the older beatles
tunes, and a plain white voice can get away with this solo much easier. i
found this arrangement standard in every way and original in none. i also
found the ending (you know the one, where it goes to the minor vi at the
very end kind of all of a sudden) very poorly done.
Wow! Greg Bowman did a great job with this arrangement. I saw a
Beatles song there and nearly fast forwarded, as I'm not on the
Beatles bandwagon. Bowman made this song fun, and Michael Lemon
handled the solo with skill. Of great note here is the way every part
has a hand in moving the song forward. This was a real toe tapper for
me and made the rest of the CD worth listening.
I like the soloist's voice on this song. It has a rich quality to it.
This had all the dynamics that the previous song lacked. A good
arrangement and some interesting sounds elevate this song above the
others. Except for the ending. That just did not fit with the rest of
the song... almost as though they lost all inspiration and just tossed
this chord on the end because they were tired. Fix that and a few minor
tuning problems, and you have something pretty good.
I'm glad they didn't try to imitate this Red Hot Chili Peppers song
exactly, because it probably wouldn't have worked. They actually make it a
really pretty ballad with arpeggio chords. I think the background chords
could have been a little bit louder during the verses. Again the group uses
minimal percussion that works great. It's really pleasant to listen to,
even if you hate the Chili Peppers. The ending "under the bridge downtown"
repetition could be a little more solid like the rest of the song, but it's
a hard harmonic transition.
The soloist sounds a lot like a cross between Anthony Kiedis' throaty
buzziness and Jon Secada's vocal emoting. The arrangement is credible,
and they do some good musical things...dynamics and such. No drive
on the choruses, though, and there was a lot more that I felt could be
done with the arrangement.
i actually like the beginning of this track, the little intro that jon
frusciante plays at the top of the original (theirs is not true to the
original, but is kinda cool nonetheless). however, i was sorely
disappointed by another broadway soloist and more doos than i ever could've
imagined on an a cappella version of a song by the red hot chili peppers.
basses in the chorus have a really strange non-pitched part that doesn't
seem to match the rest of the arrangement. percussion is pretty good,
pitch gets worse as direct harmonies arrive to "help" the solo. then the
soloist says "honey", which is a. not in the original and b. totally
inappropriate. the arrangement ends on the word "stay", which is also a.
not in the song and b. unsettling as an ending to the song.
First, despite the fact that I'm not a great fan of this song or the
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brad King's solo made me appreciate the song a
little more. The opening felt sluggish before the background kicked
in for the tenors under King's solo.
Here is another fairly decent arrangement that is marred by a bad
ending. Had some nice, decently balanced backgrounds that worked well
with the song. Then this whacked-out, abrupt ending. It's kind of like a
waiter who glides up to your table and serves you with style. Then when
he turns to go, he drops the tray on your head.
This background sounds a little like "Basket Case". Obviously, the chords
are different, but I found this to be a boring, repetitive arrangement. The
background vocalists (who sing "Hey Jealousy") are not together. The actual
recording of this song sounds really metallic, and the percussion was fuzzy.
The thing that hooked me was the REALLY good soloist they got for this...
a lot of emotions in the song (although the Gin Blossoms tend to write
the happiest-sounding "life sucks" songs I've ever seen. The only problem
is, yet again, a pedestrian, homophonic arrangement that keeps it in
the forefront of my mind that it's a cappella.
there's too many great bands and great songs in the world for any college a
cappella group to be covering the fucking gin blossoms.
ok, let's move on. another solo with a ton of vibrato, which actually
works a little better for the gin losers than for others. the arrangement
is solid dit and doo and bah (with a couple echoes of lead lyrics), which i
suppose is nothing new for this disc. bad pitch problems. the percussion
track seems to be accenting the wrong beats, the song ends with an abrupt
"ba da da bow". never use "bow". kills it every time.
Nice job by the soloist, Dave Sperandio. I was only slightly bothered
by a nagging that there may be an intonation problem (you be the
judge). The interplay that was prevalent in track 2 can be heard here
in the chorus, which also was well done.
Ah, gotta love those old a cappella standards. This is an uninspiring
arrangement marked by a bad trumpet solo. The bass has a good, rattling
bass voice for those low notes, but the rest of the group is not that
great. Passable, but not great.
The percussion intro to this song is too long. Doesn't matter if it's
that long in the original recording: they should have cut it, especially
since it continues during most of the song. It's a really cool arrangement;
different sections for each voice part, and the soloist is great. I can't
believe how low he can sing and stay in tune. The trumpet bridge is great;
good demonstration of human voices imitating instruments. Guess the point
of a cappella.
"Ring of Fire" — Lettermen style! Problem 1 — The bass doesn't have the low
chops to make this particular arrangement work.. is consistently sharp
on the low notes. What would have been wrong with taking this up a step
or two so that the bass could hit the notes? Plus it's my own belief that
if you can't come near the original artists version or if you can't
add something new to the arrangement, you shouldn't record it. I know
the Bobs, and this wasn't the Bobs. And there was nothing new done with
the arrangement to make it something more than a second-rate Bobs knock-off
bad pitch throughout. soloist has a great bass range, but when he goes up
into baritone/tenor territory, his ain't all that. OH NO OH NO OH NO!
trumpet solo! SHIT SHIT SHIT. the song ends with a really long low d by
the lead. impressive, but doesn't sound too great, kinda froggy. a very
light song, i suppose it was done with the lead in mind, but otherwise i
can't imagine the rationale behind doing it. unmemorable, unmentionable.
at least it's not the gin blossoms.
In an effort to not be harsh, I'll comment in general on 2 levels:
first, this arrangement didn't offer anything new. The fact that this
song has been covered by the BOBS, and therefore several other groups,
I was hoping for more. Second, despite the impressive depth of
Bowman's bass solo, I just didn't feel like there was anything to be
excited about on this track.
I never liked this song by Elvis Costello. You know, I don't like this a
cappella version either. Tuning problems, and some stilted-sounding
backgrounds don't do much for me. The second soloist who sings in the
chorus is flat most of the time. Once again, nothing to write home
I remember hating this song when it came out because it's so boring. I
don't know why anyone would want to do it a cappella. The transitions sound
a little sloppy, and some of the background vocals are so quiet that by the
time you hear them, they're gone. When the notes got too high for the
soloist on "Ve-ro-ni-CA" he should have cut the note short. I might have
liked this song if it were one verse shorter, because a rather simplistic
arrangement during the A and B section drags.
Pleasant surprise. Very quirky song, and a very good arrangement.
The soloists sell the song very well. (Good idea having two soloists handling
different sections of the song.) All in all, very pretty song...they do
this style of song very well...relaxed, story songs.
another bad soloist opens this one, and the lead switches to an equally bad
soloist when the line goes up high for the chorus. at one point the
harmony is just wrong, and in general the arrangement is boring and adds
little. even the little vocal echoes seem forced. the mix is not too good
either, with the middle parts eliminating the bass line. bland.
This track almost continued the mediocrity in its first measures. The
solos were very pleasant, they were what kept the track moving
forward. This song could've used some of that interplay that they
showed in the first few tracks.
I like this song a lot. The story it tells is poignant and makes you get
all wistful and weepy. Kind of how 'Leader of the Band' always does, but
this song is not as well known. The performance of it does not do it
justice. Backgrounds with tuning problems and a trio that is hit or miss
bring this down. The soloist to me does not convey the feeling that the
song requires. A little lackluster, overall.
This is another beautiful ballad that the group does, and the arrangement
of rolling chords is excellent. No voice part sticks out, and I would've
liked to hear the high tenors a little more. Except for a little rushing
from time to time and that the group goes a little flat (common of many a
cappella groups), this song is great.
I don't know the source material for the song, but it sounds very
country-ish. Basically, another story-song. And it's good. I don't
know what it is, but the soloists, when given the chance, tell the
story behind the song when singing...and I could feel the poignance
there. Very sweet song... and the arrangement quality is a little
this is a nice little song about a girl and a guy and grandpa and grandma
and dying and good stuff like that, and it's pulled off much better by the
clefs. the lead is pleasant, as is the arrangement (bahs and doohs and
oohs and wahs work much better in this sort of classic tune). pitch
suffers in many places, but somehow the clefs score with this one. the
mood is set well and the lead sits nicely atop the smooth arrangement.
What? A straight interpretation of a country song without being
hokey? GOOD! The Clef Hangers dip into a very deep well that they
tap into later with heart. The arrangement was nicely done, though
it's hidden by some unbalanced mixing in favor of Brian Beasley's
Da' Beatles! Not too great, hate to say. There is nothing really worth
talking about here. You have heard better, you have probably heard
Another Beatles song? I probably wouldn't have done two on an album that
are such repetitious songs. They take this song, as simple as it is, and
keep it that way. A more challenging arrangement would've made this song
better, because with 4/4 time, you need more syncopation and (pardon the
phrase) cool rhythms.
The Beatles AGAIN!?!?! Shrug The arrangement fits the song,
they seem to be having fun, but the song seems to be a bit
disjointed...clashing chords and the like..and the basses aren't
really together in the spots that they are exposed. Soloist is OK.
look out. another broadway soloist trying to sing the beatles. sounds
like they're joking. actually, that'd be a great way for this song to
succeed: make it a comedy thing... there's kind of a neat little jazzy
breakdown in the middle of the arrangement when the lead cuts for a
second... otherwise, another typical track, a little better than the
travesty they committed against elvis costello.
Average selection to begin with, it does recover a little from Pete
Caggia's solo. It's just not exciting, though; even the bridge, which
is executed pretty well, is still fairly average.
This was not too bad. Things were a bit sloppy throughout, but the bass
soloist had a good sound. I laughed at how they added the whiny guitar
melody of Chris Isaaks' "I Don't Want To Fall In Love" to the
arrangement. I laughed because it worked! It is one of those medleys
that makes you realize that that song doesn't belong, yet it does. You
recognize it from somewhere else, yet it sounds good right where it is.
That was the real high point of this kitchy song.
What a great soloist. I can just see him sitting upon a horse riding off
to the coral during this song. The key change is so clear and sharp that it
gave me the chills. The "chum-chum" background sounds like a horse just
prancing along. It took me a while to realize the breakdown in the middle
was to the Chris Isaak song "Wicked Game" and the creative element of this
rocked! This song sounds like great background music for a commercial!
Cute rendition of the classic television theme...it sounds very much like
the "Underdog" theme at points... at least until the "Wicked Game"
juxtaposition. (Very cute touch.) Soloist is a bit operatic, but the
arrangement fits the soloist (one of the hardest things to do). All
in all, nicely done.
bad pitch. i actually kinda liked this solo, sweet on the higher notes,
thick on the low stuff. actually, this arrangement was surprisingly full
and relatively interesting, with a little break into that chris isaak song
and a couple syllables other than bah! the only thing which kinda
surprised me was the lack of energy on this one, which hadn't seemed to be
a problem on other tracks.
It could've been an average interpretation, it turned out very well
done. The mixing and balance was excellent. The bass line was
definitely NOT overly heavy, which scored major points for me. I also
liked the Chris Isaak tease for the bridge, though I'm not sure why it
was there. Overall, though, well done.
Cute swing song, but not when you mess up the opening chords like they
did! Things pick up a bit after that, but their tuning is always suspect
on the more interesting chords through the rest of the song. And you
know, those jazz chords are not hard ones.
Great close harmonies in this song. But, I started to get tired of the
snapping during the song, because it sounded messy and uneven. The walking
bass line could have come out more, because the chords on top of it were
unbalanced from time to time. But, a good, short song.
Solid arrangement, solid soloist, good singing...basses are still a little
laser-tonish in their bassline where a softer, fuller string bass sound
would have probably served better. All in all, decent jazz.
Rating: 6 (8 if you're a jazz fan)
terrible pitch opens this standard. the rest of the arrangement is
peppered with typical and poorly performed jazz techniques. appropriately
bland solo; i was not at all surprised by the truly pitiful attempt at
scat. again i feel like the basses were left out of the mix. bad.
First suggestion: swallow through the first three chords, because the
rest of song is excellent, made so by Brad King's great solo and also
it's placement on the album behind "Rawhide". It
could've been just another old standard, but instead is lively and
worth a listen.
Silly wind effect at the beginning always bugs me. Sounds like one of
the guys failed at whistling, rather than the wind. I have never heard
this song before. Something about having grown up in a little mining
town, with all the little details of town you are supposed to remember
from your childhood there. Just kind of seems like a jumble of unrelated
memories. Maybe that is what it's supposed to be. It sounded like the
soloist was just reading from a scrapbook, but with no passion. Boring
Some of the really fast notes in this song were rushed. The people
saying "copperline" in the background need to learn to all pronounce the
same word the same way, otherwise the diction gets lost between chords. It
starts to sound like "Cup of lie" after a while by some of the higher
voices. The soloist sings well, but it's a little boring and he doesn't
change the dynamics at all, and he's hard to understand. He doesn't seem to
be paying attention to what he's saying. What the basses sing starts to
sound very "oom-pah-pah" about a minute into the song.
I really dislike this arrangement. The original song was very smooth, very
flowing, and the "Copperline, Copperline" was very staccato and it made
the arrangement jerk around like a wooden roller coaster. It was sung
pretty well, but I really feel the song was given a disservice by the
not terrible. the arrangement of this recent james taylor tune leaves some
chord changes out, i found that kinda strange. having the backups sing
"copperline" at every opportunity wound up annoying, although i'm sure it
was intended with interest in mind. in general, a weak arrangement which
is much more obvious than interesting. soloist is fine.
Unfortunately, it was another song where the heart of the song didn't
come through on the recording. The bass line felt very repetitive to
me and just made it seem long. It's not a bad recording, but it
definitely needed more color.
Practically every college group I have ever heard has done this song.
This is not a very good attempt from the boys from UNC. Sloppy tuning
and a chunky arrangement made worse by a medley with "In The Middle Of
The Night" by Billy Joel followed by a (thankfully) short little African
drum riff a la Lionel Richie's "All Night Long". The arrangement does
not even end the song with MAJDBTS. Rather, they end with a chintzy
little reprieve of the Billy Joel song and a hiss. Weird.
This song sounds like the 50's song "Lollipop" in the beginning. Again,
they're using the rhythms from "Basket Case" of long-short-long. For a song
by Paul Simon that has such great percussion, they're really lacking. The
segue into "In the Middle of the Night" is really cheesy, and it's obvious
they used it because the rest of the song is dull.
Minor rhythmic problems in the beginning, and the crescendos aren't even,
making for a distraction in the arrangement. Unlike the last arrangement,
the song isn't staccato enough. And the addition of the other song was
kinda cute....the other annoying thing was the percussion, which was phasing
rhythmically with the rest of the group.
this seems like it'd be a good choice for this group, with their fondness
for doos and dahs and bops, let's see... well, there's the doos, there's
the mimicking of lyrics from the lead, there's the beat changing and
ruining the feel during the chorus... what else. actually, there's a nice
reference to billy joel's river of dreams, and it works quite well. this
is the best part of the arrangement for me. the solo, again, is fine. the
overall effect, again, is not.
What I liked about this song was at the beginning at the point where
the percussion came in; seemed to me that throughout the song it was a
lesson in how to cleverly use it to help paint the picture. Again,
another tease at the bridge, "River of Dreams", and again, I ask
"Why?" It was executed nicely, but seemed unnecessary. Outside of
that, the track did seem just a bit methodical.
I hate disco. This makes me hate it even more. The tuning is not
great. But its the tempo/timing problems that will make you cringe
initially. You get to listen to the guys try and make 2 or 3
different tempos work together. Sort of like chocolate and vinegar,
or maybe like milk and lemon juice. Needless to say they are
unsuccessful in their attempts. Then they go to the tempo change that
is supposed to be there, and it sounds like they get sick or
something. You get to hear the cracking voice of one of our intrepid
disco ducks here, followed by the gross ending. Man, you thought the
other songs had been marred by bad endings. This song gets mauled by
one. You kind of wish they would start singing again just to give
some sense of closure to this bad chapter of your listening experience.
The sounds they use in this song have a good 70's feel to it, and when
they sing in octaves, it's really reminiscent of the bell-bottom days. The
arrangement is really simple; not everyone sounds like they are singing.
There's a really rough transition in the middle that sounds like they cut
and pasted two different songs together.
Soloist is strong enough, and the bass use was really funny...but the rest
of the arrangement was missing the verve and the power that is necessary to
make disco work a cappella. The block chords really do not work here, and
there was also tempo problems in the breakdown sections that were
TERRIBLE pitch. however, the arrangement at least is slightly interesting,
with more than 2 parts. i couldn't find the arranger's name on the insert,
maybe he's not in the group. hard to go wrong with disco, except for maybe
the solo... oh yeah, there he is, not too good. well, the clefs managed
to suck out all the soul that disco might have had at one point. oh well.
"Clefs Got Soul" so the liner notes say...truth in advertising or
premature proclamation? I tend toward the truth aspect. There's
every hint that it's there. This track seemed to be a challenge; the
arrangement spread the focus among the parts. The bridge proved to be
the only challenge to the slogan.
Now this is a cool song. I like the story, which is about a man on his
way back from a number of problems in his life who is lamenting on his
mistakes with the woman he loves. Pretty good backgrounds in this
arrangement, but I would have liked to hear something more inventive
than just 'doo'. These guys do a decent job on the ballads, don't you
Good example of how a soloist can make a song really pleasant to listen
to. The percussion of "dum-kuh" on the down and up beat is exhausted after
the first few bars. The trio on the chorus has a good balance. The actual
tone quality of the song isn't really clear.
I apologize if this isn't a country song, but I admire the Clefs for wanting
to try more country...it's an untapped area for different kinds of
arrangements and songs...say what you will about twang, but for my money
no one tells a story in a song like country artists. And I felt a lot
of emotion behind this song. And the thing is, I HATE country music, but
don't know this song, but i always love hearing the word "christ" in my
music. actually, this song succeeds on the same level as "love, me"
earlier on this disc. mellow, ballady kind of thing, light music, tells a
nice little story, folk music i guess ya call it. dave sperandio (music
director '94-'95) succeeds on this tune as soloist (he never had a chance
on hey jealousy) with a nice folk tone and a sweet little arrangement
behind him. best track on the disc?
Another wonderful country arrangement. Unfortunately, another track
hampered by mixing the solo to loud against the background. Sperandio
seems to be pretty adaptable to whatever he sings (see
track #4). The only true nick I have is a slight
intonation problem with the trio.
Another short, bad wind effect starts this song like 'Copperline' did.
The arrangement leaves something to be desired in the choruses. It gets
a bit empty feeling then. I noticed that the percussionist kept getting
too close to the mic, because you hear how he overpowered the mic. It
gets turned down so it's not really bad, but when I was listening on
headphones, I kept thinking that someone was pounding on the wall next
to me. You know, kind of a muffled 'thump'. Abrupt ending again. You
know, every song that I have a big problem with the ending was arranged
by the same guy. Coincidence? I think not.
This sounds like it belongs on a Kodak commercial. The echoing of
"somewhere" is clean, but the dynamics sound like the ends of the words are
dropped off. Some of the chords are basically just flat in the piece. The
chorus takes a huge turn dynamically, and they need to smooth over that
transition a little better. The continual bass line and percussion keeps a
very steady tempo. There's not much else to say about this song; it's dry.
The soloist works. To a certain extent, so does the arrangement. But
again, the OOMPH is missing from an OOMPH heavy song. Maybe it's the
percussion...I get the feeling no one in this group has really strong
vocal percussion skills, and it hurts a few of the arrangements.
This is OK, but it could have been so much more.
REALLY REALLY BAD PITCH. can't deal anymore. does this album ever end? i
have no idea to what category this song belongs. weird 80's motivational
love song? maybe. i just don't understand it, so it's kinda difficult to
rate. let's see, the arrangement is ok, the soloist kinda fits the
randomness of the song itself, the basses are again mixed too low, the trio
sounds nice, the percussion is lame, whatever whatever whatever whatever.
I had the chance to hear the Clef Hangers live, and this was my
favorite of their set. While the track doesn't do their live version
justice, it does have a definite feel good factor for me. For those
who tire of the covers of the Moody Blues "Wildest Dreams", this is
definitely a nice change of pace, especially the arrangement of the
trio, as it does not appear in the original. I especially liked the
trio when the background dropped out toward the end. Credit to Ron
Everyone knows this song. This arrangement is just like those high
school jazz arrangements you used to sing in chorus because your
director was on crack and thought that they were cool. Well this is not
good. The only redeeming thing about it is the little solo that Brad
King sings (the same guy who sang 'Under The Bridge'). He has a nice
warm-sounding voice. I'm glad they turned him way up. Helped me forget
the rest of the poorly-sung song.
This is a really good song to do with simple, close harmonies. Because
the tempo isn't steady during the whole piece, they do a great job of
staying together. (It was definitely conducted well.) For such a beautiful
ballad, they could have used dynamics as the main focus of the piece. When
everyone sings the same, basic rhythms and words, a group needs lots of
attention paid to dynamics; otherwise it becomes boring. But, because their
chords are tight, they get away with it. The soloist's vibrato pulls his
pitch down a lot, but he has a good, dark sound for this.
This is where this group excels — stiff, vocally sound close-harmony jazz.
It sounds very pretty, but it doesn't require them to have outgoing
personality, groovin' rhythms, etc. I'm not saying they suck at that...
I'm saying they excel in this. I wish I was more of a fan of this kind
of music. One thing I do know is the song could be cleaner harmonically..
several clunky chords.
Rating: 7 (9 if you like Jazz)
jazzy homophony with bad pitch. not a great recipe. this probably gets
them additional funding from the general alumni association. they love
this shit, i'm sure. ok, you've heard it before, it's the glee club
special, hit your t's "in a momen T". solo fits quite well, of course,
this is what these guys should probably be singing most of the time,
unfortunately for the rest of the world.
I don't think it was the choral arrangement that suffered as much as
the execution of it. This is the only song that I truly cringed on.
Brad King once again showed great heart on the solo; I wish the rest
of the performance had been as solid as during his solo.
An original! It is a pretty good ballad. The lyrics seem a bit odd here
and then, but maybe that's just me. I do love the line "I never had a
dog, a cat, or a bird. I had a gerbil once but it didn't say a word.".
Cute. This song would have been even better if they had brushed up on
their tuning a bit more. This song has a lot of promise. You will
probably like it quite a bit.
Considering the guy who wrote this song is singing the solo, one would
think the lyrics would've sounded clearer. They need more dynamics in this
song, because the parts that need to stand out at certain times don't. Some
of the transitions don't settle until a few seconds after the group is into
the new section. Unfortunately, I got bored with the soloist's
interpretation. He didn't sound like he liked singing this, even though he
Pretty song...definite points for an original song (which is sad that more
college groups don't try this). The arrangement is a bit too busy in the
background for the song material for my tastes, but the song really worked
very well. Good song
i suppose bad pitch is a given by now. THIS IS AN ORIGINAL SONG. kudos
for that stuff. but the bad pitch is so intrusive i'm fucking DYING.
soloist, writer, couldn't be more bland (as a soloist, that is); NO, NO
MORE bad pitch! stop! if you've gotten this far in reading this review
you probably realize where i'm going with all this, so i'll save us all
some time and move on.
An original song that was nicely arranged for a group that handles
intricate backgrounds well. The greatest problem I had with this song
were the lyrics. Individually, they were pleasant, but they just
didn't seem to add up. I do hope, though, that Michael Lemon is still
writing music, there's a lot of talent in the song that would be a
shame to waste, including in the solo.
Wow. The Charlie Daniels Band! I really looked forward to hearing what
the Clefs would manage to do with this fiddler's dream song. The soloist
had a good voice that helped carry you to the epic confrontation between
Johnny and the Devil. Then when you hear the respective competitors duke
it out on their fiddles... you laugh. The sound is wimpy and totally
missing the energy that this requires. Oh the fun they could have had
trying to make those sounds! Oh how silly it sounded what they did!
Johnny's solo was just not in the vein that Mr. Daniels meant it to be.
"whoooooo!" It sounded like a anemic imitation of a square dance the way
they moved from his moment of glory to the main melody with: "Wrraauw,
Wrraauw, Wrraauw, hey!" After my fiancee heard this song with me the
first time, we laughed...! We still joke about it every now and then:
looking at each other and going "Wrraauw, Wrraauw, Wrraauw, hey!".
Points for making me laugh.
Sloppy intro, and the volume of some parts is way too quiet. This song
doesn't fit with the rest of their album at all, and for them to overlook
that is a problem. Not that the rest of the songs are under one type of
music, but this one sticks out like a sore thumb. The "rew-rew-rew"
introduction and segue between verses is terribly out of tune. I can only
hope they did that on purpose.
FUN SONG! The background could have allowed the fiddle lines to string
together a little more fluently, but this song has the verve and the
oomph I was talking about earlier.
pitch? good idea for a tune to do, but, well... kinda painful. lead's
ok. backups aren't. bow chika bow chk bow bow bow. ooh baby. rock me.
this lacks anything resembling the concept of passion. enough already.
OK, so there's one country song that's a bit kitschy, but that's how
it's supposed to be. Jake Spencer had fun telling the fiddler's tale.
It's a hard cover to do successfully though, since a violin played so
prominently in the original. The arrangement was good despite this.
Too many spots where it could have easily fallen apart. The way the
track moves kept it from falling apart anywhere.
Wow. Sloppy beginning. Sloppy song. Full of energy, but poorly executed.
Tempo problems, and the occasional tuning glitch made me get over
laughing from the previous song. The tenor seemed to strain at the end
of the song.
Ouch. The first chord that we heard is supposed to be a major chord.
Everyone knows this song, and you know what key it is from the first sound-
except in this recording. Because this song falls under the repetition
category of the Beatles (even though it's the Beach Boys) songs, it was
another song that just did the same thing again and again. You can't have 3
songs out of 20 like that. Also, to be picky- they're saying "Good Love"
instead of "good lovin". Change the title or the lyrics, please.
Thank you for using the original song to do an original arrangment rather than
copping either McFerrin or the Bobs. VERY nice bridge section...this is
the kind of arranging I wish there was more of here. And the soloist has
a good sell to it as well.
bad. decent solo. bow bow bow bow bow bow bow bow bow bow bow. weak
voices, basses again mixed too low. the backups singing "good love" over
and over are just super weak.
The tempo changes (or at least the ones I heard) didn't help me. Will
Sturgill's solo deserves some credit, but like "Ring of Fire", I was
just disappointed by the lack of anything new on a song that has been
Dramatic, high energy song to try and finish the album on an up note. I
guess it works... sort of. The energy that gets built up through the
verses gets creamed when the chorus totally has the bottom drop out and
the energy goes way down. It sounds empty then, and there are tuning
problems that makes the whole thing teeter on the edge (no pun
intended). A pretty good arrangement, but look out! It's that same
arranger with the habit of making bad endings! But wait...
this is a good ending. It is a totally appropriate ending! Ron
Mourad, you redeemed yourself with that one.
Again, another song that could never be replicated, so I'm glad they
didn't try to. The tempo of the song drags, and it doesn't leave the
listener with a powerful closing. During the verses, the held "ah's"
sag in pitch, tempo, and color. The chords in the bridge just sound
like they were learned wrong. Maybe that's the fault of the
arrangement. They're not living on the edge, they're living on the
fringe of a rough ending to an album.
Points for the source material..but again, this could have been SO MUCH MORE.
In contrast to the other arrangements, this is well arranged but poorly
executed. Maybe if all the sections blended together better and flowed
together, it would have worked better. And the soloist is nowhere near where
it needs to be....it doesn't have to be Steven Tyler, but at least have
a rock style voice. I really wish they would have switched this and "Georgia"
this is AEROSMITH! aerosmith doesn't use vibrato! but of course, the clef
hangers do, it wouldn't be right without it. this is actually one of the
more interesting arrangements on the album. percussion is really weak.
did they just pull the faders for the basses all the way down? the harmony
is also just wrong in many places. the original version of this tune is
HUGE, phat, fills the sound spectrum from wall to wall. this doesn't.
Kudos for originality in song choice. The blend isn't as razor sharp
as it is in the other tracks. There are parts in this track that
because of the arrangement to a cappella, it loses its original edge.
Not really anybody's fault for that though.
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