Tuesday, December 7, 2010

singoff 1

Holy crap, this year's singoff is already far and away better than the first season, which was pretty much hideous. It's interesting to note that there are mixed and men's groups this time, but no all female groups. Sigh. As I recall, last time around, the really really bad groups were the women's groups. Again I say, sigh. The fact is that a women's group, with the crazy exception of a group like Sweet Honey in the Rock, simply cannot produce the range that SATB or men's can. It's the nature of the beast.

Here's what I wish about this show in general:
Here's my take on the groups (I know, you've been dying to know...)

Eleventh Hour - Yay for having a high school group on the show. I could live very happily forever without hearing another Justin Bieber song, a cappella or not. Good sound, though. I give them an 8.

On the Rocks - I'm pretty much done with them already. I thought all their antics and general noise covered up the melody too much. And again, that wasn't a song I wanted to hear. (Yes, I realize my taste in songs is coloring my scoring here...) I give them a 5.

Groove for Thought - Cool to have a bunch of music teachers singing. Cool to have a dad and daughter in the group. Cool to have jazz!! Great sound. They reminded me a lot of New York Voices. The judges said they didn't have enough bass. I disagree - I get tired of these groups being overwhelmed with boom. I give them a 9.

Pitch Slapped - My least favorite song of the night. Ugh. Decent quality sound, but pretty generic college a cappella. The judges were hard on them. They went home. I more or less agree with that decision. I give them a 6.

Talk of the Town - Gah! Jerry Lawson of the Persuasions is their lead, and they are just absolutely the best. Gorgeous, traditional sound. Old-time a cappella at its best. I nearly cried - beautiful! I give them a 10.

Whiffenpoofs - Brilliant. Though they seem like uppity little twerps when they speak, they have amazing sound. Their choral sound is to die for, and this is actual a cappella, in the "with no accompaniment" sense. I have never heard the song they sang; I still don't know what it was. But I loved it. I give them a 10.

Men of Note - These guys are adorable. For the Longest Time was a poor choice in my opinion - it's overdone and would have needed to be perfect. These kids have pitch and ensemble issues, but they have huge potential. The judges sent them home, which I agree with, but I hope they keep singing, because even at the bottom of the heap they were still pretty wonderful. I give them a 5.

Street Corner Symphony - Oh! So lovely. 6 guys with bright, sweet, sweet voices. I hope we get to hear them sing in their actual style, some bluegrass and gospel, because I bet it's brilliant. Still, their pop piece was great. They have amazing ensemble, and the brave choice to end with a whole phrase of unison paid off - nice! Also, the quote, "not only do we not practice, but we drink beer" - LOL. I really like these guys and hope they don't get cut any time soon. I give them a 9.

The Backbeats - Well, here's where the judges and I part opinions. I did not like the soloist, thought the sound was brash and almost unpleasant. This group had serious big-time passion for what they were doing, which I respect. But I thought they were too frantic and didn't really settle into good ensemble until the end of the song. I give them a 7.

Committed - Of course, being me, my first reaction was, oh great a religious group, ugh. BUT as it turns out, their sound is phenomenal. Besides overall brilliance, the specific things that struck me were one, the seamless transitions back and forth from choral to a cappella pop, and two, the perfect ensemble. They reminded me a lot of Take 6. I hope they get a chance to sing all-out gospel. Amazing. I give them a 10.

If I had to pick winners now, I'd want the Talk of the Town and Committed. And the Whiffenpoofs. Yep.

If I were choosing who to go next on just the one performance, it would be On the Rocks and the Backbeats.

I'm very excited to have good a cappella groups on TV. Yay!

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