Kevin Sawyer, Andrew DiMartino, and Joseph Bates
Total time: 6:37, 1 song (but really, 5!)
To order this album, visit the group's .
I'm like really smart and witty, so I appreciated Deke's latest effort on this front. When you're as awesome as I am, you are only occasionally wowed by someone who can pull of an endeavor like that which Deke has accomplished. So well done, sir. I applaud your creativity.
The initial presentation was like that of many collegiate albums: corny, filled with overdone songs, stupid, annoying, bad singing, I hate it. Also, I think these types of college groups suck: male, female, co-ed. The others are great. (I LOVE college a cappella, though. My friends make fun of me like ALL THE TIME about it, just so you know, hahaha, so I'm just a dork like you!) No, seriously. The album cover looked like a used tampon. And I'm not even going to dignify Nevahland with a critique.
Deke did a fairly good job on the solo-ism of this medley but was held down by dragging others like Bill, Julia, and Pete in as co-conspirators. Bill laid low for the most part, but the others perpetuated a mixed message, much like the sophomore efforts of so many of my favorite obscure intellectual rock bands whose lead singers lose the momentum to present their individual visions and voice avant garde sociopolitical beliefs. Ambient Menace represents, perhaps, the epitome of this thought.
He faltered a bit and lost points during the middle stages of the album due to an incoherence of blend with the original intentions. Tying things up nicely despite audience density returned points in his favor, but the lead-in to the final punchline could have come a little more smoothly. I blame AutoTune.
I certainly won't have to listen to this album again because I immediately understood its genius, but I think the average listener probably will. Many times, even.
Deke took it back to the basics with this one. Which is great, because that's the only kind of music, a cappella or otherwise, that is worth listening to. So many groups now are using advanced production techniques like "computers" and "the internet" and "vocal percussion". It was refreshing to listen to tracks that don't include any of that.
You could tell that Deke made most of these posts in just one take... which is how you are supposed to do it unless you want to be a faker. What I mean is that all a cappella should be live, or else it's not real. Recordings should just be a speaker phone set up to automatically call the group who released the song so that when they answer, they can sing the track to the listener. It's not authentic unless you do that.
The fallback of the one-take method is that energy can sometimes be lacking. Deke has been my hero in all his loquacious posts like the NXIVM thread and inspired me to take a stand against all "production" with the same intensity, but I was a little disappointed by his somewhat half-hearted efforts on this attempt. Know, Know, Know and Rolling/Still (interlude) are slightly funny at first but end up settling more as underdeveloped ideas. Like a snare drum in the latest a cappella recording that a group member tells their friend "is really their voice", Deke really left some people perplexed with his stretches of the truth.
All that said, Deke is no stranger to greatness. He knows the rules, and so do I. The rules are: no post-production at all. (It's really just one rule... I tricked you.)
Until collegiate groups stop using all these producers like Bill Hare and Liquid 5th and VocalSource and people who are just trying to steal all your money, this is the only album you should ever have in your CD player. Wait, what's a CD? This is the only album you should have on vinyl.
I'm a little disappointed in myself that I didn't catch on to this one sooner. I can usually transcend any current discussion on RARB with a mildly related link or self-amusing phrase, but I actually had to ask a real question on the BOCA thread and expose my tender self. It felt... strange. (Whoa, I've already written more in this review than any single RARB post I've ever made.) ... uh ... (Crap, I can't post a picture on this review. Um, think think think.) Err...
I hate pop music. I think that's the reason I got so distracted on this one. Pop music sucks. If Deke had made a Muse medley the second track on BOCA, I think I would have peed my pants I was so excited. But not Rihanna. UGHHHH don't even get me started!
The vigor with which Deke pursued this endeavor was less spirited than others in threads past. This resulted in confusion on the part of readers (I think Valerie still doesn't get it, ha, HEH), and an overall decline in the blend of all posts when taken together.
The sound production here isn't as good as Darren Rust's. He's like soooo amazing. And it didn't make me cry like Ghost Files, which made me cry.
Please Understand is a great track. Ron Paul should have been the Republican Party's nominee. Small government, sound economic theory. Warren Buffett is basically God; he is better than Jimmy Buffett who makes me want to throw up. I want to go to Dubai. Dude, how awesome would that be?
Ultimately, I'm going to give this review a 3 overall. It probably deserves a 4, but that would further throw off the Gaussian distribution of scores for my reviews. For this reason, I cannot score it differently. Mountain climbing and other extreme sports are awesome. They make me so skinny but fit. I really hope that some day my bell curve will be as beautiful as Jazzy's. See what I did there?
Matt Emery Three-time Recipient of RARB "Post of the Year" Title