For the 10th consecutive year, the Recorded A Cappella Review Board has named its Picks of the Year for best a cappella album. RARB's 2007 Picks of the Year were chosen from among the 93 albums reviewed in 2007.
RARB's Picks of the Year represent countless hours of critical listening by the Board's team of experienced reviewers. Every reviewer who published at least four reviews in 2007 could choose a Pick of the Year; reviewers with seven or more published reviews could also choose an Honorable Mention.
RARB congratulates the following groups on their 2007 Pick of the Year award-winning albums:
Here To Stay is a cappella perfection: creative takes on the source material, complex, beautiful arrangements, and near flawless execution on solos and backing vocals make this the best album I listened to all year.
The first half of this album is just fantastic. Unbelievable/Don't Lie alone would be worth the purchase price. Last Call has some the most talented arrangers in college a cappella and assembled a great team to work with on this album. The second half of Brewed doesn't hold a candle to the first, but that's how good songs like Bend and Break and Blinded By The Light are.
There is no question that these gents can sing. With Star People they prove that no genre of music is outside of their masterful reach. I cheered with the audience at the beginning and cried when we had to say goodbye to Jakob.
Yes, yes, yes...I can't get over the passion that was evident in each track. Creating religious music that you can dance to made this one of the most entertaining discs that I've heard in years.
I chose Exit 245 as my pick despite my giving it a 4 overall because of all the albums I received this year to review, it's the only one I still listen to on a regular basis. Its arrangements are subtly and creatively different from the originals, and yet strong enough to maintain the integrity and fun. Don't Pull Your Love, King of Wishful Thinking, and Roxanne are easily my favorite tracks of the year.
Maa is a flawless album that makes an entirely original musical statement. Not only is it the best a cappella album of the year, it is one of the best albums produced in 2007, period.
It took over a month before I wanted a break from listening to Pandæmonium. The album is full of things I want to sing or hum or whistle: giant ahhs, soaring tenor lines, rumbly and funky bass grooves, throaty and passionate solos. As always, the 'Bubs are infectiously fun, just as a cappella should be.
As my review mentions, rarely have I had as much fun being so completely befuddled. I have not listened to Maennerwirtschaft as much as other albums I reviewed last year, perhaps because I found the group's satire immensely satisfying the first time around. The group nails the plucky style of Tin Pan Alley while keeping its material fresh and fun.
Six13's powerful ability to create music that transcends languages and cultures, moves listeners with genuine emotion, and keeps a sky-high energy level without compromising accuracy makes Encore an easy choice for Pick of the Year. Encore is a very progressive, and highly creative album. The exceedingly successful collaborative engineering used to create this album also makes Encore especially noteworthy.
An instant favorite in anyone's a cappella collection, Shirt, Tie, Khaki had my highest repeat listenability rating this year. I thoroughly enjoy, sing along with, and keep coming back to every track on this excellent album. But most impressively and memorably, Micah Christian delivered the best a cappella solo I've ever heard on absolutely spellbinding Ready for Love