Dave Trendler's Notes for Voices Only 2005

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Yes, post notes like these more often.
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Actually, they're harmful because you don't explain them enough.
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Total votes : 14

Dave Trendler's Notes for Voices Only 2005

Postby davetrendler » Thu Apr 06, 2006 7:57 pm

Thought I'd post my notes for this album for the same reasons I mentioned in my review of AACI's Sing 2: Eclectic Boogaloo.

Dave


***

Disc 1

1. Stutter - UNCG Spartones – 4/5
· Pitch problems in solo?
· Just don’t like this song much, though it’s done well.

2. This Love - USC SoCal VoCals – 4/5
· Women’s “jink jink” gets old – boring old technique

3. Street Spirit - Northeastern Downbeats – 4/5
· Always cool to do radiohead
· “din din” arpeggio is kind of an old technique
· blend pokey in choruses
· nice arr., good fifths

4. Feel Good Time - MIT Muses – 4/5 (close to a 5/5)
· Neat use of voices on bass part, like the artificiality – great.
· Great bounce/groove
· Chorus arr. Stacks high voices which rub a bit – blend issue
· Chorus could use more energy

5. Cry Me A River - UVA Hullabahoos – 4/5
· Cool artificialness
· Song gets a little boring – it’s just too repetitive
· Well arranged, executed, and mixed, I just don’t like the song much

6. Destiny/In The Waiting Line - USC Sirens
· This is just women? Awesome. Women can nail basslines and vp. Who needs guys?

7. Here We Go - Duke Pitchforks – 4/5
· This is a lame song… performed well.
· Repetitive
· Feels a little sloppy. The timing’s okay, but it’s mixed a little fuzzily instead of super clean.

8. Silence - Cornell Class Notes – 3/5
· This song is mixed much quieter than others
· Lot of verb - sounds very distant until bass and solo enter at 1:00
· The bassline really sticks out through the whole song:
i. Bassline is choppy and unfluid
ii. can also hear a lot of the top, unoctavated original note which exacerbates the choppiness
iii. during chorus on the “ahh” syll, he sticks out a ton
· not nearly as good as the Octopodes version

9. When I Grow Up - Stanford Mixed Company – 4/5?
· Does this innocent little soloist realize what a “golden shower” is? She’s way too soft – needs to spit out these lyrics with vindictiveness and hatred, not pseudo-angst. She only starts to get the energy she needs by the bridge, and even then it’s not enough (and way too late).
· Being a Garbage fan, I can’t stand this soloist. She’s way too… not Shirley. Way too sweet.
· Vp is cool.

10. Into The Dark - Virginia Tech Juxtaposition – 4/5
· Kind of a cool song
· Solo feels stilted, mechanical
· Vp doesn’t make a lot of sense with the rhythm of the song

11. The Late Great Planet Earth - Texas Ransom Notes – 4/5? 3/5?
· Blend is really bad – can hear voices poking through everywhere
· A few pitchy moments
· Feels a little clunky rhythmically
· Like the solo voice

12. Catch Me If You Can - Oregon Divisi – 4/5 or 5/5?
· Feels classy
· Good dynamics, awesome blend
· Speedy lyrics part sounds tough! – pretty well-enunciated, though
· Some great bassline moments with falls, etc. women really can do this.

13. Nothing - Northwestern Purple Haze – 4/5? 3/5?
· Solo voice is a little nasal and has “young” tone (Paula Abdul ish)

14. Collective Soul - Colorado In The Buff – 5/5?
· I really liked this on the ITB album!
· Great arr., great singing
· Blend in extremes (highest tenor and bass) could be a little smoother
· Good blend betw solo and solo harm
· A few notes in the upper ranges of the background still feel forced

15. What It Feels Like For A Girl - Boston U. Aural Fixation – 5/5
· Wow, great vp! Nice sounds, awesome rhythms. Sounds like acid jazz kit.
i. Phenomonal vp
· Note to self: learn more about John Clark
· Just amazing.
· Soloist: awesome voice, awesome expression – sounds totally natural
i. Really awesome
· Song has real depth – John is a great arranger/mixer combo
· Sometimes you have to hear something just totally outstanding to remember what good bands sound like. Sometimes a cappella just gets tired – I get numbed by the a cappella “wall of sound” tricks and forget what ‘real’ music is shooting for.
· Is the wall of sound era over? Was the W.O.S. the final destination for large group, “voices only” singing? Are we moving into a place where heavily effected, instrumentalized tonal colors and ambient moods are more important than hearing the unaltered origin of a cappella’s instrument — the human voice?

Disc 2

16. Carwash - Wisconsin Redefined – 4/5
· Wow, a cappella’s really come a long way in the past 5 years. I’ve never heard of this group, and they’re quite good. Why aren’t more of these groups submitting to RARB?
· Good beat
· Some fun arranging sidelights here, often women
· Like the bridge
· Would have liked to hear a bassline with more spring in its step – more 8th note files around the quarter notes.

17. Never There - Clemson Tigeroar – 4/5
· Bass sounds awesome, but is a little overshadowed by the awfully active kick drum
· Too fast?
· Like that fast keyboard at :32 (pans, falls off)
· Trumpet guy sucks
· Nice picked violin sound at 1:00 and 2:15
· Great shouting
· Soloist not grabbing me

18. Missing - UPenn Penny Loafers – 2/5?
· Soloist could use more breath support – sounds nasal and weak at times (esp. on the word “sacrifice”)
· Kind of bland
· High voices of each gender have some pitch and tone rubbing
· Bad tuning problems in solo and background (“whoa”s nearing end)

19. For Me This Is Heaven - Harvard LowKeys – 4/5
· Soloist voice is extremely smooth
· Arpeggio is very clean
· Well sung and mixed, but not really much particularly interesting here

20. September - Northwestern Freshmen 15 – 3/5
· A little slow, maybe a little plodding or clunky?
· Solo has range, but his tone and style sound young, like a high school kid even
· “that’s the way I like it” interlude in bridge – lame
· well sung, but again not that interesting
· feels like a cheap knockoff of one of the Beelzebubs ‘70s covers

21. When I Think About Angels - UVA Sil'hooettes – 4/5
· Feels really polished
· Energy is a little mellow
· Soloist has great voice (warm, rich, sweet), but not enough excitement about the song
· Blend/balance a little off on the very last chord?

22. Ask The Lonely - Dartmouth Aires
· A little whiney

23. Lighted Up - USC Reverse Osmosis – 4/5? 5/5?
· Really pretty
· Isn’t this a Gabe Mann original?
· Love the yodelling in the second half (3:40 to end) – very David Bowie (Under Pressure)

24. Only In Dreams - Wash U. in St. Louis Mosaic Whispers
· Cool! Weezer!
· Verse is good, but I don’t like the approach in the choruses:
i. Actual chord structure is weird and unlike original
ii. Open syll feels weird
iii. Too legato
· Soloist voice and style is pretty good
· Extended bridge gets weird – blend falls apart, but man what a wailing section!

25. Hit 'Em Up Style - Elon Twisted Measure – 4/5? 5/5?
· Great solo
· Good bounce to this song
· Blend in guys a little rough
· Great female feature song – great blend in ladies

26. Earth Song - UCSB Naked Voices – 4/5
· Some pitch/blend issues throughout
· Starts kickin’ about halfway through
· Neat song

27. Beauty of Grey - St Louis Bare Naked Statues – 3/5
· Muddy – low and mid voices eq’ed too warmly
· Feels a little blocky
· Solo – nice voice, okay style
· Vp is weak – very mouthy (“tsh tsh tsh” at 2:20)

28. All Original - Stanford Fleet Street Singers – 4/5
· Original song
· Don’t like hearing the original and the octavated signal on basslines
· Blend pretty good
· Fun song, good groove
· Vp sounds sequenced or at least pretty fake
· Is there an effect on the soloist? What is that?

29. Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk - Wesleyan Spirits – 3/5
· Solo has big, thick voice
· Muffled background
· Some pitches slightly off in solo and bass (?)
· Plods a bit because of the thickened bassline and less than sprightly background parts (esp. baritone)
· Chunky
· Can’t tell if this song is a dirge or what – what’s it supposed to be? Ballad? This song is weird. It doesn’t fit any mold and leaves me feeling lost.

30. Clocks - Stanford Counterpoint – 4/5
· Intro arpeggio sounds pretty fake. Do I like it? The third pass through (the lowest in pitch) sounds like one of those holiday dog barking keyboard things.
· Vp really guns the song ahead.
· Female solo
· Feels a little mechanical
· Nothing about this version is really grabbing me and pulling me in. it feels pretty straight, overly true to the original.
· “neer neer” in bridge (3:20)
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Re: Dave Trendler's Notes for Voices Only 2005

Postby tekay » Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:01 am

dtrendler wrote:
20. September - Northwestern Freshmen 15 – 3/5
· A little slow, maybe a little plodding or clunky?
· Solo has range, but his tone and style sound young, like a high school kid even
· “that’s the way I like it” interlude in bridge – lame
· well sung, but again not that interesting
· feels like a cheap knockoff of one of the Beelzebubs ‘70s covers



Personal beef here that I'm choosing to air: I was really looking forward to reviewing F15's last album but they never sent it in. As mentioned in a previous post, we often get assigned CDs months before ever receiving them, if we get them at all.

Their version of "It's Too Late" became one of my favorites to listen to during last year's CARA nominations.

[color=#8040BF]http://www.rarb.org/people/thomas-king.html http://www.deltacappella.com CASA Dir. of Ambassador Program SoJam Producer & Concert Mgr Sing Producer CAL jd All Things A Cappella FOTS #1 ICCA Producer Emeritus "the

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Re: Dave Trendler's Notes for Voices Only 2005

Postby uscpossum » Tue Apr 18, 2006 7:22 am

dtrendler wrote:
29. Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk - Wesleyan Spirits – 3/5
· Solo has big, thick voice
· Muffled background
· Some pitches slightly off in solo and bass (?)
· Plods a bit because of the thickened bassline and less than sprightly background parts (esp. baritone)
· Chunky
· Can’t tell if this song is a dirge or what – what’s it supposed to be? Ballad? This song is weird. It doesn’t fit any mold and leaves me feeling lost.


I struggled with this one, too. I asked my buddy, who absolutely loves the original Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, to give me a little insight while I was reviewing. "So... it's like... a ballad? Is that right? What the heck is it?" He shook his head at me and said, "Kimberly. Clearly it's an expression that transcends musical form."

Well! Now we know.
Kimberly Raschka Sailor
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ICCA/ICHSA Adjudicator
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Postby streetnix04 » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:40 pm

Yeah, "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" seems really odd if you don't know the original. It took me some time to appreciate the original. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed the Wesleyan Spirits' cover of it. It was also a nice change-of-pace track, that just felt good. It wasn't about the arrangement or soloist or whatever. I just found the song really enjoyable.

I actually liked that it wasn't autotuned and perfect, because it would have taken away from it. I felt there was a lot of emotion in the track.

-Corey
-Corey Slutsky
Voices Only Founder
Former Collegiate and Professional A cappella Performer '97-'05
www.voicesonlyacappella.com
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