In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Face is a nationally recognized all-vocal rock band from Boulder, Colorado, bringing a new edge and attitude to the human voice. Using just five voices and a vocal drummer, or "beat-boxer," Face creates a rock-music phenomenon that has to be seen to be believed. No other instruments or special effects - just six guys. Considered "among the top 10 singing groups in the country," (Norm Johnson, Las Vegas Leisure Guide) they regularly wow sold-out audiences throughout Colorado, including such classic venues as Boulder Theater and The Soiled Dove.
Face was recently named "Best Local Musician/Group" by Boulder Weekly's 2009 Best of Boulder Reader Survey. In addition, Face is a two-time winner of the National Audience Favorite Award at the Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals, as well as National Runner-Up in 2005 and 2007. Face was also runner-up for Favorite Pop/Rock Group in the 2007 Contemporary A Cappella Society's Community Awards. Face has been headlining in Las Vegas periodically since 2007 to rave reviews, paving the way for even more national attention.
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Do You Hear What I Hear?
Review: Of course you know Face's record, placing 2nd at both the 2005 and 2007 Harmony Sweeps Finals, and making the Finals in 2008's The Sing-Off, its first smash year. Well, we hold in our hands "I Hear the Bells," this elite Denver, CO-based all-male sextet's freshly-released first Christmas album, and it's wonderful! There are nine finely-crafted tunes here, the tone is set with the title tune, an original by Face tenor Stephen Ross, a rich, complex, rhythmic anthem with depth and power; another original, "If I Think," by Face baritone Ben Lunstad, a deeply touching hymn to peace and personal change with hypnotic African rhythms, which asks and answers a very important question: "Am I a child of this world, can I change my ways?;" a surprising medley that seamlessly blends "We Three Kings" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." Lunstad & Ross also lend marvelous arrangements that transform "Do You Hear What I Hear," "O Holy Night," "Little Drummer Boy," "Silent Night/The River Runs Slow" and "O Come, O Come Emmanuel/On the Turning Away" medleys, and an incongruously juicy manic, live rendition of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." Each of these cuts is very special, "I Hear the Bells" needs to be savored a number of times to fully appreciate them. The members of Face, reflecting on their 10 years together: "each of us is humbled. A magic was created that we still can't explain-we simply enjoy it and nurture it." We can only add, "one of the best Christmas albums we have heard!"
Review: One of our favorite Harmony Sweeps finalist groups (they placed second in both 2005 and 2007, winning Audience Favorite and Best Original Arrangement awards) we have followed the career of this multi-talented, all male sextet from Denver, CO. When NBC based their new hit show "The Sing-Off" on the Harmony Sweepstakes, we were thrilled to see Face rise up to become Finalists, and although they didn't win it all, the group gained a huge new following and showed a new generation of viewers what we all have known for years, the tremendous power and attraction of a live a cappella! In their new CD "Momentum" on their first cut, the dynamic "O Fortuna," arranged by group member Ben Lunstad, they include in parentheses that the song won Best Original Arrangement at the '07 National Harmony Sweeps Finals! There are 11 songs here, and it's clear that Face has ridden that success to turn themselves into one of a cappella's elite groups, with stellar arrangements by Lunstad and group members Ryan Driver and Stephen Ross. Listen to "Boondocks," Collins/Fagenson/Siebels' "Promise," Lennon/McCartney's "Let It Be," Griffiths/Orzabal's "Break It Down Again," Bicusse/Newley's sultry "Feeling Good," wonderful faux electric guitar on Cain/Perry/Schon's retro anthem "Don't Stop Believing," Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours," Dean/Malloy/Mann/Taylor's "Looking for a Place to Land, Colin Hay's "Overkill," and Gilmore/Moore's "On the Turning Away," and you're listening to the new Face of a cappella, standard-bearers of a growing a cappella Renaissance. Don't miss the apty titled "Momentum!"
Review: We have personally experienced the vocal power of Colorado-based, 7-man Face, who first began singing together in 2000, and first performed for the public in the summer of 2002--the year they won their first of three Audience Favorite awards at the Harmony Sweeps Rocky Mountain Regional. In Spring of 2005 they won the Regional and we saw them win Audience Favorite at the Harmony Sweeps National Finals, placing 2nd overall. "Forward" is exactly that, a collection of 11 covers that announce to the a cappella world that Face is ready to join the elite. Beginning with Mark Broussard's driving "Home," Tonic's brooding "If You Could Only See" and some amazing vocal sax, trumpet and keyboards on Mancini's "Pink Panther Theme;" the great song selection continues with Counting Crows' bouncy "Accidentally In Love," the BeeGees' romantic anthem "How Deep Is Your Love," The Hoodoo Gurus' Adams Familyesque "Dig It Up" and "American Passion," an incongruous medley of Bach's "Erkenne Mich, Mein Huter" and Paul Simon's "American Tune" which totally works. "Forward" is an impressive collection that moves and touches us-great stuff!
Review: We never forget a Face, especially having just savored the Boulder, CO's memorable performance at the 2005 Harmony Sweeps Finals in San Rafael and personally counted their winning votes for Audience Favorite (the judges also awarded them 2nd Place in a hugely talented field of 8 Regional winners). Face performed two of the 5 songs on this sampler CD at the Finals, a dramatic, soaring cover of Maroon 5's wonderful "Harder to Breathe" and a big fun, rock-solid vocal-percussion cover of Men Without Hats' 80's Techno hit "Safety Dance." Cake's "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" gets an appropriately manic, energetic treatment, and "The River Runs Slow" is a flowing, rhythmic, harmonic treat. The final cut is a sweet, sexy arrrangement of Marvin Gaye's seduction anthem "Sexual Healing." "Wake Up," and Face's live performance, give notice that this hard-working, talented group is ready for the bigtime in the a cappella world!