UNC Clefs- Time Out

Discuss our reviews or just talk about any old album.

Postby jthelegend » Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:48 am

RnBMrE wrote: I think my main point was not so much about including other song references or goofy aca-syllables but accentuating instead of replicating what's there and having less "verticality" to the parts and chord structures. The Chordials do a great job of this on their new CD.


Thanks Matt!
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Postby magnolia » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:03 am

I'm glad I could stir you guys up! ;-)

I cant argue with anyone, really, there are definitely distinct flavors between all of the CDs mentioned.

Its all personal taste:
Bubs - I think is a little too raw for me, only a few tracks make me drop my jaw.
Chordials - I hate the syllable 'jin' and they use it alot, and I just dont like their soloists standard of quality. (i've told cannon this many times ;-) )

You want something completely different, the album I just did with/for Juxta is mainly highly complex arrangements using words, rarely using 'aca syllables', and does focus on solos to.

One thing to think about -- there's probably a reason why I pushed to have Sperandio mix the Juxta album, b/c I like his style of mixing. Might explain my like of the style on the Clefs cd.

Good discussion.
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Postby magnolia » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:23 am

I'm going to quote myself:
magnolia wrote:Its all personal taste:
Bubs - I think is a little too raw for me, only a few tracks make me drop my jaw.
Chordials - I hate the syllable 'jin' and they use it alot, and I just dont like their soloists standard of quality. (i've told cannon this many times ;-) )


Please note that these were just my personal reasons as to why I chose to say that Time Out was the best collegiate CD from 2007 that I had heard yet. By mentioning Bubs and Chordials, Im stating that they were the other two albums I had as right in the same league.
Matthew T. Bolling
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Postby RnBMrE » Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:58 pm

magnolia wrote:I'm going to quote myself:
magnolia wrote:Its all personal taste:
Bubs - I think is a little too raw for me, only a few tracks make me drop my jaw.
Chordials - I hate the syllable 'jin' and they use it alot, and I just dont like their soloists standard of quality. (i've told cannon this many times ;-) )


Please note that these were just my personal reasons as to why I chose to say that Time Out was the best collegiate CD from 2007 that I had heard yet. By mentioning Bubs and Chordials, Im stating that they were the other two albums I had as right in the same league.


Wait, so you chose it as the best primarily based on things you *didn't* like on the other CDs? So far I've got that you like the mixing style, you don't like some of the solos, and you think it's the best album overall. What I was asking is: "what positive things about Time Out makes it the best album?" I'm interested.

Matt Emery CASA Director of Communications Three-time Recipient of RARB "Post of the Year" Title

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Postby Nick Lyons » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:22 pm

I think Time Out crushes as well. I think dio nailed the bass intro to Time is Running Out (Muse songs should open every a cappella album that features them at all, imo ;-)), She Has No Time is gorgeous, and takes on aspects of the original but basically takes the song to an entirely new level, largely thanks to Anoop. They did a great job at capturing the grandness of Feelin' Good, and the solo was rock-solid.

It was probably one of the better Rascal Flatts covers I've heard... though that isn't saying that I was overly impressed with it. I think in certain spots, the production hides some somewhat overly ambitious attempts. While editing and production do a good job of masking it, there's a pretty hefty amount of tuning going on, which is especially noticeable on Livin' on a Prayer (perhaps purposeful?) and What Hurts the Most.

I'm not bad-mouthing the group or the production team. I completely understand what it takes to make a stomping album. The only reason I bring it up, is due to the comparisons being drawn to the Bubs. While I know both albums are technically flawless, the Bubs stuff seems much more "we did this" than the Clefs album does. Also, from an arrangers standpoint, while it's sonically and aurally impressive to hear the vocal-recreations of all the songs on the Clefs album, I personally *like* to hear "different." She Has No Time is the type of stuff I love to hear. While Livin' in a Prayer is impressive to hear done so well a cappella, in the long run, why would I choose to listen to that version over the one with Bon Jovi singing? Stylistically, they're very similar... It just doesn't present anything new to me.

Granted, this is personal taste. I'm aware not everyone will agree. It's a forum. We're all entitled to our opinions. Will Time Out win CARA's, appear on compilations (already shows up on 3 or 4), and be purchased by thousands? Surely. Is it going into my vault of greatest a cappella albums of all time? Unfortunately, not as a whole. Call me old-school, 2003''s Breeze still takes home the gold from the Clefs for me...

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Postby magnolia » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:25 pm

RnBMrE:

Yes, I base the fact that I think Time Out is the best that I have personally heard based on the fact that it had the fewest number of things that stuck out at me that I disliked. That is accurate.

When I put in an album, it should feel natural, be enjoyable to experience, and nothing should stick out to me as being weird, misplaced, etc. Time Out does just that. It is an easy smooth listen. They may not shake the world with their arrangements, but they also are not boring and bland arrangements. The stand out where appropriate and they lull in the background when they should.

I think they put together a product, that when listened to, is pleasing to the ears. Yes, it may be a little too pop friendly, but pop friendly sells. If you want to grow your audience in most localities, you need to hook people with stuff they know with a little flavor of your own.

A large part of this album is structuring and post production, which is why I still think Bubs have the best album put together by group talent and cohesion. However, the end product, I think Time Out stands out in my book.

I approach every album listen with a very critical ear and I try to nail down anything that bothers me on first listen, and then take after it with a fine toothed comb and determine what other aspects to not work. Perhaps that puts my opinions into context a bit.

Time Out went through my ears with the least number of 'critical violations', as they say in the health department world.
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Postby LGDubs » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:45 am

carlyonders wrote:Re the Bubs, Stuff like "Magical Mystery Tour", etc - is awesome, but it shows that the Bubs make music for themselves, not necessarily for their fans (which is not to say their fans don't enjoy it). I think this perhaps reflects just a different approach to why they are who they are (the Bubs, or the Clefs). But what do I know? :) Perhaps members of both groups can better address this.


WareHauser wrote:While I know both albums are technically flawless, the Bubs stuff seems much more "we did this"


As a current member of the Bubs, just wanted to respond to a couple of things here since our album has been mentioned so much on this thread. Hats off to the Clefs by the way, I haven't heard your album yet but it seems to be generating quite a lot of positive feedback!!
I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear Nick's assessment of Pandaemonium as an album with a "we did this" sound. One of the group's projects in the time since Shedding has been to try to develop a way of arranging and recording that will simply not allow a listener to passively sit through the tracks and say "oh that was nice," but that will make them sit up and take note: "ah, that MUST have been the Bubs!"
That very small tidbit of the creative process behind the album is my (admittedly oblique) way of responding to the issue raised by Carl: that we "make music for ourselves." I'd be interested (maybe on our thread instead of the Clefs'!!) in hearing in more detail why a song like Magical Mystery Tour, in particular, made you feel that way.

Again, congrats to the Clefs! I'll be sure to pick up a copy soon...probably when we sing with you like we always do... till then--
Lucas Walker
Tufts University Beelzebubs 2004-2008
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Postby RnBMrE » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:47 pm

WareHauser wrote:While Livin' in a Prayer is impressive to hear done so well a cappella, in the long run, why would I choose to listen to that version over the one with Bon Jovi singing? Stylistically, they're very similar... It just doesn't present anything new to me.


True that. The reason I like a cappella versions of songs is often VERY different from why I like the original. If I'm gonna listen to an aca-version of a song, I want it to give me something new, challenge me, make me think. Even if it has some of the same riffs, melodic patterns, etc., a great arrangement will add flourish to the song and a great mix will accentuate the cool, intricate parts that you might not notice in the original. Great examples of this in recent albums:

Clefs - "She Has No Time" (solo, percussion, and subtle BG riffs)
Bubs - "Smiley Faces" (solo and incredible layering/build)
Chordials - "This Is How A Heart Breaks" (solo and bad-ass BG singing)

magnolia wrote:Yes, I base the fact that I think Time Out is the best that I have personally heard based on the fact that it had the fewest number of things that stuck out at me that I disliked. That is accurate.


Hmm... so I'm guessing you see that glass over there as half-empty, no? :-P Seriously though, I do understand better where you're coming from now. Thanks for explaining.

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Postby magnolia » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:56 am

Hmm... so I'm guessing you see that glass over there as half-empty, no? :-P Seriously though, I do understand better where you're coming from now. Thanks for explaining.


Glad you understand now =)

As I just explained to someone, I listened to these albums each - maybe twice. Not like I was reviewing them, and I wasnt trying to critique their arrangements either. It was as a casual listener, taking the approach of an uneducated listener (the common fan).

If I went and did a RARB review of these albums, the end result might come out a bit different. Maybe not with Time Out getting the best scores. ;-)
Matthew T. Bolling
Magnolia Productions, LLC | www.magnoliaproductions.com
Founder & President, VocalBluR | Richmond, VA | www.vocalblur.com
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