December 15, 2009

Buzz - So Happy Together

Already well-medaled individually before they got together as a true supergroup, Nancy, Debbie, Karen and Jeannie and The Buzz won Sweet Adelines International Quartet Gold in 2005, and have been delighting audiences and happily living their "Four Parts, One Voice" motto ever since. Their two previous albums, "Buzzapalooza" and "Have You Heard The Buzz" are popular choices on, and the joyous "So Happy Together" should be no exception! There are 11 winners here, "After Today," "Gospel Medley," "Time Waits For No One," "Undecided," "Got A Lot Of Living To Do," "With These Hands," the delightful "Girl in 14G," "A Whole New World," "First Day In Heaven," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," "Something Tells Me I'm Into Something Good/Happy Together" and Bonus Track "The Lord Bless You and Keep You." The harmonies, leads and ringing chords here are wonderful and fun, and the arranging (by Jay Giallombardo, David Wright, Joey Minshall, Aaron Dale and Debbie Cleveland, some of the best in the business) is top-drawer. "So Happy" is exactly that, so stop wondering what "The Buzz" is all about and enjoy one of Sweet Adelines' most entertaining groups! 5873 CD 14.95
Listen to "Time Waits for No One

Posted by acapnews at 2:13 AM

MAXX Factor - Maxx Sixx Pack

Baltimore, MD-based quartet Maxx Factor is on a major roll, being named the 2009 Harmony Sweeps National Champs in May, then going on to win the 2010 Third Place Sweet Adelines medals! Formed in 2004, this current foursome has only been singing together since 2007. "Maxx Sixx Pack" is a sampler EP that features six tunes, "It's a Brand New Day," a live cut from International competition "Listen To That Dixie Band," "Don't Break The Heart That Loves You," the live cut "Young And Foolish," "The Loneliest Girl In Town" and "What A Wonderful World." This is all great Sweet Adelines stuff on the highest level. As we recommend this recording, we remember listening to Maxx Factor's set at the Harmony Sweeps Finals. As they would nail one of their trademark unbelieveably sustained closing chords, we swear we would feel the hairs on the back of our neck stand up! Maxx Factor is a very special group, and you should forget about drinking and treat yourself to a Sixx Pack. 5885 CD 9.95
Listen to "Don't Break the Heart that Loves You

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

December 14, 2009

King's Herald - Hymnsessions

"Hymnsessions" is the 9th album in the catalog by internationally acclaimed quartet King's Herald, who represent an 84-year heritage of great Gospel singing when they step upon a stage. Don, Joel, Russell and Jeff, now based in Portland, TN (the original King's Heralds were founded by four college students in Keene, TX in 1927) this legendary group continues their musical ministry with 18 richly harmonic, inspirational songs here. Some favorites are "Fight the Good Fight," the spiritual "Steal Away," "O Jesus I Have Promised," "He Lifted Me," "Give Me A Vision," "Church in the Wildwood," "Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart" and "Heavenly Father Bless Us Now." There is some orchestral and piano accompaniment here. A deep bass, deeply-felt Gospel collection sung by these four legendary Gospel ambassadors. Treat yourself to the feel-good album "Hymnsessions!" 9935 CD 14.95
Listen to "Church in the Wildwood

Posted by acapnews at 12:08 AM

December 7, 2009

Swingle Singers - Ferris Wheels

The Swingles, the mixed-voice world-class, multiple Grammy-winning, legendary a cappella octet from London and one of our favorite Vocal Jazz groups of all time, originally broke into the Jazz scene of 1963 because of Ward Swingle's innovation. He handed his group of session singers charts for an instrumental, Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier," which led to their double Grammy hit album "Bach's Greatest Hits." There is this kind of innovation and artistry on "Ferris Wheels," which comes from the Joni Mitchell hit "Both Sides Now" ("Moons and Junes and Ferris Wheels, the dizzy, dancing way you feel"), the second of 12 wonderfully crafted songs on the album. The ethereal "Unravel," James Taylor's lazy-day, bluesy "On the 4th of July," the exquisite French adaption of the theme from "Summer of '42," "L'Ete 42," Nick Drake's stunning bluenote "River Man," Sting's powerful, waltzlike "Until," and a symphonic arrangement of Lennon/McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby" by group member Kevin Fox (who also sings lead on it). David Freeman and Joseph Hughs' "No More I Love Yous," Stevie Wonder's "Summer Soft," Billy Joel's "Goodnight My Angel" and Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" are all beautifully arranged and performed. "Ferris Wheels" is a masterpiece by the Swingles that touches and satisfies on many levels. One of the best Jazz/Pop albums of the year and highly recommended! 2134 CD 15.95
Listen to "Flying High/ Wake Me Up When September End

Posted by acapnews at 12:02 AM

December 6, 2009

Rajaton -Best of

Helsinki, Finland-based 3-men, 3 women Sextet Rajaton has been drawing our rave reviews since their formation in 1997. "Best of 1999-2009" is their 10th album in the PAC catalog (plus one excellent DVD), and it features a CD of 20 of the group's favorite recordings; plus a DVD of 11 of their favorite live videos. The songs in English are all exquisite selections, "Butterfly," Queen's "Under Pressure," the dramatic, amazing "Fernando," "Dobbin's Flowery Vale," and "I Was Brought to My Senses." English songs on the DVD include "Butterfly," "Dobbin's Flowery Vale" Lennon/McCartney's "Lady Madonna," Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Songs in Finnish and other languages include the lovely "Me kuljemme kaikki kuin sumussa," "Kaipaava," the powerful, previously unreleased "La Dolce Vita," the previously unreleased live cut "Tosi lapsellinen joulusikerma," "Pukki tietaa," the haunting "Varpunen jouluaamuna" and the soaring "Stabat Mater." Non-English favorites on the DVD include "Tiernapojat," "En etsi valtaa, loistoa," "Kulku," "Lunta," and Kertosakeen nainen." If you haven't been turned on to Rajaton, "Best of" will make you an instant fan. If you have, "Best of " will delight and amaze you from beginning to end, as have the other Rajaton albums in your collection. The liner notes are extensive and loaded with photos. A marvelous collection from one of our favorite Contemporary Jazz/Pop groups ever to pick up microphones! 5882 CD & DVD 18.95
Listen to "Butterfly

Posted by acapnews at 12:01 AM

December 5, 2009

Sonos - Sonos

Los Angeles-based 3-man, three woman sextet Sonos are part of UCLA's wildly proliferating a cappella scene, debuting in December of 2008 at the Hotel Café with an "intimate, yet scorching performance…brimming with fiery fervor, major dynamics and sexual tension," according to Deli Magazine. Sonos aims to turn the a cappella genre on its head, with bold reinterpretations of artists who inspire them, Radiohead ("Everything in Its Right Place"), Sara Bareilles (also a UCLA alum who joins Sonos on her "Gravity"), Fleet Foxes ("White Winter Hymnal"), Bon Iver ("Re:Stacks"), Rufus Wainwright ("Oh What A World"), Bjork ("Joga") and Imogen Heap ("Come Here Boy"). They also reinvent the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" with a hip-hop rendition, and have a soulful take on Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence." Sonos has a wonderfully sophisticated, sweetly harmonic sound that lends itself well to these innovative, often surprising arrangements. Let us be clear, Sonos is an a cappella force to be reckoned with, especially with the rise of a cappella in Hollywood to the mainstream with groups like Harmony Sweeps champs Moira Smiley and VOCO, and hit series like "Glee." An impressive debut release! 1359 CD 16.95
Listen to "Again and Again

Posted by acapnews at 12:05 AM

Ac Rock - Ridin' The Storm Out

As their five excellent recordings in the PAC catalog will show, Ac•Rock, the all-male quartet from Chicago is really into a cappella Rock n' Roll—arranging it cool, have big fun with it, recording it, but mostly singing it together, particularly in front of appreciative audiences! Not a bad gig, and as they keep getting better at singing, recording and arranging it, we will be expecting to see more rockin' albums from this prolific quartet. 14 spirited cuts, some of our favorites are Lennon/McCartney's "Paperback Writer," Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues," Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely," Brian Wilson's "I Get Around," The muscle car anthem "Hey Little Cobra," Randy Bachman's "Takin' Care of Business," Lieber & Stoller's "Yakety Yak," and the title tune. Fun stuff from the rockin' Windy City! 1358 CD 14.95
Listen to "Spooky

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

December 4, 2009

Musical Island Boys - Once Upon A Time

"Once Upon A Time" is the debut album of the four young sons of the Pacific, the sweet-harmonizing Barbershop group from New Zealand, the Musical Island Boys! Inspired by the late Les Nation, and his unwavering support of the youth Barbershop movement in New Zealand, the Boys have a powerful, sweet, engaging sound and can stretch and ring a chord with the best of them. "Once" features 12 songs, some well-chosen standards like "Tonight, Tonight" from "West Side Story," "Come Fly with Me," "Strike Up the Band," the sweet lament "What'll I Do?," the title tune, "Lullaby in Ragtime," the spiritual "No More Sorrow," "Fly Me to the Moon" and a lovely rendition of "In the Still of the Night." Appropriately, there are a pair of New Zealand songs included, the national anthem "New Zealand Treasure" and the beautiful, guitar-accompanied native song "E Reve, Te Manu." Wonderful harmonies, soaring falsetto leads, well-chosen material—the Musical Island Boys are a treat for the ears from the first song to the last! 5887 CD 15.95
Listen to "No More Sorrows

Posted by acapnews at 11:50 AM