Total time: 44:27, 16 songs
Well, there ARE some good songs here. And none of the original songs fall into the trap of being totally trite, which is more than I can say for a lot of albums. But this still isn't a good album. The bad songs distracting from the quality material. You can't ignore the tuneless and unfunny novelty song that opens the CD (it's a failed Bobs-esque tribute to Barbie.) It's hard to appreciate the CD as a whole whenever one of the tenors' lead vocal lines fades into the background. It's hard to understand why they break away from their basic sound to perform some ill-conceived and rather messy covers of more contemporary stuff (Lump, Missionary Man, You Gotta Be.) Too many of the songs just sit there, failing to grab you by the ear.
It's a shame. When they're covering an oldie, such as
Let the Little Girl Dance or
Pretty Little Angel Eyes, they never
fail to please. They can write a good pop song when they stay away
from novelty tunes. In the case of
Snowblind, they can even write a darn
good pop song. As long as they stick to basics, they can remind you
of what four guys can do. Unfortunately, it's also a painful reminder
that an album is not just a collection of songs — it has to add up to a
coherent piece of work.
Rating: 5 (5.9)
am i becoming amazingly cynical? or have all the albums i've reviewed
recently been just really really bad? i have to think it's the latter.
'cause i've heard some music, most of it not a cappella, that has blown me
away of late. but four shadow is another in a long line of a cappella
groups that don't really have much to offer a guy like me. i'm in a
constant search for the good stuff, the stuff that doesn't make you think
about bad pitch and bad lyrics and bad ideas and cheesiness, the stuff that
comes in and tears your heart and makes you want to sing along and fills
your insides with a shiver that can't be explained. four shadow is so far
from that... god, they're in another galaxy.
Rating: 3 (3.1)
I realized halfway through the first song that I had heard it before, and
it's an original. Hmmm. Then, my friend reminded me that I have seen Four
Shadow open for another a cappella group on campus here, so my review can't
be based simply on the CD. They are much better at live performances, and
their best songs are the humorous ones about things like Barbie dolls and
internet love. This CD is definitely one thing for
sure: inconsistent. Although they do mention on the CD jacket that
"the CD is very eclectic" it's almost like they are using that as an
excuse. I would've liked more similar song choices. Some of their
songs are great, and others are near the "should not have been
recorded" end. But, they are only four men, and they often extend
themselves to the limits. At other times, they choose songs with such
complex chords that they lose a lot of flavor of the original because
they are working with such a small group. I'm sure many a cappella
groups would want to cover their funny songs, though.
Rating: 6 (5.6)
This is an interesting CD, mostly because Four Shadow did not play it
safe in their writing and arranging. Not all of it worked, but I can
appreciate the effort. Most of the problems I had with it centered
around two areas: blend and writing. Understandably, with a four-man
group, it's hard to achieve the blend that is often found in collegiate
groups, but it is still easy to pick out when one part is a little more
noticeable. As for the writing, well I found a couple of the songs odd,
mostly because the subject was not that apparent. Regardless, it is a
CD that would complement any collection. Not necessarily one that I'd
run out and buy, more like one that I'd notice, think "Oh, cool" then
decide that it wouldn't hurt to buy it.
Rating: 7 (7.1)
When they coined the monicker "Slightly Irregular A Cappella" for
their group, I didn't know they were referring to the pitch, rhythm,
and overall musicality. Harsh? Maybe so, but for a professional
group, this was a way-below-par recording. If your bass can't hit low
notes without scooping or vocal distortion, don't write those notes in
your repertoire. Sing with energy, be it live or Memorex. Don't
cover songs that require a lot of different sounds unless you can do
something truly different with the song. Covers should either invoke
the feel of the original or should be so well written that it makes us
forget about how the original was done. None of this occurred on the
album...and as a result it sounds like a college quartet that
rehearses two hours a week and gigs for the fun of it. If this was
what Four Shadow was meant to be, then that would be fine...but they
market themselves as professionals, and this recording was, to be
frank, barely professional. There have been rumors that the band is
rebuilding from the ground up...which may be the best thing to happen
to them if it comes through. As it stands, I cannot recommend this
recording....especially since it hits upon so many of the things that
are holding a cappella back from mainstream popularity.
Rating: 3 (5.1)
Why did they put this song first? This original is extremely Bobs-esque
in the worst possible way: music takes a back seat to bizarre lyrics.
It's a cute idea — a boy's love affair with a Barbie — but the lyrics
fail to hit any truly comic notes. And the music is a jumble of slow
harmony sections and tuneless fast sections. The tempo changes are
enough to give you motion sickness. A bad choice for the opening
this is an original song about barbie, kinda funny. it features some
really bad pitch, quite loose four part harmonies (loose = bad = not
tight), and a stop & start structure that i personally find kinda of
annoying on an album, but which probably succeeds live (allowing for bursts
of applause from the hapless audience).
This is an original song by Four Shadow which is about a love affair with
Barbie? Hmmm. It's a really simple arrangement; nothing too fancy, because
the words of this song speak for itself "Your legs are so long and you're
ever so top-heavy". A lot of the song is a soloist with moving chords on
vowels, and the chords don't move together. But, because of the great humor
of this song, it doesn't take away too much. A funny song, but nothing
A ballad (?) to Barbie...cleverly written with really strong backing
vocals. Not very long, but a memorable opener. Bruce Haasl apparently
has some emotional problems to work out, because he released a lot of
them in his tribute to a doll. Nicely done.
A cute little song where the lead fantasizes about his little sister's
Barbie. Cute and quirky, I bet they really manage to "cheese it up"
well live, but on recording, it sounds a little manufactured. Still,
it has a good chuckle or two, and it's relatively short as well.
I like the idea of doing this song a cappella. I like simple
arrangement. I like the idea of having guys sing it. What I don't
like is the choice of leads. The choruses are suitably sung by a
tenor, but the verses are handled by the bass (with the tenor
occasionally shadowing him). An interesting idea, but it doesn't pay
off. Maybe they should have stuck with the tenor on lead and had the
bass shadow him.
you've heard this one, katrina and the waves made it popular. four shadow
performs an extremely simple (doo doo doo) arrangement with the bass
singing lead during the verses, not too well, not with much soul, not with
such great pitch. when the 2nd tenor takes over the lead in the choruses,
he's not much better. just doesn't have that special something that
differentiates the truly excellent singer from the typical a cappella
singer. also, the bass line is singing over the wrong changes during the
chorus. oh well.
Really nice blend on the beginning of this song, but one of the voices (I
believe the baritone) is out of tune. This sounds absolutely nothing like
the original by Katrina and the Waves because it's a really low bass solo.
The cheesy rhythm that is consistent throughout the song needed to change.
It sounds like music that would go on a children's show (and all the kids
would sing along). The chords during the chorus are simplified, and it
doesn't sound like the original chord progression at all, but I guess that's
what happens with four voices. You're pretty limited. But I don't think
you have to be as limited as this song.
A different take on the Katrina and the Waves classic (has it reached
that status already)...the opening is an unneeded attempt at Music
Theory 101...bass Marc Falk takes the solo on this, which gives it a
bottom heavy feel...when Bruce Haasl comes in at the refrain, it goes
back to the original feel. The two solos are not necessarily
incompatible, it just takes a while to get used to it.
The idea of a bass lead on this song was intriguing...and the process by
which it was realized was cool....if the bass weren't out of tune for the good
parts of his leads. The tenor lead was serviceable..but the bass does some
weird things with his voice that really don't sound good at all...and the
low notes sound really really forced....maybe they ran out of recording time,
but if the bass really is better than this, they could have afforded another
take. Other than this, the song is serviceable...except on the chorus where
the chord progressions are weird. Oh what the hell..I don't like this.
I like the lyrics on this original, and I like the music too. Very
emotional stuff when it all comes together. But the lead uses such a
dainty falsetto for most of the verses that he's almost invisible
(which makes the lyrics disappear into the background harmonies).
When he sings in his ranges, he's got the goods. But he still spends
too much time in Falsettoland. The quiet spoken section (it's not
quite rap) has an interesting sound, but is ultimately to muddy and
out of place.
this is a really unusual original song. i was looking forward to it after
hearing the first 2 bars of the lead over a simple arrangement (he's the
1st tenor, singing in falsetto). however, i was soon disappointed by
convolution and really really really bad pitch throughout. the lead has
quite an unusual quality to his voice, a unique ability to disappear deep
into the mix and then stick out dramatically over the top. there's a
frightening section where the group sings scary progressions on "ah" and
the lead rants about not "belonging" in a quick speaking voice that does
nothing but scare the living shit out of me. and i don't think that was
the intent. if it was, success. ooh, one other thing: i'm not one who's
known for his ennunciation, but if you understand any of the words in the
verses of this tune, well, let me know.
Tuning!!! The beginning doesn't settle at all, and the recording quality
is really metallicy. The high tenor solo is so high you don't understand
the words at all. The song is really nasal and irritating. Because you
can't understand the soloist at all, the whole song sounds like a bunch of
syllables. I don't hear any sense of direction in this song. The talking
in the middle of the song has to go. I don't understand what the guy is
saying, and I don't even understand what the chords are supposed to be. All
of their vowels don't match each other when they're saying the same words!
They really needed diction lessons for this tune.
Troubled early on by what I perceived as pitch problems. Focus shifted
so much, that I started getting slightly confused. There's a dialogue
at the bridge that is cleverly written, but doesn't seem to be about
anything. I have no doubt Four Shadow knows what the song is about, and
Eric Skalinder gives it a lot of feeling, but the lyrics are difficult
to follow, as is the arrangement in some places. Nice, but not
This is a good song. Written about someone who is painfully different from
his peers...and is made to be an outcast, the high, soft tenor evokes
the pain of timidity. The things that detract from it...again, the bass
losing tuning at the low notes, and the problems it causes on some of the
sections...and the sort of emptiness to the sound. I've heard four guys
come up with a fuller sound on a lot of their music than Four Shadow comes
Rating: 6 (mainly for the songwriting)
To steal a line from Wendy Wasserstein: It's funsy! Great song
choice, and they really take the material and make it their
own — particularly on the Spanish breakdown section.
more bad pitch opens this little doowop number, which features a bass line
mixed louder than, well, louder than it should have been. the best part is
the party section, where the group whistles and talks and does a little
spanish thing. whee! halfway through the tempo increases by about 20% (i
think this wasn't on purpose). they had a great time with the pan knob.
Out of tune in the first 10 seconds is never a good sign. This song
would be great if they didn't have the slow beginning. Didn't they realize
that in recording? The walking bass line, however, makes up for that. This
song has a great swing to it, and the minimal percussion helps out a lot.
Really cute song, and this should have opened the album. The "percussion"
break in the middle of the song where they introduce themselves in spanish
is pretty cool, even if it is a little random. All of the transitions are
really clean from one section to another.
Doo-wop with heart. Nicely executed. No problems with blend or pitch
that I could see. Doesn't provoke a whole lot of emotion, but it is fun
The bass is killing me...he ALMOST hits the extreme notes in his range, and
he's sliding all over the place. Otherwise, a cute '60s style song with
an interesting diversion into Mexican flavored Velveeta. That's really all
that can be said..the part where all four have the words at the end makes
up for a lot, as it's kinda fun.
THIS is the track that they should have put up front. Strong
harmony and a simple arrangement that shows you why four voices used
to be the standard set up for a cappella. The one draw back is a
rather abrupt ending. It's ironic, because what makes the rest of the
song work is great timing and clever rhythms.
the lead on this original is consistently nasal and flat. i'm not sure why
it's called snowblind, not that it matters. the chorus is hook is "ooh,
girl." ooh, boy. not not not not exciting, the lead does little to bring
any kind of passion, emotion, love, to the tune. not a bad song: a more
interesting arrangement/production could have made this succeed a little
easier, but as it is it sounds like a weak demo version with a bunch of
takes that shouldn't have been.
Again, the recording quality is really brassy — sounds odd and too much
like an echo chamber. There's some good syncopation in this song. The
soloist is really nasal, and I find his voice irritating. He can't
pronounce his words that clearly.
Karl Schroeder with a bit of soul/funk. I immediately liked it from the
first chords. I think I also like it with all the St. Paul references
(Hometown for me is Bloomington). Cleaner track with more attention (it
seems) payed to the arrangement and production than track 3...I like it.
I think this song would make a lot more sense...and be a lot more fun...
if I lived in St. Paul, as it seems to be a love song with a lot of
local references. Bass is workable in this song...but their attempts
at color chords miss more often than hit, and it sounds like everyone is
trying too hard.
This was a bad idea. I'm not saying that because I don't believe in
alternative a cappella (I DO — just read my review of Off the Beat.)
It's not that I don't like the song either (I think The Presidents are
great!) The problem is that this song just doesn't work a cappella.
Four Shadow throws every harmony, distortion, and percussive trick
they can at this. But what made the original so good was it's
stripped down sound. The Presidents only have one drummer and two
guitars. And the two guitars only have 5 strings between them! You
can't duplicate that feel. You shouldn't even try.
bad leads, badly recorded. i think perhaps these guys should invest in a
couple compressors. mediocre vocal percussion, bad pitch throughout. one
thing this one's got that the others could've learned from: energy. fast,
furious, the speed lets one almost overlook the performance errors and
generally not great singing. great feedback on the distortion vocal at the
end: my favorite part of the album.
This was really creative, but I think they went overboard in the
"alternative" style, because they're practically "yell-speaking" in the
beginning of the song. There's a really great effect that sounds like a
"talk box" and a real guitar, and they definitely edited over their voices a
few times. This song was great to listen to, excellent percussion, but the
only problem was that they used feedback in the end which ruined the ending.
They should've left it purely a cappella.
The Pres. of the U.S.A. song. Seems like it was something arranged on
the spur of the moment (or perhaps a little more time than that).
Despite that, effort does come across on the recording (what does this
look like in performance, I wonder). Nice effect with the "electric
guitar" by Marc. If anything, it may be too busy an arrangement, but
nevertheless, worth a good listening.
The novelty works for about a minute and 30...liberal use of the fuzzbox
makes the song work fairly well. I imagine this is a highlight of their
live set...for the novelty and for the execution. The box makes a good
attempt at covering the musical inadequacies of the bass and the group.....
and it works for the most part. An enjoyable track..and something different.
Back to basics and back on track. The lyrics are a bit more original
than the average generic love song. Harmony and snaps are put front
and center on this mid tempo song. The opening is a bit to strait
forward — they almost sound like a parody of barbershop. But once the
song gets rolling, it's smooth sailing to the last note.
another original which brings me to realize just how simplistic and
unoriginal the harmonies are on this album. i don't think there's anything
but a first, third, fifth, straight major or minor chord with the root in
the bass anywhere on the album. i also have no idea why this song is
called brainstorm. it's just a little love song about bein' happy and the
girl's all cute and the guy's all psyched and the words are cheesy and the
music matches the cheddar factor in the lyrics.
They call this "timeless a cappella with budding love". Guess they
review themselves, but I didn't agree with them. Where is this song going?
There are some moments of really nice blending, but at other times they're
not listening to each other at all. It's like there's four a cappella
groups of one person each. Cheesy lyrics, and it sounds like the Beach Boys
with the high "wah-oo-oo-oo" in the tenor voice and octave singing. Just an
average song for Four Shadow.
Initial reaction: A cappella sugar-coated pop music. Seems like a
standard pop track you would find on KDWB (or maybe KS95, Minnesota
radio stations), along the lines of Beach Boys, maybe? It's nicely
done, just another track that doesn't provoke me.
Very pretty song. Again, a lot of fun, and musically it's one of the better
tracks on there...it evokes a lot of the feel of early, pre-Jeff Thacher
Rockapella, without the edge to the sound that Rockapella is known for. A
very enjoyable song.
Also known as "Out of the Closet". Their are some nice bits of music,
but that's all it really is — bits. None of the tunes, broken up by
sudden tempo changes, seem to add up to a whole song. For example, a
bridge comes in before you've gotten used to the main line. It all
makes it hard to really work its way into your head the way it ought to.
more bad pitch, more bahs. this song has a little breakdown in the middle
for a slow section, i just didn't care. the lyrics describe coming out of
the closet in a way that's not annoying and not overly dramatic, but at the
same time didn't really move me. musically this song is uninteresting,
featuring an unmemorable melody line which spends most of its time within
about a five note span, and chord changes which don't enhance the unmoving
This sounds just like the song I listened to right before it. Just a new
soloist with new words and a new melody, but it's the same rhythm and chord
progressions with a few variations until the song changes rhythm. There's a
slower section with some cool breathing percussion, but other than that
part, I don't even know what the song is about. There's no emotion in the
Starts off fast-tempo, then alternates between slow and fast. A song
that deals with a gay man coming out to his parents. The lyrics build
up nicely with the confusion that the singer deals with in describing
the chain of events. The music and arrangement left me confused as to
why you would do this uptempo. If anything, it seemed too busy for the
lyrics. Outside that, Bruce Haasl drives through this with concern,
making it more palpable to listen to.
Coming out...a cappella style. I admire them for making the music around
it upbeat, as this could have been treated really heavy-handedly. Again,
though, the bass overextends himself. Also, they seem to not have really
strong control over their tempo...every time they shift tempo, they overshift
a bit. This is really illustrating a trend...strong songwriting without a
group worthy of the songwriting. (Yes, that sounds harsh...they are a decent
enough group...but not up to the material they have.)
Funky! It should be. It's a George Clinton song. They pull out the
vocal percussion on this one again. It works. At least on the
verses. The arrangement of the chorus sounds a little thin. It's too
much for four voices to handle. But it's still worth a listen for the
verses and some other little twists in the arrangement.
wow! they aren't singing bah! yay! this is a george clinton tune.
there's some really annoying vocal stuff happening way up high after the
choruses, horribly off pitch, one of the strangest sounds i've heard in a
while. this song does, however, have a groove, although the terribly white
yells and leads are enough to make me want to hide my pale face in shame.
Great low bass song here, but there's about 10 voices at once, because
there's a whole section layer of percussion. I don't understand the
reasoning behind having a small group if you're going to have people sing 2
and 3 parts in recording. There's a lot of tempo problems in this song,
because there's some improvisation of "instruments" which seem unsettled.
Nice percussion, but the whole song is a little messy.
Cover of George Clinton song...production time was put into this as
there are more tracks laid on this than the four man group could do
live. The bridges between verses are kept moving with the cadenzas the
soloists do. It could easily be boring with the repetitive, haunting
background, but isn't. It's quite a toe-tapper.
This shines like a jewel in the rest of the album, and is a believable
representation of funk...and a blast to perform, I'd wager. The bass
is pretty much good in this one (but nowhere near the professional level
I've grown accustomed to from professional a cappella basses), and
the rest of the singing is solid. I like this one.
Very interesting harmonies on the lead vox (the duet is taken by the
bass). One of the tenors comes out of the background to sing some
graceful melody stuff over the rest of the group at the end. A nice
way to cap off this obscure cover song.
ooh! let's double the lead! sorry. had to make fun. cool studio
techniques aren't going to save this group at this point. i have no idea
who did this song originally. i just can't believe, still, in track ten
already, that they kept some of these takes! pitch is so bad sometimes i
can't bear it. percussion is weak, and the choice of reverb is wrong.
when the lead sings "i want the blue" it just kills, it's just off! ok?
Again, the chords move by so quickly in this song that the group doesn't
allow the tuning to settle. I like the solo sung in two octaves, because it
gives a really nice full sound. The syllable "jah" works well for
variation, but the choice of vowels seems to slow them down. The nasal
soloist returns again, and his style of singing doesn't match the rest of
the song. There are a lot of blending problems, and the group doesn't
realize that louder doesn't mean sing flat.
Balance was a little off early on...a couple parts were more noticeable
than probably should have been. Works itself out later on. The overall
sound is a little harsher than the material allows, a result of maybe
dynamics being a notch or two on the loud side.
A baritone lead....funny that. Solid enough song....until they give it to
the bassline, who then tends to meander around the pitch a good bit when he
sings lead lines. Still, the song is constructed well, and the song is
really strong songwriting again, even for a cover (The group is a local
band from their area)
It's a comedy song about you-know-what. But it's just not funny. At
least it's listenable.
an original about the internet! hee hee! how cute! i love the internet!
hee hee! cyberspace! hee hee! i can't see you but i can hit on you over
the phone line! hee hee! "cyber sex it's super-duper safe / won't catch a
social disease cyber-space / you won't care if i'm not neutered, i won't
mind if you're not spayed / we don't need a virus check you know we've got
it made." fucking kill me now. there's a way to be clever about social
and technological change, but this is exactly the way not to do it.
Great great song, simply because it's funny and deals with current
topics. I don't know if the soloist did it purposely, but he sounds like a
"stereotypical" hacker on the computer. Except for an obvious range break,
he did a great job on this song. It's got a great story, and the simple
chords and "Supremes-like" chorus in the background are just what's needed.
The ballad section in the middle is funny as the soloist laments for an
Bobs-esque topic, looking for love in all the right circuits. Written
and solo'ed by Eric Skalinder, I like this effort better than
track #3. Very focused in the lyrics and music.
Sounds like Eric is a hacker, lots of well placed references to
computer-ese. What would happen if you placed a drum beat behind
this? Possible candidate for Dr. Demento, maybe? Hmmmm.
A non-comedy comedy song. This had to have been conceived as a joke song,
but being an internet geek..it's not funny. The best parody songs are the
ones that skewer the subjects to the point where they can't help but laugh,
and it just doesn't get there. Makes me long for what would have happened
if the Bobs went through this idea (maybe they did and I'm just not aware of
it). As it stands, it's a really flat song ideawise...oddly enough, it's
one of the better sung songs. Funny huh, as opposed to funny ha ha.
The verses are innocuous. The choruses help keep this song from being
totally overlookable. Which is good, because if you stick around
till the end, you'll get to hear a nice bridge.
blues original. let's see if four shadow can make it in a familiar and
easy forum. the verdict: well, not really. i think one of the problems
that we're dealing with throughout this album is a general averageness
about the singers. there hasn't been a moment thus far on the album where
i was like "ooh, that was really really good what he did right there.". if
those moments just don't ever exist, there's something serious that must be
approached, something on a very elemental level. and the pitch, by the
way, kills on this one.
Another great bass line which adds to what would seem to be a fairly
boring song. This song's tempo fits really well with the words; just like
someone taking a stroll and talking about their problems. The sound gets
too bright, and they need to darken their vowels. The thing that I like
about this song is that it's really easy to mentally hear what instruments
would sound like if they were the background instead of human voices as
accompaniment. The biggest problem is that in the second section of the
song, the new soloist has a grinding, loud voice, which sounds nothing like
the rest of the song.
A calling for self-help/self-improvement...another focused effort
lyrically. When Marc takes the lead, it turns into bass-heavy again.
Intentional tempo change late in the song confused me (again). The
blend isn't quite all there, maybe a little more production effort
That bass again...nuff said. As for the song, it changes genres too much...
to the point that the result is very jarring. Also, the interplay of
the voices doesn't work somehow in this song, to the point where it sounds
A classic song. The arrangement has all the benefits of a more
complex, modern arrangement, but they never do it at the expense of
the '50s sound. A nice trick.
one of them old '50s one hit wonder tunes. blah. something interesting i
noticed listening to this tune is that the bass in four shadow doesn't sound
like a bass, but rather has much high end even in his lowest notes. oh
I have very limited knowledge of doo-wop music, but this definitely
sounds like most doo-wop upbeat songs. But, they pull it off very well.
Simple "doo-wop" accompaniment (duh) in the background, and the bright "ahs"
with the walking bassline sound great. For what this song is supposed to
be, a classic doo-wop song, it sounds great. The key change is crystal
clear, and this song is definitely a foot tapper, even if you don't love
doo-wop (like me).
An upbeat doo-wop song that is well done with provocative feeling,
unlike Track #4. Eric Skalinder drives this
well-balanced track, with help from a moving, though not overpowering
bass line from Marc. Evokes memories of the prom scene in Back
to the Future.
Solid performance of a '50s style song. Fun to listen to, and a welcome
change from the rest of the album's song styles. Not much to say other
They create a nice atmosphere on this song, another obscure cover by a
local band. You got to respect them for trying to broaden your
musical spectrum. The song matches the group pretty well, all told.
uh, ok, i really have little to say about this tune except that it's really
poorly mixed. kinda sweet solo, though.
My question is what on earth is this song doing on the CD? There's no
country anywhere on this CD, and the bass and tenor in the beginning aren't
in tune with each other. I'm not saying groups shouldn't try country a
cappella, but this is one of those songs that should not be done a cappella.
It has to have more than the boring chord changes in this bad country song.
Another lyrical "huh"? Didn't understand this song at all. I liked the
musical feel and the arrangement. The blend was great, no overpowering
part. One of those "Play in the background" songs...nice feel, just
hard to understand.
OK song, but again the execution suffers. The bass (can you tell how annoyed
I am by this at this time). The voices aren't quite together either when
they do the unison rhythm singing, which can be very jarring as well.
Don't mess with the Eurythmics! This song gets of to a bad start.
Very nasal singing, almost country-esq. They make up for it when then
give bridge to the bass, who's in top form here. After a brief and
ill advised bit that sounds like monkeys chanting, they quickly follow
up the bass' section with some strait ahead harmony. Just when it's
getting good, they suddenly switch to Sweet Dreams. Yes,
they're both by the Eurythmics, but it's a non sequitur. They try to
mesh the two songs together, which they do with some success. But the
original entrance is still too jarring.
eurythmics tune, they employ some truly obnoxious syllables. baow baow
baow! shit. maybe they do a ton of choreography or humor or something.
they break into sweet dreams in the middle of this one, going back and
forth between the two for a little bit in the middle. ok.
Cool, cool song, because it's got attitude. Tough, solid rhythms, with a
really solid soloist. I really like the "laughing" as syllables. It's very
creative. They took a rock song and kept it rock with little percussion,
and very few chord progressions. The intertwining of Sweet
Dreams in the middle was great. Completely unexpected, and the
low Cs that the bass sing are impressive.
Cover of Eurythmics song...great arrangement for the number of voices
they had to work with. First track with vocal percussion (whole album
needed more), works well. Brief splice of Sweet Dreams
interlaced, added nice color to the whole track. Sounds like they
spent a lot of time on this track.
Three words...it needs more. What it has is good, but you really need at
least 2-3 more people to cover everything to make this song work (I ran into
this with an eight person group that still needed some reworking to work).
Also, the Sweet Dreams reference doesn't quite work here,
and the song sounds like it would lack stage energy. And I flat out
don't like the ending...very confusing song.
I'm sure there's a way to do this song a cappella. You can probably
even to it with just four voices. But you'd need a different voice on
the lead than the one features here. He tends to disappear on the
verses, just like he did on track 3. His voice is
pretty, but that's not enough — you gotta be bold, you gotta be strong.
Their are some nice harmonies, very nice actually, but they don't make
up for the lack of presence in the leads. They certainly don't make
up for the parts where the arrangement tries to get more complex and
only ends up sounding garbled and out of sync.
des'ree. what's pitiful is that this song (a pretty simple one, musically
speaking) features some of the most complex chord changes and melodic lines
on this entire album. even sadder, 'cause when i heard you gotta be the
first time on the radio i was bored to tears by its simplicity and
repetitiveness. somehow four shadow does avoid the repetitive bug, an
admirable feat. the solo is mixed too low in many spots, as if he was not
compressed. there're also strange rhythmic changes in the melody which
were kinda buggin. oh well. this was actually one of my favorite tracks,
featuring little to no pitch problems and not pretending or needing to be
more than it is, just a cute little tune.
Very interesting take on a normally funky R&B song. I don't think I can
review this song accurately, because I'm in an a cappella group, and not
only do we do this song, but I'm the soloist. They overlap the verse with
the chorus and the bridge, and amazingly enough, it works musically. I like
that the soloist isn't the only one who uses the words throughout most of
the song. The verse with just percussion and the soloist is missing a lot,
but it's definitely better than repeating the same style from verse to
verse. Some of their chords are simplified more than what is in the
original, but it still works.
Cover of Des'ree song...background seems a little weaker, and in a
rarity, not busy enough for this track. The subtlety that the original
had seems slightly lost. That being said, Eric Skalinder does well
with the material and the lead.
VERY convincing lead by the male tenor. This song would rock with a
vocal percussionist to drive it to a certain extent...but even without
it, the arrangement is very good, and manages to invoke the feel of the
original...the only cover other than Angel
Eyes on this album to do so. If they wanted a solid way to
end the album, this was the best thing they could do.