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(Contest ends August 31st)
Oh my gosh, I am such a procrastinator! Why do I do that? I can't believe how annoying procrastinating is. And this review isn't the only thing I've procrastinated on. In fact, I'm using this review as a tool to procrastinate on ANOTHER project I'm working on. Yay me! Anyway, onto...
05-06 Octet: Zachary Bernstein, Patrick Cento, Josh Chang, Paul Formaker, Nasir Khan, Danny Park & Glenn Steinbaum
Loves Me Like a Rock- soloist - Nasir Khan - Light, bouncy, solid rendition of a classic.
Don't Stop Believin' - soloist - Patrick Cento: Arranged by Brian Boshes; perfectly represents 80's stadium rock, right down to the extended and slightly pitchy (for effect, I'm sure) vocalization. "their shadows searching in the ni-ee-ight!". There are also funny little comments in the backs.
Collide - soloist Danny Park: The backs are different from what I've heard before. Maybe I just don't know the music enough. This was my first experience with Collide. Beautifully sung.
Silent Night - group: Simple. The song starts with 4 soloists each singing the first four phrases of Silent Night, and then the voices come and blend to finish the song. The second part isn't the traditional song. However, it's beautifully and solemnly sung.
I'll Be - soloist - Jonathan Yee: This is a desperate (in a good way) love song.The harmonies are so wonderful. The song is a little sad, but beautiful.
Runaround Sue - soloist - Zachary Bernstein: Kind of a rocky version, with the backs playing it for laughs.
Hail To California - group: It's a school song. Nice blending. T1 and Bass kill it (in a good way).
Mr. Grinch - soloist - Glenn Steinbaum: This one is a Christmas classic, and Steinbaum and the guys do it justice. Good voice acting in this version!
'04-'05 Octet: Zachary Bernstein, Brian Boshes, Robin Kong, Jamie Pinedo, John Shumway, Glenn Steinbaum & Jonathan Yee
Lion King Medley - group: Crystal clear version of the YouTube Lion King Medley video. If you've seen the video and have thought: What did he say? Stupid audience! I wish they'd shut up! The CD Version is pristine, and the guys sound awesome! In fact, it's funnier than the YouTube video, because if you could hear what the guys said, you'd be laughing! Really. (P.S. I'm all for that audience having fun and laughing, but the cd had me questioning it.) Really, the cd is the best $16.00+shipping I've ever spent in my life.
Is She Really Going Out With Him - soloist - Brian Boshes: Again, like the video without the laughter, and some of the backing humor. A fun song.
Always Something There To Remind Me - soloist - John Shumway: Another Octet video which can be found on YouTube. I kind of miss the guys dancing in the video, but there's nothing wrong with the song.
Fight For California - group - school song. Go Bears. Solid.
I Just Wanna Make Love To You - soloist - Jamie Pinedo: Bass love! After the smooth opening with Etta James's "At Last" the voices start low and get even lower! As one YouTuber put it. "This is baby makin' music."
Walking My Baby Back Home - soloists - Robin Kong, John Shumway: O my gosh, this is such a great song! It is kind of old-timey (which I've become accustomed to, as I spent about a year listening to old time radio shows.) The best part of the song is the sort of scatting breakdown (I don't know what else to call it) which gives it some great new life. It's kind of the musical version of a palate cleanser, and it's really cool.
'03-'04 Octet: Brian Boshes, Josh Chang, Max Cowan, Rafael de Leon, Robin Kong, Jordan Meyer & Parker Sims
Put Your Head On My Shoulder - soloist - Rafael de Leon: Old school. Rafael has a beautiful voice.
Just My Imagination - soloists - Jordan Meyer, Parker Sims, Josh Chang: Great and funny parody of the Temptaions "Just My Imagination". But their imaginations tend to skew towards collegiate life.
Papa Was a Rolling Stone/Who Is He (group): This is probably my favorite song on this cd. It's cool, bad, sharp and the vocals cut me to the soul. More great T1 & Bass love.
The Scientist - soloist -Josh Chang: Another YouTube favorite. Smooth and soothing like chamomile tea. Excellent blending in the backs.
I'm Too Sexy - soloist - Max Cowan: This is one of the funniest things I've ever heard. I hit repeat on this so many times. More bass love!
My Girl - soloists - Robin Kong, Parker Sims, Rafael de Leon Another YouTube hit on this cd. The only difference is that Jason Mabie's rocky ending is replaced by Rafael de Leon's more melidic one.
Finally, I'd like to apologize for how long it took to get this review out. I was having internet connection problems.
I have to say, though, that in preperation for this review, I listened to the cd about 800 thousand times. I listened to it on the road trip to Oktoberfest, and I listened to it every night before going to bed, and anytime I had to travel anywhere, I had my mp3 player playing the music over and over again. I even turned the music WAY up because I wanted it in my BRAIN. I'll probably go deaf from listening to these songs over and over agian, but it was worth it.
Also, I'm not sure if the review did the cd justice. I did the best that I could I really loved the cd, and I'm glad I finally got it.
(It's $16.00 + $2.00 shipping in the US. Not sure about overseas.)
I'm posting pics of the cd, and I'll do the review after I've heard it.
So sorry about the quality of the pictures, but because of the poor natural lighting outside, I had to use the dining room light, and that caused a glare on the cd case/dark glossy paper. Anyway, as you can tell, the cd is BEAUTIFUL!
The mic is on fire (and we all know why). So, as you peruse these pics, I'll take a good long listen to this cd and tell you what I think.
As for my initial experience with ordering the cd, I have to say, I was very impatient - but it actually came in the time frame I was given. We had a holiday during that time frame, which threw me off, but it actually arrived promptly. (These are the times when I wish I had a TARDIS.) The package came first class ($1.88). The cd itself was wrapped in bubble wrap, and comes with a receipt. (Easily accounting for the $2.00 shipping cost.)
Anyway, with that, I'll let you get back to your awesome lives while I listen to some great a cappella!
Oh, and the Octet got their eighth member - Welcome Chuck Leon!
After much procrastination (moving/changing jobs/reordering checks/ needing the money for something else) I finally sent my order for High Octane in today's mail! I'm super excited. It should be here in a little more than ten days. I'm so excited! I'll give it a listen and let you know what I think of it. (Okay, I don't always do what I say I'll do, but I'll really try.) I love the songs on the album, so, if I haven't said it yet I'M SUPER DUPER EXCITED!!!!!!!
Okay, enough silliness, because I'm also super tired at the moment. So...another post soon. I hope.
I was wondering, with the tons of Octet standards and new songs which are arranged by each years groups, how the songs were picked for each of the Octet cds. So I asked Brandon Swansfeger from the 01-03 Octet, and this was the reply I got.
"The first two criteria are quality and popularity. The next factor is whether the song has been on a previous recording, and if so, how long has it been since that recording was published (we try to keep things fresh and new). Lastly, we try to get as many people doing solos as possible, but sometimes the first three criteria limits who can solo on each cd so that not everyone has a recorded solo."
Makes sense to me.
Now, go and head on to Brandon's YouTube channel to check out his videos and show him some Octet-love. (He solos in "Somebody's Crying" on his page and has an incredible voice!)
Oh, and you might want to pick up the Octet's most recent CD, "High Octane", which features the '03-06 Octet. Information on how to purchase the cd is on the Links page.
My friend, when she knew her time was coming to an end left a message to all of her friends and family: When you are finished crying, remember that we had fun fun fun...so, while part of me is still mourning the loss of my dear friend and mentor I do remember the great times we had together and the hope I have. So, I think I'm ready to carry on. Which is a good thing, because I am SO far behind in my classes.
So, my birthday overtook me earlier this week. With the memorial, I almost forgot that it was coming up... Those are the times when I think "seriously. senior moment? already?" The birthday was pretty quiet, and I didn't get what I really (when it came down to brass tacks) wanted, which was an Octet cd. I'm such a subtle hinter that my hints seem to sneak past anyone with birthday present obligations.
So, this year I have decided to treat myself to the one thing I wanted for my birthday: the High Octane cd. Yeah. I emailed Keith, and he sent me the ordering information, so technically the ball is rolling. I'll keep you posted on my progress.
Thanks for the support.