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The Harvard Opportunes

Harvard University

Counting Stars - Single (2014)


Review By Catherine Lewis

October 15, 2014

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This single is available for download from these vendors:

Catherine Lewis

Lest my rating of this single lead you astray, let me say explicitly: there's nothing wrong with the Harvard Opportunes' cover of OneRepublic's Counting Stars. The song is beautifully recorded: the group picked a soloist who handles the lead flawlessly, and these singers take on the final climax with a convincing arrangement and an attention-grabbing build.

The question, then, is this: is all of that enough to merit higher than a "3" rating? Each listener's answer to that question may be different, but in the world of RARB, there needs to be something that takes a recording from "average" to "good" beyond just a solid replication of the original — some unique imprint from the group in the arrangement, or something unexpected about the group's delivery.

This version of Counting Stars is really close to the original, which might charm many OneRepublic fans, but will ultimately be a little predictable for those who have heard one too many versions of this song. That said, the Opportunes — and the group's recording team at Plaid Productions — do a flawless job replicating the song, and this cover is a great example of how compelling an all-vocal take on a radio hit can truly be. Whether that's enough to make it part of a listener's regular rotation will depend on taste, but this track is a beautiful replica of the original, and that alone makes it worth hearing — even if only once.

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