The Harvard Opportunes
Summertime - Single (2015)
Review By TeKay
September 18, 2015
Summertime is my all-time favorite song, whether it's interpreted in jazz, rock, easy listening or classical styles. I love it. I’m often overly excited when I see an a cappella tracklist that includes Summertime, especially once I make sure that it isn’t the misleading summer ditty by Will Smith. Man, I hate when that happens.
So The Harvard Opportunes score big points with me by releasing a true-to-title cover of the classic. This re-imagined version contributes a bit of grit, a touch of sass, and a smidgen of soul packed into 4:19. I was scared at the beginning of this track because the arrangement opens with a choral rendition of Justin Timberlake’s Summer Love, leading into a snippet of Song of Purple Summer from "Spring Awakening". But all is well, as stylistically and thematically, these elements serve as creative intros.
The track sounds completely natural and organic throughout; the emotion is palatable with Nikki Kapu’s sizzling mezzo on the melody. The arrangement does get a little muddy in the background during the bridge, but the overall scope is spot on – every little accent and flair is just about perfect.
So why not a "5"? It’s because the track needs everything ratcheted up one more notch – additional warmth to the production, a bit of zing and some jazzier chords in the background, and Nikki laying it on the floor as she and Sarah Reid did in the group's two YouTube videos of the song (available here, and here). This is a song about death, rebirth and parental love ... feel it, be that.