CD Reviews

CD Review: The Octopodes The Kraken

One of the coolest aspects of The Kraken is just how evident it is that the songs were not only all written and arranged by group members, but also how many different group members contributed to the creative process. The resulting album is anything but one-note, ranging from party tracks to ballads to anthems to foot-loose and fancy-free melodies.

CD Review: Business Casual Eyes On Me

Business Casual, formerly known as Quintessence, is a five-person mixed voice group out of the San Francisco Bay area. The group first formed in 2012 and Eyes on Me is their first EP.

Right off the bat, I’ll applaud Business Casual for the decision to go with an EP over a full album, and to limit it to just three tracks. It’s difficult for a new group to assemble a forty-five minutes or more of worthy music for their debut release and general audiences tend not to have patience for lengthy efforts by groups they aren’t already familiar with, so the decision to run with a streamlined collection like this was the right call..

Business Casual also did a nice job of assembling three songs that fit together and shaped their identity.

Book Review: A Cappella Arranging by Deke Sharon and Dylan Bell

In fall 2012, Deke Sharon and Dylan Bell published A Cappella Arranging. Most readers will know of Sharon—or at least his work—as the founder of the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA), and a major force in starting and pushing the International Championships of Collegiate (ICCA), besides being a major player in every season of The Sing-Off and the music in the Pitch Perfect film. Bell may be a bit less of a household name for a cappella fans, but boasts an impressive resume of his own as an award-winning a cappella arranger, producer, and performer whose resume includes work with Cadence and The Nylons.

CD Review: MIX Edifice

I first heard MIX, a compact, co-ed group out of the University of Colorado Denver, at 2012 SoJam college competition. I was expecting great things from that show—what with competitors including the eventual ICCA champion Nor’easters, and southern stars The Melodores.

But then there was MIX.

CD Review: Mister Tim The Funky Introvert

Mister Tim is often billed as a one-man vocal band, and it is pretty remarkable to consider that all the sounds in The Funky Introvert were performed, recorded, and produced by just one person. While he’s been involved in quite a few projects, including a cappella comedy outfit Moose Butter and with-instruments band Delilah’s Revenge, Mister Tim may have found his most unique voice in this one-man form, combining a diverse oral toolkit with real skill in looping to produce a pretty remarkable act. While much of Mister Tim’s previous work has been comedic or rooted in covers, The Funky Introvert marks a departure into all-original music, without playing for laughs. I’m pleased to say the experiment is by and large a success.

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