The Harvard Opportunes
All For Us - Single (2022)
Review By Brian Alexander
July 26, 2022
Masterpieces are rare in contemporary a cappella. They should be. A term of this magnitude should only be reserved for elite music that not only defies auditory brilliance but is also capable of sparking a fuse within one's soul.
All For Us by the Harvard Opportunes is that rare gem where art, sound, and passion all converge into one chaotically arresting piece, holding the listener's attention until the very end. To recognize the Opportunes' newest single as anything other than a masterpiece would be doing it a major disservice.
For starters, All For Us finds massive success in recreating crucial elements expressed in Labrinth's original work without being a straight transcription. Like the original, the Opportunes' cover evokes an electric soul and gospel energy, maintaining a natural hip-hop bounce, and the lead vocals flow over a wonderfully produced track with ample studio effects. But the track is more than just a summation of individual traits of what listeners love about the original — it adds its own vibrant flair through new stylistic choices.
This rendition incorporates hypnotic Middle Eastern-style vocalizations which aid in building the track's pensive tone. And while the original features gorgeous runs by both Labrinth and Zendaya, the Opportunes' choice to ramp up the runs delivered by both soloists and the backing group adds so much momentum and color to the experience. If these moments aren't enough to have you hollering, then the masterfully done arpeggios just might be.
The track was arranged by group members Hirsh Sisodia, Eliot Min, Carly Tiras, and Eric Tarlin — a surprising feat, that four unique minds collaborated to deliver such a well-balanced arrangement. The arrangement's attention to detail is award-worthy, with each turn offering a gorgeous surprise. Some of the best moments appear in little nuances such as whispers, an abrupt cutoff, or even the sound engineer's ability to capture the group's breaths, which offer a compelling vocal effect.
Part of what makes All For Us so appealing is the vocal percussion of Eliot Min. Min's complex rhythms, crisp hits, and extensive toolkit of sounds were meant for this moment. No simple drumming could have brought this song to life in the way that his percussion does. Lastly, Tiras and Sisodia's lead vocals slay this track! It's not only that both have the necessary power to sing such a high-profile song, but also their individual timbres which beautifully fluctuate to match the needed ebb and flows of the song. They are also incredibly in-sync with one another, be it in their descending runs or anticipation to follow up the other's singing. Their delivery on this track will go down as one of the best duets in collegiate a cappella.
I can assure you that this review pales in comparison to experiencing this track for yourself. There's good music, and then there are moments in art like All For Us which you want to experience again and again as if it were your first listen.