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Beelzebubs: Code Red

Mr. Roboto (Styx)
Shining Star (Earth, Wind & Fire)
Nothing Compares 2 U (Sinead O'Connor)
Machinehead (Bush)
Hott in Herre (Nelly)
The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra)
Crazy Train (Ozzy Ozbourne)
Take Me Home (Phil Collins)
Sell Out (Reel Big Fish)
Disarm (Smashing Pumpkins)
You Should Be Dancing (Bee Gees)

The 15 talented Beelzebub men are presented on the cover of "Code Red" as various strange and colorful superheroes, and the theme is carried into what appears to be a heavily accompanied cover of Styx' "Mr. Roboto," with strings, cymbals, synthesizers, snare drums and everything. Then you notice the line in the campy foldout liner notes: "Every sound on this recording was created solely by our fifteen mouths." So we immediately went from "shut off the damn synthesizers" mode to "how the hell did they make that sound?" mode. One caveat--the voices seem to be "technically augmented," that is, sung into machines that alter them significantly, like a "wah-wah" pedal that attaches to an electric guitar. Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star" is followed by Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" and Bush's "Machinehead." Nelly's "Hot in Herre" is followed by an incongruous cover of Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight." Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train," Phil Collins' "Take Me Home," Reel Big Fish's "Sell Out," Smashing Pumpkins' "Disarm" and finishing with the BeeGees' "You Should be Dancing." "Code" is an envelope-pushing CD, taking a cappella to a point where it's almost indistinguishable from accompanied music. Throughout the vocals and harmonies are rich and powerful, and the vocal percussion more full and convincing than any contemporary group we've heard. This is very exciting stuff, and also scary. What comes to mind is when Phil Spector released his first "Wall of Sound" single, the Ronettes' "Be My Baby," and every other R&B song suddenly sounded very thin. Anyone interested in the future of a cappella needs to hear "Code Red!"

Item code: 1734C | 1 CD | $14.98 |add item to cart
Collegiate | A Cappella | Male | United States
Related: Collegiate A Cappella
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