September 17, 2010

Metropolitones - Time For a Breakdown

"Time for a Breakdown" is the debut full-size album (they also have released a pair of nice sampler CDs) of New York City's premier Seven Sisters a cappella group, which refers to seven elite womens' universities and colleges in NYC. Five of the eight current members graduated from Vassar, two from Wellesley and one from Mount Holyoke. The group was a 2009 contestant on NBC and Sony's “The Sing Off,” which was inspired by the Harmony Sweepstakes. The MetropoliTones bring us 13 sweet-sounding covers, some favorites are the En Vogue hit "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)," Paula Cole's "The Ladder," Az Yet's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry," Razorlight's "Golden Touch," Rascal Flatts' "Life Is A Highway," KT Tunstall's "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree," Camille’s "Ta Douleur," John Lennon's "Imagine," Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" and the Wailin Jennys poignant traditional tune "The Parting Glass." The group has a killer live show, and an audience-pleasing sound with rich harmonies and beautiful leads. We enjoyed every cut of "Time for a Breakdown," and think you'll love this young, fast-rising, talented all-woman ensemble! 7542 CD 14.95
Listen to "Lie Still Little Bottle

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

September 11, 2010

The Magnets - Gobsmacked

"The World's best beatboxing and singing group" is a very bold statement, and it's right there on The Magnets' website! Sure, the UK's Nic, Steve, Michael, James, Fraser and rock-solid percussionist Andy "Ice Man" Frost won the 2001 CARA for Best Pop/Rock Original Song, "All the Wrong Reasons" from their excellent debut CD "Giving It All That." And sure, their tours of Austria, Belgium, Cayman Islands, Hungary, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK were a huge success, and they received reviews like "A cappella singing straight from the Gods"—Edinburgh Evening News, "Talent in abundance and a highly original, note-perfect act"—Metro, and "Glorious a cappella…these are top-class professional vocalists"—Die Welt. And on "Gobsmacked" (also the name of their current 26-song live show), the guys give 11 iconic songs an all-vocal reinvention, including Blondie's "Call Me," a sultry version of "Poker Face" by Lady GaGa, a stunning Bossa Nova remake of Bon Jovi's "Living On a Prayer," a funky celebration of the Scissor Sisters' "I Don't Feel Like Dancing," a breezy, pop hit on David Bowie's "Let's Dance"—in fact, this is one of the best albums we've heard in a long time! Check it out, great leads, creative, surprising arrangements, flawless vocal percussion, stellar backup harmonies, big Fun—The Magnets are the real deal! 7591 CD 15.95
Listen to "Poker Face

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

September 9, 2010

Musae - Five

In 2008-2009, celebrating its fifth year as one of the San Francisco Bay Area's premier women's vocal ensembles, 12-voice Musae presented its first ever Meet the Composer event, premiered works composed especially for them, hosted a grand party/fundraiser at the City Club, brought its annual December and May concerts to San Francisco, Berkeley and Tiburon, and recorded and released "five!" The ensemble describes its mission and vision as offering "a new experience of women's voices by combining musical artistry with an innovative and generous approach to performance." The 14 well-chosen cuts here begin and end with a soaring 12th Century chant by Hildegard von Bingen, "Karitas Habundat," there's Allister MacGillivray's lovely ballad "Song for the Mira," the heart-tugging Irish anthem "Danny Boy," and some wonderfully light and jazzy (and accompanied) renditions of "Mas Que Nada," "Canto de Ossanha," "Tempo de Amor" and "O Tico-Tico No Fuba." Next we have Graham Mayer's haunting, dissonant "When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be," Princess Lili'uokalani’s lovely "Ahe Lau Makani," Rene Clausen's powerful "Set Me as a Seal," Brian Holmes' soaring affirmation "I Shall Keep Singing" and Ryan James Brandau's beautiful “An Irish Blessing." Musae simply touches and inspires us with their "heartfelt and adventurous music." Enjoy! 2322 CD 15.95
Listen to "Set Me As A Seal

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

September 8, 2010

Johnson Girls - The Fire Down Below

On the cover of "Fire Down Below" is a full color rendition of a sperm whale's tooth, beautifully scrimshawed with an image of a pair of beautiful bustled and corseted mid-1800s women on a dock, waving farewell (or possibly hello) to a fully-rigged wooden sailing ship being consumed by a sailor's worst nightmare, fire at sea. It's a dramatic, poignant scene of the heartbreak of East Coast whaling town women, sometimes waiting and watching the horizon for years for the return of their sailor men. Joy, Alison, Bonnie and Deirdre, a NYC-based Folk quartet, have spent the last 11 years singing authentic a cappella sea chanteys, sometimes joined by the One More Day Chanteymen, their "good friends and solid singers." There are 18 songs here, some favorites are "Heave Her Up," "Shallow Brown," "Shiny-O," "Titanic," the title tune, "Three Foot Seam," "Shove Around The Jug," the poignant "Nantucket Lullabye," "Victoria," the Irish Folk round "Baidin Fheilimidh," "Santianno," "One More Day," and "Mary, Come Join The Religion.'' These are working songs, most of them cadenced to assist in rowing a boat or hauling up a sail or an anchor; the odd miner's union song ("Three Foot Seam") and one that relates to both sailors and miners ("Cornish Lads"). Some are borderline bawdy ("Tailor In The Chest" and "Swing Your Tail") but they obviously gave good warning to sailormen on shore leave. Almost all these songs are new to us, well-performed by the Johnson Girls, and good, authentic Folk music! 2344 CD 14.95

Posted by acapnews at 12:07 AM