I've gotten a bit lazy about this posting thing, so I'm kickstarting the new blog week with another review (mostly because very little of note has happened, but you can decide I'm being intentionally mysterious if you like).
The Amateurs - Falling Slowly
Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZeP21KeZb0&feature=related
This is another song found online. The Amateurs are one of those harmony/a cappella kind of groups that the uncharitable among us consider glorified choirs. I have nothing against a cappella music (done right, it can be quite entertaining, and make you think about familiar songs from completely different angles) but I'm going to come out and say that, in the case of the Amateurs, I don't really see the point. Granted, this view is based entirely on listening to one song a couple of times on youtube (although this gives me far better grounds for my opinion than some of the site's commenters), but I'll be including a link to a more official review lower down, so you can check if I'm right.
My fist problem is that, from the look of the video, this group is huge for the sound it's making. They could cut out at least three people, sing harder, and sound better. Secondly, the song is just too predictable. I wouldn't be interested in listening to this oh-so-meaningful, carefully crescendoed ballad with an instrumental accompaniment, so what's going to make me want to listen to an a cappella version? Very little, it turns out. I'm sure they all sing perfectly adequately, and the rather poor quality video probably doesn't do their voices justice, but I find I just can't bring myself to care. Maybe this is because I need to go to bed soon, and maybe it's because they're boring. All I know is, the minute the song finishes, I've forgotten it (which makes writing a review a little trickier, so minus points for that!).
The Amateurs are beautifully colour-coded (the dapper red suit on the right merits special attention) but vocally, they don't stand out. The male lead singer has one of those deplorably whiny voices that make me think of Justin Timberlake hopped up on oestrogen (music-reviewerly comparison quota met, I think) and the backing singers are just so average that they might as well not be there at all. At least impersonate an oboe or something! I wasn't thinking about the music at all, the competent, fade-into-the-back-of-your-consciousness harmonies saw to that.
In short, this song was probably very wholesome and musically correct, but, like the shredded wheat I forced down for breakfast this morning, it was utterly, utterly bland. And you might like to know, tomorrow I will be eating chocolate chip brioche, because I am amazing, and dull cereal, like dull music, makes me go off in a huff in search of something more interesting.
There you have it. If you want to listen to some more exciting a cappella, try Our of the Blue or All the King's Men (shameless plug, I've never heard them, but Jumanji says they're good (if cheesy) so I'll trust her just this once).
Better informed review of the album this song is apparently on: