Monday, October 10, 2011

Sarah's Ramblings: The Sing Off - Episode Four

Before I start my recap, I just want to remind you that our newest edition of the SNC Quarter Notes is up for reading, including my preview of voices to watch on The Sing Off. You can check it out here!

I wish I had been in the audience this evening. *sigh* Anyway...

Opening number Rhythm of Love,” Plain White T's. Gonna start with "I LOVE THIS SONG!!!" And I love how they've arranged it for the groups to sing tonight. The "guitar" reminds me a bit of The Warblers' ukulele on Hey Soul Sister. And I hear a muted horn (Kevin from the Pentatonix!) And I love it. And the stage looks so stinkin' sunny!

Why hello, Nick Lachey. And he's wearing another gray-based shirt (this looks like a violet-gray). And hello to our fabulouso judges: Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles, and Shawn Stockman!

Like last week, tonight the groups are each tackling two songs - one current radio hit and a hit from the 1960s.

First up, the Deltones. Looks like they had a hard week with their Gaga tune, "The Edge of Glory." Soloist Courtney Penta battled being sick and it only showed in a few spots, so major kudos to her for sticking with it! The overall sound was great, but like Sara commented on, their physicality didn't really add anything to the performance. It's one thing to sing amazingly, it's another to do so and look like you're having fun. I'd love to see them appear to be having fun!

Ahhhh, Scott Hoying. I mean, um, Pentatonix. (Yes, I think you're seeing a new voice crush developing. I adore Scott's voice.) These club kids are taking on the queen of autotune, Ke$ha, with "Your Love Is My Drug." Again, they are totally showing off the depth of this group, with Scott, Kirstin, and Mitch soloing while the fabulous Avi & Kevin bring the remix in. (And yes, Shawn, I am a Scott fan.)

Bring on The Collective! I love that they are rehearsing in the hot tub. That is awesomesauce. So, I've never heard Far East Movement's "Rocketeer" before. Oh, Rachael, I have missed your voice girl. However, I hope you didn't kill it by singing with acute laryngitis! There were some weak spots in the solo because of her illness. But the whole performance, from Ruby's beginning, through Sam's breakdown, to Rachael's last note was fabulous and a definite improvement on week one!

I am so ready for North Shore and their take on Bruno Mars' "Lazy Song" (or should I say Bruno Mahs)… Gotta say, I didn't realize they were doing this on the show this week. I had seen a "for-fans-only" video that they posted on their Facebook of them doing this in a laid-back rehearsal setting. And now they're doing it on the show tonight!! I feel like I got a free preview! And the performance is better than the preview :) Guy Chiapponi is, like, superhuman. Sing, whistle, sing… when does he breathe?!?! Loved every second of this performance!

The Dartmouth Aires are taking on one of my current favorites, "Animal" by Neon Trees. And they kinda knocked it out. Soloist Brendan was super energetic (a couple of pitchy spots, but still awesome). Not really much more to say. These guys are certainly bringing it this week!

Time to round out the first set with Sonos and their take on Coldplay's "Viva La Vida." They mention not having a bass. I know that they once had six members not long before The Sing Off, so not only are they without their effects pedals, they are probably still adjusting to the 5-member format. I love how simple this arrangement sounded. It didn't sound empty, but it also didn't sound overloaded like many aca arrangements of the piece. Katharine really knocked out that bass, Ben killed the vocal percussion as usual, and even with some pitchy spots, it sounded fabulous!

Our groups have done their current hits, now it's time to hear them take on some of the great hits of the 1960's… groovy! (Like last week, I'm not gonna comment as much on these performances, just a word or two…) (P.S. - One problem with the pre-record is Nick's reference to The Playboy Club, which has been cancelled. Oooops.)

Pentatonix: “Piece of My Heart,” Janis Joplin
I kinda can't get enough of Scott. They had to do something to make this song fun (I appreciate it, cause I'm not really a fan of this song). I love the reggae feel and Kevin with his totally sick and dirty horn solo! Love it!

Deltones: “You Can't Hurry Love,” The Supremes
OK, now a few of them look like they're having fun. But there are still faces in the pack that aren't emoting. And maybe it's just the bad luck of the camera finding them right when they aren't smiling. It was still a good performance, but I have to admit that for me, they are becoming forgettable.

Side Note: Dear Nick, I love it when you're funny. :)

North Shore: “Unchained Melody,” Righteous Brothers
This is one of those things where you kind of expect North Shore to have an edge simply because this is in their wheelhouse. So, I almost wanna be harder on them because they have to take a style they are already doing and make it… better. Guy knocks it out, Shawn gives him a standing O before the song is even over. It was the perfect 60s tribute and we all knew it would be!

Side Note: I'd love to see Ben Folds swoon like a little girl.

The Collective: “Hold On, I'm Coming,” Sam & Dave
Is it bad that all I wanna say is "that is ridiculously hot"… cause that's what I wanna say. Wowsa!

Sonos: “I Want You Back,” Jackson 5
I am going into this performance expecting to love it, because I've heard their arrangement. It's not "60's-ish" at all, though the song is from that era. But I am having to remind myself that the version they do that I love had 6 people and effects pedals. So, this is going to be interesting. They gave Rachel the total solo (instead of splitting with Chris like in their recording) so that Chris could cover the bass. And I love it. LOVE. I love that they took something we all know and love and made it totally 100% theirs. And deep down, I knew they were gonna get ripped for not doing it the classic way. And it kills me. I wish more people got them.

Dartmouth Aires: “Pinball Wizard,” The Who
Michael is fabulous as ever, knocking out the Daltrey lead. Couldn't say it any better than Sara: "I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats."

This is probably the first time this season that I'm mildly annoyed by the decision. First off, I think the Deltones should have been in the bottom two instead of The Collective. Secondly, it annoys me that innovation ends up being a mark against Sonos. Especially because there are other innovative groups putting their spins on songs and being praised for it. It's really frustrating to me.
I love that they left with Boyz II Men's "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday"… and kinda chuckled when Shawn hid his face. Too soon, judges. It was too soon for them.

Come back next week as the remaining ten groups from both brackets (listed below for those who've lost track) combine for one aca-awesome night of 80's & 90's guilty pleasures!
The Collective
Dartmouth Aires
North Shore
Urban Method
Vocal Point

I leave you with a link to the video of that Honda commercial I mentioned last week... :)


Shaina said...

I'm not mildly annoyed. I'm PISSED OFF.

Also, the girl with the sunglasses in the Honda commercial went to high school with me. Weird seeing her on TV again... (She was in a T-Mobile commercial a few years back, I think...)

Sarah said...

Honesty time: I'm more than mildly annoyed. But I'm trying to filter...

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