Total time: 48:17, 17 songs
Start with several sacred selections such as "Behold Man", "Crucifixus" and "Lazarus Unwound", add to that some religious Christmas music including "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" and "The First Noel", then throw in a few pop songs like "Good Lovin'", "Conjunction Junction" and "Bad Case of Loving You", and what you end up with is a very odd mixture of songs. The sacred selections have their merits, just as the pop songs have theirs, but these are not necessarily songs that you want to listen to all in one sitting. They just don't flow well on the same album — it is a bit of a jolt to the listener every time the style takes a complete turn.
The Accidentals are part of the UGA Men's Glee Club, and they sound like exactly that. Their sound is very trained and very regimented. They are solid and consistent, with nice harmonies and blend. The soloists are fully supported but not overpowered by the rest of the group. Overall, the balance of parts is not bad, but I would prefer to hear a stronger presence of the basses, and less falsetto.
A couple of the more classical tracks have a meditative quality
that I quite enjoyed, but my favorite tracks were
"Somebody", which is beautiful and almost haunting,
and "Take a Chance on Me", which is done with
Noteworthy, a UGA women's group, and is just plain fun.
Rating: 6 (6.4)
What an eclectic album! On it I found many different styles including classical, pop, Christmas tunes, and even a hint of barbershop.
This group definitely has a knack for singing in a classical style. Tuning, dynamics, and rhythm are all there on almost every classical track. Unfortunately, some of the pop stuff suffers.
This group sounds like they are having a lot of fun with the
music and I am impressed by their ability to sing live AND in the
Rating: 7 (6.9)
Before I get into anything else, I have to say gushy things about the cover art. The U Ga. Accidentals have these really cool caricatures on their CD jacket, plus a great photo of their director, and the whole thing is very well-conceived.
That being said, there isn't that much more that stands out on the album. The group's glee club roots are all over the place. In addition to the music, they also sectionalize their CD like a glee club — first sacred music, then the secular choral, then the doo-wop, followed by Christmas/madrigalesque and ending with live. I commend them for sticking with what they know and keeping almost half the repertoire classical — makes the album stand out in the collegiate soup, and it also sounds like they really enjoy that side of their material as well as the pop stuff. A lot of these type of groups do fine on the doo-wop but can't keep the classical stuff together like a class chamber choir — these guys are near the top of that type of group. The basses and lower parts sound particularly good.
Nothing glares at me too bad, and nothing will really move you to
put it on your personal a-cappella-best-of mixes, but it's a solid effort
with a little innovation here and there. Better if you like small
ensemble glee clubs and can cope with the all-too-frequent over use of
Rating: 6 (5.7)
the accidentals are one of a handful of college groups that do it all:
contemporary vocal pieces, religious motets, pop songs, songs of the old
west, children's educational music, & abba. they succeed in a few of these
genres, don't succeed in others, and basically put together a decent album
of vocal music. not necessarily cohesive (in terms of an album's worth of
cohesive material for showcase as an ALBUM), not necessarily amazing vocal
performances, not terribly great soloists, but with some very nice
arrangements and some interesting choices of music. this album is like a
survey course: many different styles, but not too in depth in each style.
it's like a collegiate a cappella sampler. if you'd never seen an a
cappella group in your whole life, you'd die for these dudes. guaranteed.
you'd leave the concert laughing, singing, and you'd buy the album.
definitely. but if you've heard a group which has selected for themselves
a niche, you'll find that their music, while confined to that niche, is a
cut above what the accidentals provide. i wish i had a video, because from
listening i can tell that i'm missing much of what the accidentals are
Rating: 5 (5.0)
Sometimes you CAN judge a book by it's cover. Take for example the new album by the Accidentals, who's packaging features a set of warnings to any potential listeners. Warning number one: The cartoon of the group on the cover has them all wearing tuxedos and standing in a semicircle. Warning number two: The trio on one of the songs, and I swear I'm not making this up, is sung by Thad, Skippy, and Russ! And that's just the liner notes! On the album itself, all of you worst fears will be confirmed. This is not an a cappella group, this is a glee club.
I'm Jewish, so when I saw the large number of spirituals and hymns
on the track list I got nervous. I was worried, since I simply don't
like that kind of song, that I would have a hard time being objective.
So I promised myself that I would listen to each song on it's own
terms. I still didn't like it. Jesus references aside, this is an
unengaging album. You should only listen to this disc if you are very
desperate to add some more "Christian A Cappella" (as the good folks
at Primarily A Cappella call it)
to your collection.
Rating: 3 (3.7)
The first of many sacred selections done as a group, this track has nice
blend and full sound, but I found it difficult to understand the lyrics — the
diction is a bit muddled.
Really nice chord progression to open this track with. Some of
the ending consonants of phrases are being hit too hard for my
liking, but nothing to cry over. Great dynamics! Some nice
tuning at times, really locking in some tough chords. A good
choral piece to begin the album with.
What a lovely piece with which to begin the CD. A modern choral piece
that is unique and engaging — the sort of thing churchgoing types would
love to hear as an anthem but rarely get. The lyrics fit with the music
and carry more of the mood in, say, a great work like Messiah than some
trite piece of piano-accompanied Christian drivel.
this is the modern vocal piece on the album: modern sounding harmonies,
heroic, balls out singing (chin up! balls out! check your diphthongs!),
ron nelson (the dude who wrote it — not a member of the accidentals) was
probably pretty psyched to have it recorded. this piece is the exact
opposite of rhythm and blues. behold man sounds very much like a prep
school choir number; the accidentals perform it well, and make their way
through the difficult harmonies with only minor (no pun intended) pitch
problems. a relatively good barometer of things to come in terms of style
for the first couple songs...
"Behold man! God-summoned, yet God bound . . ." Heavy stuff, no?
Well, it ought to be. This is a song that should put the fear of God
into the listener. It doesn't. It ought to cause a stirring in the
soul. It doesn't. It ought to at the very least strive for something
better than soft diction and glee club style singing. It doesn't.
This is a difficult and complex piece that is well-sung. Good control of
dynamics and beautiful, smooth blend is exhibited by all parts.
Great tuning and sweet dynamics, however some hard "s" sounds
throughout the mix make it difficult to follow the piece. The
long reverb muddles the voices.
Beautiful, legato sacred music. Not for everyone, but if I were at their
concert this is one of the pieces I'd remember. Performed very
competently — they aren't Chanticleer, but they are talented college
students. Hats off too to the director — I'm sure he played a big role
in why they sound as good as they do on these first two. (I'm guessing
he's a faculty/staff director, maybe of the glee club too and doesn't
sing, from the liner notes.)
i'm a huge fan of renaissance music, which this
sounds like to me (i hesitate to label it so because
there's no note indicating the author's place in
history). [the composer is Antonio Lotti. — ed] it's
rare to find a solemn madrigal on a collegiate album
that isn't the school song. anyway, the reverb is nice,
but again, their pitch suffers, and in this sort of
piece that sort of error is harder to bear.
The lyrics, which are in Latin, translate to "He was crucified under
Pontius Pilate, suffered, died, and was buried." If that's not enough
for you, the track starts and ends as a ambient, tonal drone. In the
middle it crescendos and finds some form, but never enough to catch
This tune is boppy and light, but could be tighter. The arrangement is
simple but top-heavy. The high voices are in need of tuning.
Interesting arrangement. Lead vocal not bad, but the harmony has
no blend with it and they are at times not quite in tune with
each other or the background vocals.
This doesn't grab me at all. Kind of James Taylor meets church choir,
with arranging tricks from Chattanooga Choo-choo. Add 2 if you like
contemporary Christian music.
more pitch. this group needs more pitch. remember
the tv movie when you were growing up about noah's ark?
noah's getting all pissed at his sons for not helping,
and he yells "more pitch! i need more pitch!" anyway.
back to our review. i've been told that lazarus unwound
is an "inspirational" song, a style of which i was
wholly unaware. regardless, the high tenors invariably
fall flat amongst the usual pitch problems, and this
song is one of the album's weakest arrangements.
The backing vocals are still too glee clubish, but the trio of leads
have an easy going spirit when they take solo lines and, overall, the
track has a cute stride to it.
The first thing that you will notice about this song is that it starts with
piano music. Then, after getting used to the idea that this song is
choral but not a cappella, you will hear the harmonica. So get past
that, and you will enjoy the superb blend of the harmony, the smooth
lead voice, and the richness of the bass part.
Piano AND harmonica found in this track! Anyway, some good piano
playing, great dynamics and rhythm for a player. I understand
that the harmonica takes over the 'lead' for a few bars, but it
still could have been mixed a little lower. Nice blend and
dynamics, but it drags just a little. Great lead for this style
Really a very pleasant college choir number — best to envision yourself
sitting in a chapel of some sort, eyes glazing over as you listen to it.
The piano is true to form and really not bad — fits right in with the
glee club mood.
whoa! a piano! cool! i was getting sick of all that, whatdoyacallit? a
cappella music? no instruments? what are you, crazy? this is the best
track on the album! seriously! i loved listening to it. I OWN AN LP, A
LONG PLAYING RECORD ON VINYL, OF THE NORMAN LUBOFF CHOIR SINGING THIS SONG
AMONG OTHER SONGS OF THE OLD WEST! just thought you might like to know
that. a beautiful arrangement, fantastic blend, interesting ending. the
only thing this song suffers from is what has become a tired refrain in
this review, bad pitch. when the piano re-enters it is most obvious that
the group has drifted. HOWEVER, i didn't really care. i was gettin' into
it. can't beat the old west, and the accidentals scored with this one.
The only interesting part of this song is the instrumental solo (and I
don't mean that figuratively: there is a piano and a bit of harmonica
on this cut). The group actually builds to a nice little harmony on
the piano solo, and the decrescendo as the harmonica comes in is a
good bit too.
This is a live cut, and is sung barbershop-style. The laughing is
distracting, but that is always a chance you take with a live recording
when the audience is having fun. However, the audience seems to
enjoy this one more than the group. It's not bad, but could use some
Classical meets barbershop meets The Beatles! Okay, I think I've
heard everything now! An interesting classical/barbershop
arrangement which would probably please any live audience. For a
live recording, tuning is great.
Quite glee club. No piano this time, but lotsa voices evenly dispersed
and that barbershoppy bass line these things always seem to have. I was
in the women's version of these glee clubs and smaller groups at a small
women's college in Virginia; we sang with our male counterparts at other
schools, so this whole thing is a bout of nostalgia for me.
a live cut. the only real difference between the live tracks on this disc
and the non-live ones is the snickering of the audience, although i'm sure
that these songs succeeded on a slightly higher plane live than they do on
a cd. the melody seems to get lost in the barbershop-style arrangement.
the performance is relatively lackluster, and the arrangement seems to lack
any real ingenuity.
Apparently this group wishes they were in the Ivy League during the
late 1940s. Glee club cubed. How hard is it to do a simple little
arrangement of this song? But no, they had to go beyond simple all
the way to unenergetic.
I think this is my favorite song on the album. It is a pretty song to
begin with, and this is a great arrangement. The sound is consistently
full without being heavy. The lead voice is perfectly suited to the
song, and the emotion really comes through. The background parts
are maintained well throughout the song. This is a very enjoyable listen.
Great intro! The silky smooth lead vocal by the group's director
"Uncle" Paul, could have been mixed a little louder and with less
reverb to clear it up a little. Nice tempo that really suits the
This is really quite good except for the parts with words. The background
is smooth, rich and in tune — a good song for choral types. But the solo
does absolutely nothing for me and the "somebody" accents (not in Depeche
Mode original but a good idea) also seem to be rote rather than
understood. Since this is a words-driven sappy love song they get low
marks. By the way, this is the old UNC Clef Hangers arrangement, which I
have heard performed many a time by said UNC Clef Hangers. Say what you
will about their pitch, the Clefs had the mood this one is lacking.
i loved this arrangement (done, again, by somebody named b. wiles, not a
member of the group), and would have loved the track more if the backups
singing the "somebody" echoes had been on pitch. this song probably
suffers more than most of the others in terms of pitch problems. every
bar. still, i did enjoy the offbeat "nang" syllable sung by a 2nd tenor or
two, and the basses were nice and thick. also, this is the first
arrangement with space for a soloist, & he does an admirable job doing
I actually liked this one. The backing vocals provide a soft, low
tone for the main vocals to float above. The effect is that the song
comes off as serene and tender. A good song choice for this group.
This is another group choral selection, in which the blend and rich
harmonies of the group, now familiar, shine. A well-executed
madrigal, control and dynamics are tight.
Another great choral piece with very rich and thick power chords.
Well sung and mixed. Unlike other tunes on the album, the reverb
here is still long but suits the song and the vocals are NOT
Whoopee, another English choral piece, like we all sang in high school.
Tenors don't quite hack it on this one when their upper range is called
into play. But it's what they do, I have no beef with them including it.
with this track we return to the more traditional styles of the first third
of the album. i must say, the song itself was not terribly exciting. but
for the secular lyric, i would've placed this as a church number. anyway.
i don't know. not terribly exciting, but not bad.
Does the title not say "glee club" enough for you? Are you not taken
back to a preppier time? Are you not visualizing a bunch of lads
around the mantle of the fireplace at their all male school (co-ed
schools being unheard of)? Well, if the title doesn't put that
picture into your head, the song will.
Another live track, here is a standard arrangement and performance
of a standard glee club Christmas song. The solo is smooth and
confident, and adds some welcomed pizzazz to this familiar standard.
The tuning on this track is okay, but not up to par
with other live tracks on the album. The soloist is
so-so. Trying a little too hard to be smooth makes it
Liner notes seem to indicate this arrangement was
done by Whiffenpoof guru Fenno Heath — score one for
their having good taste. Lovely Christmas carol; I'd
love to have a choirful of attractive men on a frosty
street corner near my office singing this stuff. Ooh,
though — solo can't make up his mind whether he's
singing soul or classical — wish he'd kept it choral.
And that last chord — I know it's a live recording, but
its lack of tuning makes the listenability plunge.
another live one. nice. i began being bothered by the fact that the
second verse was EXACTLY like the first verse, merely with different words.
but then, whoa! out of the blue! tim edwards! the bass! rising out
what could've been just another track on the accidentals' latest release!
tim! thank you jesus! tim kicks ass. i like tim. finally, some real
passion on this album. i'm not saying that the other tunes lacked passion,
i'm just saying you can't TELL by listening to them. finally tim lets out
what everybody must be thinking. a wonderful, passionate gospel solo in
the middle of this otherwise standard christmas tune. thanks tim.
Oh goody! A Christmas Carol! Actually, that isn't sarcasm. While
this lacks any merriment, spirit, and drive, at least the sound is
full and they don't sound like a glee club. They're carol singers of
the full period clothing/top hat variety. The soloist has presence
and gives this track a lift.
This is a beautiful and delicate sacred song which has always been
one of my favorites from my own glee club days. Entrances and
cutoffs are precise. With emotion and dynamics, this is how this
song should be done.
What can I say? Another classical piece well done. The
dynamics, blend and tuning are good, but it almost seems that
this piece is not challenging enough for the group.
This seems a bit light, without the resonance present in a lot of their
music. This is one of the prettiest carols out there, so it's nice to
hear, but it doesn't get anywhere, and the arrangment is really bland,
particularly when you consider all the things that can do with this song.
maybe i'm not qualified to rate these homophonic old school numbers. maybe
not. well. can't do anything about that now. i don't know, this song
actually had remarkably good pitch. otherwise, i wasn't that psyched.
neither were they, i gather.
There isn't anything to this track that I can particularly get a grip
on. It takes focus and concentration just to listen to it.
Mainly "Joy to the World," with some other Christmas songs in there,
this selection is brief but held my interest and attention. Rich
harmonies, as usual.
A complex "Joy To The World" arrangement, arranged by the group's
director. I love the chord progressions and the final chord of
the song. The biggest complaint I have about this 51 second cut
is that it is too short!
Nice piece to hear in the middle of a traditional
Xmas show — something pleasant yet a bit off the beaten
path. It's an arrangement of "Joy to the World" (No
actual Latin — the title is just a tease) with a few
more interesting chords and rhythms, still very
classical. Mega-reverb on ending was really
unnecessary, especially since the song had no real power
to speak of.
what if you were jewish and wanted to sing at uga?
i don't know, maybe there's other a cappella groups
there... sorry. let's continue, shall we? i never
knew psallite was another name for joy to the world. i
guess i'm an idiot. anyway anyway anyway this was very
nice, a short and sweet rendition. the tenors stumbled
over the interesting parts of the harmonies that
director uncle paul tate arranged for them,
The harmonies are at their biggest here. It's a
shame this track is just a snippet (as opposed to a full
version) of what you and I call "Joy to the World" (NOT
the 3 Dog Night Version).
I found this song choice to be a rather abrupt
change from the religious Christmas music that precedes
it. But I was glad to hear signs of real life from this
group. Vocal percussion makes an appearance, and is
very good. The men of the Accidentals let loose a bit
on this one, and the result is fun for everyone.
A piece involving vocal percussion, and an
acceptable job done with it. The lead vocalist
over-annunciates at times for this style of music. The
trio and the background are not quite in tune with each
other. Really cool long-delay to end the song!
Scrow? Hey, whatever works — great syllable for
getting a rise out of an audience before the second half
of a glee club concert, the traditional spot for these
guys. Ditto for the "diggeda-diggeda-diggeda" overlays.
Good solo, by the way, and the falsetto effects aren't
such a bad idea either. I do question the jazz chord
ending, stylistically and in terms of tunability. And
honestly, was drowning the final chord in reverb really
slightly unexpected after having heard another round
of old school a cappella numbers, this song actually
comes as a welcome surprise. i'm not sure there's a
great way to arrange a three chord song played mostly on
guitar, but i would've enjoyed something in addition to
the syllable "ba" during the verses & choruses. ok
solo, not such great percussion. energy though, this
song definitely had some energy.
Hello! Is this Rock and Roll? Is that a
percussionist? Yep and yep again. The percussionist is
actually pretty good. The vocalist is in the right
groove and there's a cute, brassy instrument section.
Unfortunately, the backing vocals still have that glee
club sound. It really sucks the steam out of this track.
A live tune that simply drags. The background is
not always in sync with each other. This piece may go
over during the live shows because of some of the
"schtick" involved, but I just couldn't wait for it to
This is not in tune enough or campy enough to
justify initial tempo — speeded up tempo later in song
is by no means extreme but works. Begins with strange
little piano intro, not really necessary for the CD, I
think. Live recording, yes, but (hee hee — sorry) this
shouldn't give you complete free rein over incidentals.
Long monologue about park is best delivered of the tag
this is a really really really fun song, but it
wasn't really arranged that way for the accidentals,
unfortunately. very straight. i've heard this song
done by so many a cappella groups that it certainly is
trite to even mention that fact, but i must say it, i've
just heard it funnier, more energized, tighter, just
You know why the original
was such a good children's song? Because it wasn't a
children's song at all. It was a 100% sincere
rollicking blues song with a dead on ringer for Fats
Waller on vocals. The swooshy dooooo waaaaaa's on this
version positively murder this song.
Funny and irreverent, the simple, uncomplicated
arrangement of this song allows the lyrics to carry the
song. The soloist has a nice voice and sings this
lost-love song earnestly, adding to the humor.
A good live mix for a humorous tune, apparently
written by "Weird" Al Yankovic, but one which I've never
heard before. The background is tuneful, but the lead
vocalist isn't always. The arrangement is a little
Intro is ok this time. Otherwise I kinda like this
song — sweet, in tune and totally deadpan — except for
the vintage Yankovic lyrics it could be an Everything
but the Girl song, or even a remake of Somebody. I
guess the live reaction is a nice contrast to the
deadpan and makes it stronger than if the track was from
if i was in the accidentals i would have chosen NOT
to feature the pitches being played on the piano before
the live tracks on the album. i realize that for
continuity it might've been unavoidable, but the wonders
of digital audio make that highly unlikely. i just
thought it unprofessional, not that this group IS
professional, but one would hope that they aspire to
that level of performance. SORRY. i'll get back again.
WEIRD AL! YES! well, ok. this is ok. it's ok!
that's what it is. funny, but that's weird al.
Why cover a Weird Al song? Wake up folks — Comedy
ain't easy. You can't imitate someone else's comic
timing. Singing the words isn't enough to make a comedy
track. A lot of the humor in this song (very much in
the vein of "One More Minute") comes from the contrast
of the melody with the violence of the lyrics. But here
the background vocals are so lame that they're
practically negligible. The minimal and controlled
laughter in the background of this live recording ought
to have tipped them off to the fact that this track
doesn't have much of a reason to exist. It's a shame,
because I like the lead vocalist.
The strong start of this song will grab you. The
group really dives into this one and delivers a punch.
The vocal percussion really carries and stars in this
song (mixing?). It is almost as if the rest of the
group, both lead and backup, are actually backing up the
percussionist, and somehow it works.
Another example of decent vocal percussion, perhaps
mixed a little loud. The best groove on the album. The
background tuning was really poor, which is really too
bad because this could have been the best cut on the
album if the tuning was there.
Great intro and great energy — chord and percussion
aren't bad either, though there appears to be little
variation. Chorus sounds good — tenors lighten up an
otherwise bottom-heavy (and loud-mixed) arrangement on
the tag line. Hall and Oates should have sounded this
good. (Yes I'm aware this isn't a Hall and Oates song,
but the comment holds true.)
rock and roll. this song is injected with serious
energy by way of relatively heavy percussion, but the
solos lack the raucous passion that is the heart and
soul of rock and roll music. whoa! there's a digital
edit at the end of this song! the ending cuts in
abruptly and is marred by digital noise. this is
interesting, because the accidentals chose NOT to
eliminate the starting piano notes in a couple tracks
(which could have been accomplished with the greatest of
digitalease), but left in a relatively glaring error at
the end of this tune! anyway. i'm sure this rocker has
great choreography and is a total crowd pleaser. makes
me wanna dance. party. whoo!
If the rest of the album put you to sleep, this
one's gonna wake you up on volume alone. The vocal
percussion, which is again surprising well handled and
very bass heavy, is unfortunately mixed too loud. But
the lead vocals are all on track and, brace yourself,
the backing vocals DON'T sound like a glee club!
Yahooo! (This track gives me the strong impression that
if you took these guys and locked them in a room and
asked them to form an a cappella group, what they would
come up with would be totally different from the
Christian glee club that they're in right now. It's sad
what people will force themselves to do in the name of
It is always a treat when two strong groups join
forces to double the result, and this final track is no
disappointment. With so many voices, every part is
covered and then some. The percussion is right on, too.
Great energy — makes me want to dance. This song is
solid, and a great way to end the album.
On this closer track, this all-male choir is joined
by an all- female one. Putting two choirs together
usually results in nothing short of disaster, but this
was not the case and they do a good job on this Abba
tune! The choirs are out of sync with each other at
times but what can you expect?
Well what do you know? Girl glee club extract meets
boy glee club for an Abba song, and what do you get? An
okay, chorally-influenced (but in an ok way) and rather
inorexable version of this classic. Some nice sounds,
some blown chords, a reasonably sexy spoken voice-over
by one of the altos, and only one lyric flub. ("My love
is strong enough to _relent_ when things are rough", not
"to realize".) Ending is awfully, ah, major, and
stylistically questionable if decently executed.
this track features noteworthy, the female version
of the accidentals from uga. i can practically see the
combination of both groups gettin' down on stage and the
audience swaying and clapping. i hope that's true,
'cause as a musician, as a composer even, i find the
arrangement pretty boring. straight through,
takeachance takeachance takeachikachance chance. you've
all heard this one before.
This track is sung with the women's group
Noteworthy, and the track really belongs to them. For
most of the track it doesn't sound like a coherent co-ed
song. The women are clearly in the lead while the
subordinate men linger in the background. They start to
blend together more towards the end, but unfortunately
they also stumble a bit in the process (it IS a live
Studio blather unnecessary, unfunny and not even any
in jokes to amuse their friends. Laugh track also a
very, very bad idea. Song itself is really pretty funny
("Scrambled Eggs" to the tune of Yesterday, and their
woes amidst a hangover) and decently done, but other
things kill listenability. A cappella tracks should
never, ever have laugh tracks. And if that was a real
audience, I would encourage the group to sell them to a
dog food company or bad sitcom.