12.18.2013

the sing-off, season 4 (#1 hits)

(photo credit NBC)

(SPOILER ALERT:  The eliminated groups are mentioned.)

Opening Number:  "In Your Eyes"
Nice solo vocals and a really strong arrangement.

Ten:  "Chain of Fools"
One thing they are really great at is a solid beat and groove.  They know exactly what they're doing - no question at all.  Of course, the solo vocal was crazy awesome.  This was a great performance, but not one of their most creative.  Still want more!

AcoUstiKats:  "Amazed"
Nice intro and BGVs.  Nice to hear them do something different than their normal high-energy pieces.  I'm glad to know they can chill it out and do more of a "choral" thing.  It was really pretty.

Street Corner Renaissance:  "Forget You"
I mean, they're sweet.  They did a cute job with this.  I guess I just feel like there's a little double standard here with this group.  The judges are really pushing these other groups to get tighter, be more creative, etc.  But with these guys, there's almost this default feeling of, "Well, y'all are old and you've been around the longest so I guess you should stay on the show."  Old people can sing tightly and be creative too!  I just think they need to be held at a higher standard like the rest of the groups. 

The Filharmonic:  "One More Night"
First of all, let me say this - that little "ooo o o o o o o o" riff is tricky vocally and they killed it.  I still heard some rushing in this arrangement.  I enjoyed their performance, but it wasn't impressive.  I agree with Ben - I just wasn't excited about it.

Street Corner and Filharmonic faced off in the sing-off.  See ya, Street Corner Renaissance.

Opening Number:  "My Generation"/"We Will Rock You"/"It's Time"
Loved the solos and liked hearing some different people showcased.  Interesting medley though.  I don't think I would've ever thought to mash those songs up.

Home Free:  "Ring of Fire"
Bass guy has a good voice, but I don't personally like his voice.  This arrangement had some cool spots in it.  Specifically, I liked what they added into the chord on "higher."  It was a good performance.

Voice Play:  "Don't Speak"
Nice haunting BGVs.  I really liked the feel they chose for this one.  They did some really cool things with the arrangement.  It was creative, emotional, dynamic, interesting, etc.  I'm really impressed with the whole thing.  They just moved way up in my book!

Element:  "Keep Me Hangin' On"
They did a great job on taking Ben's advice about making space for the soloists.  I wasn't crazy about this arrangement though.  They made some improvements as far as not stepping on each other vocally, but the creativity wasn't there like it has been before.  They were strong and they were good, but I wanted more!  I really do like them, but I want to see them do some crazier, riskier, more dissonant stuff!

Vocal Rush:  "Holding Out For a Hero"
Gah, I just love the girl's voice who sang right at the opening!  Loved the gradual adding of parts onto the solo.  They just do NOT sing or arrange like high school-aged people.  They're good and not just "for their age."  They're good. 

I cannot believe the ultimate sing-off came down to Vocal Rush and Element.  I'm so surprised the judges did that.  Based on the entire competition, I wouldn't have put those two in the bottom.  It was a lose/lose situation and I knew I'd be sad either way.  Their arrangement of "Survivor" was really great and very entertaining.  Goodbye, Element.  When you consider just these two groups and what they've done throughout the show, Vocal Rush has been more consistent.  I'm sad to see Element go, but I'm really glad Vocal Rush has made it this far.

Last thing.  People.  Can we please get over Ben Folds' "big" words??  He's a REAL musician so he uses "big" words.  Be glad you're not watching American Idol where the only word they use is "pitchy."  Embrace the music theory.  Also, he's not the only one educating America!  Jewel is doing a fabulous job on pointing out some really intricate details in these performances.  I love hearing their comments.

As of now, my top 3 are:
1.  Vocal Rush
2.  Ten
3.  Voice Play

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