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James Madison University

Fall in Line - Single (2019)


March 20, 2020

Ordering Information

Available on Apple Music and Spotify

Kimberly Raschka Sailor

Note-Oriety amped up its fierceness for Fall in Line with captivating, take-no-prisoner power leads carrying this release. Insane duo Emma Wagner and Thea Simpson are completely hypnotic and unmatchable on their lead microphones, with outrageous blend to boot; they are very markedly the heart and soul of Fall in Line.

The message for this Aguilera/Lovato song is pretty weighty: the lyrics underscore a feminist perspective, and the periodic shaking chains in the background emphasize the proverbial shackles. It was written during the #metoo era, and that theme is loud and clear in the lyrics (the full lyrics from the title are: "we aren't made to fall in line"). Note-Oriety understands the importance of conviction for a song like this, and we hear it intentionally and skillfully delivered through Wagner and Simpson's pleading riffs and belts.

The original's tempo is around 40BPM — important to note, because Aguilera and Lovato have plenty of vocal acrobatics to fill-out these long measures and still add fresh energy at the end, and so do Wagner and Simpson. But when this song is arranged for a large vocal ensemble like Note-Oriety, I think the backgrounds would be more successful with a freestyle gospel approach, instead of this controlled a cappella pop framework. We need the backgrounds to complement Wagner and Simpson more. But what would really help, is increasing the BPM from the original to get the tempo clicking faster. Here, it definitely sounds sluggish, even with the finesse of the sound effects taking up some sonic space. 

This was the right song for Note-Oriety. If it's still in the group's repertoire, I encourage these ladies to experiment with the backgrounds and create tempo shifts for live performances to increase the background's urgency. 




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