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Utah Valley University

The Greatest Show - Single (2018)


Review By Dom Otto Asís

March 15, 2019

Ordering Information

The Greatest Show streams on Google Play

Dom Otto Asís

Since its release last year, The Greatest Show remains one of the most covered songs in a cappella. VoiceLine from Utah Valley University jumps onto the bandwagon because, why not?

I have mixed reactions regarding several factors of this track. One area I immediately admired is the great job done by vocal percussionist Talmage Sanders — the guy has skills. The harmonies are great and I still find myself getting goosebumps at points while listening to VoiceLine's version.

The thing about covering musical-based songs, however, is that there are already pre-existing expectations of how the song should sound. Either you give it a little something extra or you measure up to its original spirit. I'm sad to say that the vocals from VoiceLine need more grit and power to really provide a sincere sounding performance. The background voices singing "whoa" lines are the main culprit in this lack of energy, especially when the bass joins in on the unison. The rest of the track, where most singers are in the zone of creating sounds of harmonic vocables and arpeggiated chords, is where the group shines more.

Steve Koplin's solo performance deserves big kudos for pushing the energy up after the uninspired sounding intro. Too bad the ending — "This is the Greatest Show" — lacks the power to launch the track to greatness. It sounds too mechanical and perfectly pitch-corrected, lacking a human sound.

Will I still listen to this a cappella cover? The easy answer is yes. I could say that this version lacks the required energy for it to sound stronger, but I'm also here to enjoy the harmonies of the track. The Greatest Show really isn't the greatest show from VoiceLine, but it's a good show nonetheless.


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