Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sing-Off Sixteen
Tonight, Monday at 8 pm on NBC

Pentatonix from Arlington, TX features three members who performed together at Martin High School.

The Sing-Off is back for Season 3 and I am thrilled! This year's groups sound spectacular:

sing-off siteofficial websiteFacebook page
Washington, DC • 10 diverse men and women from Howard University
Live performance of ‪"In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning"‬ in 2011 (fast forward to the 1.36 minute mark)

Afro-Blue rounds out their multiple harmonies, resulting in a pleasing tone which is almost bell-like. Judging from the many videos I listened to online, they seem to be primarily a vocal group who works accompanied by instruments, not an a cappella group. I look forward to hearing them stretch their legs to emulate instruments with their voices.

The Cat's Pajamas
sing-off siteofficial siteFacebook page
Branson, MO • 5 men
Recorded promotional medley video. FFWD to 3:16 for an amazing rendition of "Video Killed the Radio Star."

Professional a cappella group with tons of experience, The Cat's Pajamas are ready to win, and feature an amazing vocally created electric guitarist, Nate Mendl, incredibly smooth vocals, and perfectly matched harmonies. They are an example of how difficult it is to get a good recording contract -- they have already performed on several other TV competition shows, and are scheduled to play five regular shows a week. I look forward to being thoroughly entertained.

The Collective
sing-off siteFacebook page
Nashville, TN • 9 men and women
Group video unavailable. Sam and Ruby performing "The Here and Now" original song.

What an appropriate name for this conglomerate of successful singer/songwriters and performers. Individually, each has made his mark on the music scene. Together, they hope to make an even bigger splash. I was unable to find any videos of the Collective, but did find a video of Sam and Ruby, two of the members of the Collective who are signed to Rykodisc as a duo. I imagine they will be an impressive group combined with other performers. A comprehensive list of each of the performers is listed on the info page of their Facebook page.

Dartmouth Aires
sing-off siteofficial siteFacebook page
Hanover, NH • 16 men from Dartmouth University
Performance of "All the Above"

Fun loving, highly entertaining a cappella group, a real crowd pleaser featuring both singing, rap, and clever choreography. Their real talent seems to be that although they are composed of all males, they seem to be graced with a wide vocal range stretching into the high end… and they can sing! In the past, this type of group has not won first place, but they make the show extremely interesting.

sing-off siteFacebook page
Los Angeles, CA • 8 women

There were no videos to be found on this group which is an assemblage of a cappella performers from other groups, some of whom have performed on the Sing-Off in the past.

University of Delaware Deltones
sing-off siteofficial siteFacebook page
Newark, DE • 15 men and women from the Univ. of Delaware
Performance of "Feels Like Home."

Surprisingly, the Deltones were formed by individuals who tried out for other a cappella groups, were rejected, and decided to form their own group. The Deltones focuses on having fun and making friends and that positive energy is reflected in their performances. Their diverse voices allow them to provide a melodic mix of a ranges and skills, making their arrangements flow effortlessly like water.

Fannin Family
sing-off siteofficial siteFacebook page
Hortonville, WI • 8 brothers and sisters
Performance of "One Day."

Fans of the Van Trapp family will truly enjoy this contemporary a cappella group comprised of 11 brothers and sisters, 8 of whom are performing on the Sing-Off. Like any band who lives together, they have the advantage that they've technically been practicing all their lives, and their extremely tight renditions of songs and perfect timing are the result.

Kinfolk 9
sing-off siteFacebook page
9 men and women • Performance of "Hallelujah"

Filled with stars… this very diverse group has the advantage that each member can stand alone, as well as work as a member of a team to merge and create a beautifully well-rounded vocal tone. Their arrangements are dynamic, their vocal intensity varies from soft to loud, and the result is bold and powerful, and emotionally stirring.

Messiah's Men
sing-off siteFacebook pageofficial site
Minneapolis, MN • 9 men originating from Africa
Performance of "Exekial Saw the Wheel" (end cut off)

The advantage of having 9 full grown men in your group, is you will never be hurting for deep rich vocal sounds. Their melodic blending of their controlled voices exude confidence and their gospel renditions are spiritually uplifting.

North Shore
sing-off siteofficial site
Boston, MA • 5 men
Perfomance of "Run Around Sue," with audience participation, cut off.

A group with a lot of training and experience, North Shore is accustomed to providing sidewalk performances on the streets of Boston. Their wide ranges, perfect pitch, phenomenal harmonies and beautiful tonal quality create a sound that is easy on the ears. They are a flashback in time, doo-wop the way doo-wop used to be!

sing-off siteFacebook page
Arlington, TX • 5 men and women
Performance of "Telephone" by 3 members while in high school last year.

This group seems to have a naturally flawless effortless technique as their voices blend beautifully, while still retaining rich individual characteristics. I'm curious what the two additional members will add, because they seem complete with their three core members, but alas, the rules require a minimum number of members. Their creative arrangements seem to be one of their biggest assets.

sing-off siteofficial siteFacebook page
Los Angeles, CA • 5 men and women
Live performance of "Wicked Games."

This group features unique percussive sounds (created by Benjamin Mclain), interesting arrangements, and great harmonies. Their music is artfully and creatively executed, and brings a cappella to a higher level, away from the traditional gospel harmonies and doo wap accents. They are the Picasso's of a cappella.

Soul'd Out
sing-off siteFacebook page
Wilsonville, OR • 16 men and women from Wilsonville High School
Performance of "Knights of Cydonia."

Soul'd Out is cute! But, they're also quite good, winning the International Championship of High School A Cappella NW regionals this year and going forward to place 2nd place in the nation. As a 16 member male and female performance group, they have the ability to pull from within their ranks to provide a variety of unique talents, highs and low ranges, strong soloists, beat boxers, even a female "trumpet" player. Like most large groups, they also feature uniquely creative choreography, and are therefore very entertaining to the eye as well.

Urban Method
sing-off siteofficial siteFacebook page
Denver, CO • 8 men and women
Professional recording of "Love the Way you Lie."

Urban Method is unique in that it features a rapper and a crew of expertise beat boxers. The sound is hip and the beat is driving. In addition, the singing vocals are beautiful and the harmonies well matched. The only video I was able to find it a recording, and I hope the live version does not disappoint.

Vocal Point
sing-off siteofficial siteFacebook page
Provo, UT • 8 men from Brigham Young University (BYU)
Live performance of "Just the Way You Are."

I had to double check to make sure that what I was hearing was live and not a recording, since the vocal harmonies are so perfect and the the beatboxing effect is so exact on their version of Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are." When everything is so very well matched, the listener forgets that they are hearing to voices only. I imagine this group will come ready to impress.

University of Rochester YellowJackets
sing-off siteofficial siteFacebook page
Rochester, NY • 15 men
Live performance

Featuring high energy popish upbeat songs, the Yellow Jackets are a fun group of college men who's primary goal is to entertain. Their arrangements are heavy on percussion and their professional recordings fool the listener into believing that drums are present.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What's your opinion?