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The Harvard Opportunes

Harvard University

Electric Lady - Single (2016)


Review By Dom Otto Asís

December 12, 2016

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Dom Otto Asís

It's interesting to hear another Janelle Monáe cover in the a cappella world. I think it's her music style that makes it worthy to spend the time writing vocal parts, especially for a group like the Opportunes who like having material with funky rhythms in their repertoire. The arrangement for Electric Lady is surprisingly easy to digest, with simple syllables that are perfect to cradle the chords of the song. In fact, from the very first chord, I immediately fell in love with this version of the song.

Sara Wiant's and Kat Kearney's voice textures are the perfect choices for this cover. It's not a song that requires impressive belting. There's a lot to love about this track but my personal favorite is the rap section where Kearney scat-sings in the background to emulate a horn. Wiant shows off her incredible vocal prowess and when Kearney does her vocal runs, I'm sold. Even the energy of the entire group is "electric" on this one. The tickle chords in the background vocals are well delivered. And the group sounds just as amazing in unison as when the notes are split into those satisfying dissonant chords.

Even after all this praise, I have to bark a little bit about the big fat bass that tends to bury the other voices in the mix. Although it is the main driver of the rhythm together with the vp, I think it would have been better if the bass was half a decibel softer. I listened on different earphones and speakers to make sure that it wasn't just one set of hardware emitting the bass that seems to be louder than the song requires.

I enjoy listening to Electric Lady by The Harvard Opportunes. The arrangement, the solos, and the overall production deserves a big fat kudos.

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