I was going to reply at some length for posting on the newsgroup, but I'll fill you in now. I teach vocal music at Burbank High School. I have about 200 kids in three different choirs and four ensembles. I'm just out of school, USC, a college a cappella veteran. Anyway, my choirs do a lot of "non-traditional" choir arrangements, as you can probably imagine, and I'm also a big advocate of the recording experience as a peak time for choral improvement and focus.
That being the case, I use a lot of recordings in class as examples and models. The BOCA albums and Off the Beat mostly fill the bill. In the case of No Static, for example, I brought in the album to my advanced mixed choir, and we listened to it for about 40 minutes - clips, repeats, almost every song. Of course they get a huge kick out of it, and the motivation alone would be reason enough to listen.
This is going to be the gist of my thesis, how to use recordings in a classroom, particularly how contemporary a cappella can serve as a model of proper vocal production. There are a few more angles on the thesis that I'm looking at, and when I figure it out exactly I'll drop you guys a line.
Anyway, once my choirs and ensembles were beginning to make their own recordings (just this year), I thought the RARB reviews would validate what I preach everyday (great for them to hear it from another source. Basically I print out the reviews in full, including scores, photocopy double sided, then hand them out. We listen to the albums then read the all the reviews in class. Sometimes, if I don't have the album, I'll print out some reviews that talk about what I want them to hear, usually energy and passion in the studio, a big problem with young singers (or any singers!).
There are a few things I've noticed already: having kids write their own reviews, even in brief note form, BEFORE reading the RARB reviews, makes them listen a lot more closely. Playing a handful of full-length songs, instead of a bunch of clips, seems to be more satisfying to the students. Mostly, the RARB reviews turn the kids into critical listeners, a key step in achieving quality recordings and performances. It's hard to get them to listen critically to the Mormon Tabernacle choir to teach good vocal production, but for obvious reasons Off the Beat doing Jewel is fantastically engaging.
So keep up the good work. There are 200 of us in Burbank who reap huge benefits from the work of you and your reviewers.