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This album was reviewed by five members of
RARB. In this compilation, their comments are
always listed in a consistent order. Thus, for each song (and in the
"overall" section), all comments numbered "1" are from the same
reviewer, as are those numbered "2", etc.
This album contains a variety of song styles, which keeps every
song from sounding alike and thus keeps the album from getting
boring. However, with the exception of a few songs, I wasn't
crazy about the song selection as a whole. Of course, this is
purely a matter of personal taste. As for the Pitchforks as a
group, I think they are most notable for their background
singing; they have consistently good blend, which indicates that
group members really listen to each other and work together,
and the result is a good, solid group sound. The arrangements
on this album are also worthy of note for the most part. A group
is only as good as its arrangements, to a certain extent, and I
think the Pitchforks have got some really good arrangements here.
Rating: 6 (6.4)
I had mixed feelings on this one. The group has a great
blend, good soloists (at times really good), arrangements are consistently
strong, and intonation is very solid throughout. Unfortunately, the group
sounds like they desperately need a soul transfusion. Their pop/rock (and
a little jazz) repertoire really needs to groove, but they tend to sound
more like a classical group. Specifically, many rhythms come off sounding
very stilted; accents are on the wrong beats, or the lengths of notes
make the rhythms seem choppy. There is a lot of really good singing on
this album; I'm sure there are many people who would think this is a great
album and enjoy it quite a bit. For me, there were just too many spots
where I found myself cringing at the stylistic awkwardness (and reminding
myself that I wasn't listening to a recording of the King's Singers doing
80's pop tunes). I also found this album to be ballad heavy (or at least
slow song heavy) and thought too many of the songs sounded the same.
Rating: 6 (6.0)
I was disappointed with this album. For a group with such a
long and proud history, I expected much more solid material
My primary complaint about the album is that the singing is
just plain weak. Whoever arranges for the group is entirely
too enamored of the male falsetto sound, and when the
backgrounds are up in the high reaches of the male voice, you
don't get much of a sense that there's any weight to what
they're doing. Agreed, that's an appropriate style for some
songs...but not THIS many songs.
They have a certain amount of musical skill: flat notes are
rare; chords lock just about every time. But what good is
basic musical facility if you squander it on such uninspired
performances and arrangements?
Rating: 5 (5.4)
The first three songs on this album are really quite good, but
it goes downhill from there. Their tenors are fine, but their basses
are never a big presence, which detracts from most of their songs.
The recording quality is perfectly fine, discreet in that it's good
enough to not distract from the songs, but not so good or showy that
it's noticeable. The balance between solo and background is also very
good — there are no problems hearing the soloists, but they still
sound like they're in the same room as the rest of the group. The
main problem with them is that they have a very limited style, and
they do not either a) modify their style to suit the type of song they
are doing, or b) do only songs that are appropriate to their style.
Overall this album is about the same as their last album, stronger in
some ways but weaker in others.
Rating: 5 (4.8)
Overall, this group has three main problems. 1. Most of the
vocals are too high, thin and breathy. 2. Most of the vocals
are unenergetic. 3. It's wimpy and unemotional. There's very
little POP! in these pop songs.
I will say this in there favor though: Even the best of the
groups out there are often so busy with complex arrangement and
trying to rock and roll, they often forget how to harmonize.
Often, I find myself listening to groups going, "That was
great, but would it have killed them to have someone harmonize
with the lead instead of sitting in on the vocal percussion
section?" Well, the Pitchforks don't overdo the percussion and
know how to put the harmony into a pop song. A lot of the
arrangements, if sung more up tempo and more enthusiastically,
could be really great stuff.
If you do go "Underground" you'll find a few good cuts, notably
a simple cover of "Change in My Life" and a damn fine version
of "At This Moment" (the song from that episode of Family Ties,
the one where Alex starts dating Courtney Cox) that's worth
coming back to.
Rating: 4 (4.8)
This is a good, energetic arrangement of a fun song. The solo
is right on, and the group entrances are tight. The `bass guitar'
solo isn't bad, either.
Decent arrangement of this song, although
there is a recurring vocal percussion fill that is a clunker. Cool bass
solo toward the end.
Too slow, too weak, too soft. Anyone remember what the main figure is
played by in the original? That's right, HORNS. Fanfare! This
version sounds like the figure is meant to be played by really quiet
clarinet players. I've heard a cappella versions of 'Al' that squash
this one like a grape. The instrumental break lacks any energy until
its last measure, and the bass break goes nowhere. Okay, they put a
cow's moo after "cattle in the marketplace", but who doesn't any more?
THIS was what they chose as the lead-off track?
Bass line is interesting, but bad syllables
on the verses ("ding ding"). Solo is warbly and rushes through the
words in a weird way. For once they get loud enough at one
(appropriate) point. The choral bit towards the end works because
they keep the muttering bass line, and then I really like the spoken
percussion. Could use constant percussion that's better than the
(lame) percussion they have now.
Outside of an interesting attempt to sing the slap-bass solo from the
original version, there isn't anything doing here. The original Paul Simon
vocals weren't just low key, they were practically spoken. Not something
that lends itself to a cappella very well. They've tried to restore some
melody to the lead vocals, but it doesn't work, largely due to an
unenergetic lead. The original got it's spark of life from the horn section,
but the "ba da ba ba" horn part in this version is ineffectual.
Great solo — he has energy, soul and personality. The arrangement
is impressive, starting with just basses, and gradually adding on
parts to achieve a full sound on the second verse. The blend is
smooth, as are transitions between tempos.
Nice lead on this one, but the backgrounds
are awful square. You can tell that they're trying for a bluesy shuffle
kind of a feel, but they just can't get the darn thing to swing. Also,
this tune would have been a great opportunity to throw in a couple jazzier
chords, but it's pretty much all triads and dominant seventh chords.
Probably the best track on the album. The soloist knows how to treat
this kind of song and the background is almost lively enough. There's
a great 9th chord right before the "Can I get a witness" break, then
that big wide chord sound that I expect from a guys' group kicks in
and they jam their way to the end. Far from perfect, but far from bad.
Solo is excellent on this song,
although he pushes it at times, he has a nice even voice with soul — I
love what he does at the end. Whole song could be a little faster, I
think — it starts to drag towards the end, before they stop and come
back in. Arrangement is simple but effective for the most part. The
swells work really well, but the beginning verse, before the rest of
the group comes in, is kind of boring and repetitive. For the most
part, though, I like this song a lot.
The lead vocals are genuinely good and the overall arrangement is alright.
If only it were sung with some intensity. And FASTER! The whole track is
too slow (which undermines the lead vocalist big time.)
This song is very easy to listen to, due to the rich and soothing
voice of the soloist. Nice arrangement as well. It is subtle yet
effective, and faithful to the sound of the original.
Sounds nice, the group blends well. One
or two awkward lyrics in backgrounds.
Passable emulation of the Alan Parsons Project. The soloist doesn't
quite have the lowest notes solidly, but nails the high ones. The
arrangement's well done and everyone seems in tune. The final
choruses seem to go on too long and the ending isn't very satisfying.
This is a perfect song to do a cappella,
especially for these guys — like "Life in a Northern Town" on their
last album, sometimes they really hit the nail on the head in terms of
appropriate songs for them. Solo on this is really quite good -
Daniel Saurborn has matured and come into a nice sensitive sound. He
can't quite hit the low notes, and is off once in one part, but his
hoarse sound is a strangely nice contrast to the smooth background.
The arrangement is simple and dissonant in places, which works well.
A genuinely attractive version of this song.
Wow, they really reached into the vaults to find this Alan Parson's Project
classic. The lead vocals are soft, breathy, and kinda odd. But in a cool,
inviting way. He also manages to bring just enough energy to the chorus.
The backing vocals could still be more energetic though. And the whole
thing is undermined by a high and thin vocal line in the background ("Just
looking at you.")
Nice vocal percussion on this track. The arrangement is full
and interesting, and makes good use of the voices in the group.
The only problem is that the high harmony parts sound strained
The group is too aggressive on the
intro; they kind of pound it out. The lead is kind of weak on this one;
he sounds like he's running out of breath at times (also, this song sounds
like it's in a lower key than the original, which causes it to lose some of
the excitement). I Liked the counterpoint leading up to the ending.
Interesting intro that isn't immediately recognizable,
which I count as a plus. I really prefer the original Police version
to the '89 Greatest Hits version, so I'm not the best audience for
this one. There are some well-done moments. Frivolous nitpick: The
soloist doesn't do what Sting does when he sings "Don't stand so/Close
to me" — his "me" sounds very proper, i.e. "mee" whereas Sting says
"meh". Ah well, can't have everything.
Arrangement is insanely
choral, as well as very high — basses are strangely sporadic. Solo is
really the main flaw with this song, though. He sounds really
amateurish — wavery, too trained, as well as being frequently off, but
the main thing is that he just doesn't have that great of a voice to
begin with. Overall not very effective in capturing the feeling of
the original, nor in creating a new sound.
There's a nice bass-percussion line, but that's it. The lead vocalist is
just wrong for this song. The arrangement on the chorus is very flat and or
in a minor key, which sucks the life out of it. "Don't stand so close to
me" should sound like the protestations of a desperate (not to mention
conflicted) man. Here it sounds like he's just let down. ("She's standing
close to me. Oh well. I'm going to go sulk and maybe she'll ignore me...")
This song didn't hold my interest very well, perhaps because I
didn't like the original. Nonetheless, the arrangement is good,
and the percussion is good. The solo isn't bad, but the whole
thing is less than exciting.
Scat solo (I guess that's what you'd call it, even
though it's all doo doo doo's) is very uptight sounding,
lead also sounds a little too "classical". The song
starts out fairly mellow, but the backgrounds get more
and more polka-like as the song goes on (lots of dum
diga dum diga diga dum dums; I was half expecting them
to break into the Lone Ranger theme toward the end).
Good arrangement with several voice layers. The
background is finally doing some interesting rhythms
instead of indistinct washes of notes. The soloist is
pretty good, with only a few flat notes. This one
reaches the level of "standard college a cappella"
quality, though it too suffers from a non-ending.
Fairly imitative arrangement, although parts of it are
not bad, but it has no rhythm. Sounds at times like
everyone is singing the same two parts. Percussion
isn't bad, but it doesn't happen as often as it should.
Soloist is okay, a little nasal, and occasionally off.
A good song to do, but not as well done as it could be.
(Not to be mistaken with the one good Nylon's song) To
quote the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,
this is mostly harmless. Good harmony with the lead
vocals, but a bunch of the lines are sung not by the
lead, but by the back up, where they sound, you guessed
it, too high and thin.
This is a great song. The solo is light and smooth and
emotional. I like the arrangement — the full choruses
really work, and the verses get me groovin'. I just
love this song.
Nice change of pace, very simple and straightforward
tune. The group gets a big fat choral sound (the
modulation is hip, too). My only complaint is a couple
rushed rhythms — these guys just need to relax and lay
back a little.
The soloist has an appropriate style for this and the
background has energy. There are a lot of parallel
octaves/fifths that don't sound quite right to me, but I
think most of that's from the original. The basses
stick a weird hiccup in every chorus that's very
distracting. Overall it's enjoyable and (best of all)
it has a real ending!
I'm impressed that they did a Rockapella
song, but this is not more than a decent version of it, again because
it's overly choral, and takes all the life out of the song. The solo
has a massive vibrato, as well as a tendency to switch from a light
touch to an overly heavy one. They don't sing Scott Leonard's high
part out enough.
This arrangement is from the version that appeared in Leap of Faith (a
surprisingly good Steve Martin film.) It was performed by a large coed
gospel choir. You would think that this would be just the sort of track
that the Pitchforks couldn't do, but they really rise to the occasion. The
sound from the backing vocals is as big and deep as it gets on this album.
The lead has a unique liquidy quality to his voice (kind of like a smoother
version of Roger "I was Pink Floyd" Waters) that makes him interesting to
listen to throughout the track. The overall sound is smaller than the
original gospel version, so, even though it's the same arrangement, it
sounds more like a street corner song than a gospel number, more personal
and less religious.
This song offers a nice contrast because it has an
entirely different feel to it from the previous couple of
songs. The background is well-balanced and well-blended.
Nice arrangement, but the solo is too stiff.
Ballad time. Nothing all that exciting.
Pleasant enough. I wished the opening percussion would have kept
going throughout the song; it would have added life. The soloist's
quite good in spots, but this was a bland Phil Collins song to start
with and there's not much they can do to change that.
Basses entirely drop out where they should be
going lower. Blend between contrasting parts isn't very good. Solo
is decent on the quiet parts, but on the louder ones he tends to
substitute hysteria for feeling. He's also not quite sure of himself
on the high notes. Cheesy song, but not done entirely badly.
I've never heard this track before. It's slow in an earnest way. A good
song on the whole.
This tune moves — I noticed my feet tapping along. The percussion
is a nice touch. In classic Paul Simon style, this song draws
you in and holds you there. Good song.
I kind of wonder about doing two Paul Simon
songs on the same album (or two songs by any artist, for that matter), but
these guys pull off both of them well. The lead occasionally sounds like
he's having trouble fitting in all the lyrics in time (which is actually
kind of amusing).
The soloist has some life to him, but his style doesn't seem like it
works here. The arrangement has some interesting quirks; at the end
it becomes quite different from the original in cool ways, such as
dropping the rhythmic background and throwing new chords at the tune.
Arrangement is very delicate, but
doesn't sound bad. Solo is sometimes on, but he has strange phrasing
(sometimes rushing, sometimes lingering) and doesn't have the calmness
of Paul Simon. The choral touches in the arrangement work, because
they're not intrusive. Holds together a little better than "You Can
Call Me Al" and I think two Paul Simon songs on the same album is
There's a world of difference between this and track 1 (the other Paul
Simon track on the album. The song lends itself more to a cappella. The
main vocal line is more musical than You Can Call Me Al, so the lead has
something he can sink his teeth into. For most of the song the background
chugs along cheerfully. Towards the end (when the "Down among the reeds and
rushes" line comes around a second time) the Pitchforks throw some clever
twists into the arrangement. They switch to an almost in sync sound that
works quite well for the song.
Interesting song choice and a nice change of pace. However, the
background is a little muddy at times, and the tuning could
certainly be tighter.
Trying for jazz (at least I think that's what it's
supposed to be) and mostly sounding extremely cheesy. It's sort of
swing, but it seems like a half-time feel because it's so strongly
accented on one and three . Super-duper cornball (the groove on this
one reminds me of Tiptoe Through the Tulips, or Tea for Two, something
in that ballpark). Some attempts at thicker harmonies aren't really
pulled off (some chords are voiced too low and end up sounding muddy).
This one fits the group's preferred gentle-chord falsetto-heavy style
well. It's a sweet jazzy ballad with a good (and extremely
distinctive) soloist, and it's quite pleasant. The 'instrumental'
break works well, and there's a definite ending! Whew.
Sort of discombobulated background,
and lame soloist with no jazziness whatsoever. Again no basses at
all. I'm not too fond of jazz in general, though, so this just may be
If you like this song, you may very well be my dad! It's an OLDIES style
track. As far as the performance, it was going fine until the a few voices
sing a high, thin melody line to the tune of "you do something to me." It's
weak and spoils the rest of the track for me. And my dad.
Here is a solid arrangement of a good song. And a good match of
soloist with song. He sounds earnest, and carries it off well.
Good use of dynamics — the crescendo in the background is very
Pretty, but mostly dull.
Catchy. This one's got a good minor feel and good background rhythms
with only occasional tuning problems. The chorus is what I really
want to hear from this group: strong singing, well coordinated. The
soloist is well suited to this.
This is actually a good song for them to
do — they pull it off fairly successfully. Mostly due to the soloist,
who again brings a very sensitive yet sure touch to the song. He
always sounds like he feels what he's singing. Arrangement is also
appropriate, with good consistent percussion that almost makes up for
the inaudible basses. I like this song a lot in their hands, although
the ending is a bit abrupt.
It's a John Secada cover and I LIKE it! You got a problem with that? This
track is peppered with tastefully light vocal percussion throughout. The
lead vocalist has a breathy voice that sounds hoarse. But, to me anyway, it
gives the song an urgent, emotional edge.
As an imitation of the original it is not bad, but the soloist's
accent is overdone, in my opinion. It just sounds too ingenuine.
The two voices, soloist and high harmony singing with the solo,
blend well. Good job keeping the tempo even.
This one is kind of goofy, but hey, I
liked it — not a tune I would expect to hear a cappella, which is cool.
Lead vocal sounds more Scottish than Australian (didn't really bother me,
THESE guys get the Proclaimers' accent ALMOST right, which means
they're miles ahead of every other group I've heard try this song.
The echoes of some lines ("when I come home") are in falsetto, which
drains most of their impact away. When someone says "one more time"
near the end, it's jarringly out of key; I hope/(wonder-if) that was
intentional. Decent ending, though.
Overly choral, takes whatever rock there was in this
song out of it. _Extremely_ authentic-sounding soloist, which at
first listening is slightly geeky, but in the long run I think it
works, because he sings confidently and hits all the notes solidly.
They don't do the "da-da-dap-ba" part loudly enough though. The only
really annoying moment comes at the end when someone goes "One more
I like the original, but it shouldn't be done a cappella. If it is, it
should definitely be done with more spirit than it is here. The leads are
sung in a bargain basement Scottish accent. Before the last chorus, a
narcoleptic voice says, "One more time." Clearly, it's meant to be funny.
They want you to find the song irritating. The whole thing is a joke. But
nothing else in the arrangement has even a hint of humor in it.
This is a good cover of Mariah Carey's version of this
song. The solo is rich and smooth and appropriately soulful.
There seem to be some pitch problems in the background, but
good control of dynamic changes and intensity of feeling.
The background in this one uses a very 'Only You'-type pattern, which
I'm tired of, and it's often out of tune, which doesn't help. The
soloist on the high parts is quite good. I would have liked the last
chord to resolve...
In order to justify singing the lead an octave
lower than the original, you have to sound pretty fantastic. This guy
doesn't quite make it — too classical on the low notes and
substituting theatrics for emotion in many places. The arrangement is
quite good in parts, but (and rightfully so) mostly a background for
the solo. If it were better this song would be really good, instead
of just decent. Their blend is also terrible in parts.
The vocals, in sharp contrast to others, are downright assertive. Hello!
Grunge-appella. If you're a fan, you'll like this. The
arrangement is full and interesting, with movement and
variation in feel. Nice voice on the soloist.
Cool intro, nice dynamics. Really awkward mouth
percussion fill. Otherwise liked it — good job of
building in intensity.
For such a big-deal heavy rock song, I would have wanted
a more dramatic background, not this much falsetto and
this many quarter notes giving it such a plodding feel.
The soloist does as well as can be hoped; it's tough to
try and match the original singer.
The main problem with this is that it's really not their
type of song at all — the choral/soft rock approach
sounds foolish. This would actually be a quite good
arrangement — for another song. Everything else about
it is more a reflection on Stone Temple Pilots than on
the Pitchforks — the song sounds exactly like ten other
songs, the lyrics are ridiculous (especially when so
exposed in an a cappella arrangement), and the solo does
a passable job of imitating Weiland imitating Eddie
Stone Temple Pilots? What the @#*% were they thinking?
It's slow and unassuming. Bad idea. Especially if
you've heard the version by Off the Beat. The only
thing that isn't embarrassing in this song is the brief
instrumental riff that comes up between the verses.
They pull this off fairly well with little more than a
"Ba Da (clap) Baa" and smart use of dynamics. But
that's maybe 20 seconds total of this sucker.
This one is thin. I have problems with the soloist's enunciation,
especially his word endings and his timing. This song was popular
when the original came out, but seems to fall a bit short of
Nothing terribly wrong with this one, other
than the fact that it's Angel is a Centerfold. Why do this one, especially
on an album? Is there anyone on the planet who really needs to hear a few
more na-na-na's to make their life complete? At least if you're going to
do a song this tired, you can give it a new twist.
UNCLE! Sorry, that just slipped out. This one combines everything I
dislike about this group's songs: WAY too much falsetto, no indication
that they mean what they're singing, insufficient energy to come
anywhere near the original, and it lacks any detectable trace of soul.
Wimpy and choral. If one is going to do this song
at all, you have to ham it up and be as ridiculous as the original,
not do it semi- seriously as this version is. Background is nearly
inaudible throughout most of song. Lead sounds like he's about five
years old. For the most part, pretty lame.
My stereo must be broken. It sounds like they're trying to do this song
WITHOUT the whistling part. The "Na Na's", which normally sound like
they're sung by a bunch drunk band at a frat party, instead sound like
they're sung by some tuxedo clad a cappella group at an alumni event trying
not to scare any of the old people in the audience.
The classic bassline is a real hook, but otherwise,
the arrangement is simple and repetitive. And the hand claps
could use a little help. Not a bad Elvis impersonation,
Very stilted and uptight sounding (especially for
Elvis). Kinda repetitive, too.
The soloist does well in this, and he's sufficiently Elvis-like for
me. I get the impression the basses would sound really good if I
could hear them; they're mixed way below where they should be. Oh
look, the rest of the accompaniment's in falsetto (sigh). Hey, it's
got a real ending!
Not bad, very cleanly done, although there's no
soul to it at all, and the basses are nonexistent. The solo also
isn't bad, but he's more boring than Elvis — he doesn't sing any
variations on the basic melody line. Inexplicable outbreaks of
clapping at the beginning of each verse, that should have either been
kept up throughout the entire song or left out entirely.
It's Elvis, sung to a good Elvis beat, but without an outright Elvis
impersonation. It's okay.
Nice group blend, good choral sound. But the solo is weak, and
for some reason dies off at the end of every line. This song is
just monotonous, which is not entirely the fault of the Pitchforks.
It feels like it's a novelty number, but they sing
it with such straight faces, it's hard to tell.
Not knowing the original, I'm curious where this came from. It's a pleasant
tune (though falsetto-laden), the arrangement's got some interesting twists in
it and the chorus doesn't very get old even though they do it a great deal.
This song irritates me, especially as the solo
and background are way too classical. I can't figure out what genre
it's supposed to be — not that that matters, but I don't really find
it very compelling for any style.
"I'm in a hurry and I don't know why..." Never heard it before. I was
really grabbed by this, largely because of the stressed out lyrics, which
really hit a nerve (no pun intended).
This is a solid rendition of the popular ballad. The
solo is strong, clear and confident. It is a pretty
arrangement, and the various voice parts are well-balanced.
The background is tight and precise, and the blend is good.
Emotion comes through well on this tune. Impressively
The energetic soloist with a clue from #2 is back! The
background is typical for this song with no glaring
problems. At the end, however, there are simply too
many fermatas; it drags on a bit long.
I cannot, off the top of my head, think of a single
worse song to do a cappella. There's nothing much in
the background, and the solo is annoying. And this
version does _not_ make me feel more kindly towards the
song. The solo is too loud in relation to the
background, and he's overly facile and sometimes a
little hysterical-sounding. The background itself is
fine, albeit unremarkable.
The Pitchforks let the soloist showboat at the end of
this song — a wise choice on their part. He's got what
it takes. This tracks strengths all stem from his
technically solid singing and heartfelt delivery. This
track feels like an old friend. (For those of you who
don't recognize it from the title, this is the song that
became an overnight hit after appearing on an
sad/romantic episode of Family Ties. The one where Alex
ditches the dumb bombshell for the plain, outspoken
liberal (Courtney Cox) whom he secretly loves. But
there's no camp on this recording-just plain good vocals
from the lead.)
This song has good energy, but the background gets a
little sloppy every now and then. Good voice blend between
solo and high harmony lines. The percussion really picks the
song up about halfway through.
Disappointing arrangement of this song. It's
really missing something, but I'm not sure what. Seems like the
backgrounds are just repeating the same thing over and over the whole way
Interesting accompaniment figures! This is the kind of background I like. The
solo's a smidgen high for this soloist, but he does well enough that I don't
mind. This, like "Something About You", is a good solid album track; not a
standout, but something any group should be happy to have on their album.
Background sort of confused, also not good
syllables. Harmony between solo and descant is very clean, especially
on the chorus, which is nice. But the solo is not that good, which is
understandable as no one can be expected to imitate the richness of
Natalie Merchant's voice, but he sounds particularly thin and forced.
The percussion is too half-hearted, not to mention sporadic.
Thiiiiiis......is.....Overdone.... But this version tops others I've heard.
They get a strong and interesting harmony on the lead, even though it does
seem to be slipping in spots.
Good arrangement — I love the steady bass tone that starts the
song out, coupled with percussion. Then the percussion drops out,
which is disappointing. The soloist is good, though he really reaches
for some of the high notes. The ending is abrupt, but overall, a
Another bland arrangement, weak ending (for
the song and the album). Seems slow and lacking in energy.
Fine introduction, but the song as a whole is done too straight. Again they
drop the percussion once they're into the song, which I think is a mistake; it
added a lot for the few measures it was there. It comes back at the end, but
it's too little (not to mention far too late). There's just not enough energy
there for the majority of the song, and the ending is pretty nonexistent: the
song just stops. Not a great ending to an album.
I think this is a good song to do
a cappella, and it's not been entirely overdone yet, but
unfortunately they take all semblance of rhythm and soul out of it,
and replace it with a very traditional arrangement that doesn't
contribute much. The soloist exaggerates the slightly operatic way
Billy Joel sings the low notes to the point of ridiculousness. He can
at least hit all the notes, but he doesn't sing them with much
feeling. I like the percussion lead-in, but it's not mixed well, so
it's not as effective as it could be.
I was surprised. The original always seemed redundant and dull and
redundant. But it gains a lot in the transfer. Overall it has a lively and
fresh sound. They change the arrangement around for a nice finish to help
keep your interest up. Unfortunately, most of Billy Joel's vocals in the
verses start high at the beginning of the phrase and cascade down to the
lower register. The lead vocalist here can't pull off the high stuff.