CD Reviews

Movie Review: Stages

This summer, Dan Purcell and the guys from Ithacappella unveiled Stages, a short film based on the a cappella group’s music. Mark Farnum and Josh Toomey share writing credits with Purcell; Farnum and Green Street Productions are credited as producers.
We live in an age when a cappella groups are consistently evolving their presentation. Whether its seamless competition sets that weave songs together continuously, albums with pristine production, or professional grade music videos, the bar has risen for groups aiming to make waves on the national scene. Remarkably enough, in a time when it may seem as though everything has been done, Stages reveals new layers of potential for what a cappella music can do and be.

CD Review: The University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers Deja Blue

As the album title suggests, the album offers up a healthy dose of nostalgia, featuring Queen classic “Somebody To Love,” a cross-generational mashup called “Stayin’ Hot,” plus a trip back to the earlier days of the Foo Fighters catalog with “Learn to Fly,” and Alicia Keys’s 2003 hit, “If I Ain’t Got You.” Most of the album skews more contemporary, though, with tracks from the likes of Bruno Mars, Jessie J, and Ed Sheeran.

CD Review: Proof of Purchase Quintessential

Proof of Purchase is a co-ed group out of the Rochester Institute of Technology, and they recently released their latest EP, titled Quintessential. I suspect the album title pulled double duty for both naming an album that boils down the group’s identity and, as the quint-prefix suggests, features five tracks. The album was produced by the good folks at A Cappella Productions who did an excellent job of assembling a CD that sounds clean and lets the vocals shine on their own merits.

CD Review: Forte Uncharted Heart

This winter, Forte, out of Centreville High School released an all original album titled Uncharted Heart. A cappella fans might remember that Forte put out another all-original album in 2012--Life’s So Lyrical. And fans may be encouraged to hear that this album is no less carefully constructed, creative, and musically brilliant. Carefully recorded by Plaid Productions, mixed by Ed Boyer, and mastered by Dave Sperandio, this group has compiled another dazzler of an album.