15 May 2007

A vox, a vox on you!

In between long bouts of thrashing to Gwar and Bad Brains, one needs a cleansing sorbet between courses of heavier fare. There's something to be said about making beautiful music with naught but one's voice. A capella can be a genre in and of itself or just a style embraced to achieve a particular effect in songwriting. Here's some favorite a capella tunes.

I should note "favorite" is a relative term, seeing as my fellow blogger here Jess hates--hates!--a capella, save for my first pick here. Smith's voice was never his greatest musical asset, if for no other reason than it existed in the long shadow created by his masterful songwriting. But stripped down to it's elements, this shockingly personal-sounding effect gives credit where it's due.
Elliott Smith - I Didn't Understand (Buy XO)

What better tribute can you imagine than amazingly polished a capella versions of some 90's "adult contemporary" tunes?
Tufts Beelzebubs - Semi-Charmed Life (Third Eye Blind cover) (Buy Pandæmonium)
The Buffoons - Wicked Game (Chris Isaac cover) (Buy Singles)

Is it considered a cover if you wrote the song?
Ben Folds - Brick (Buy Whatever and Ever Amen)

This ethereal soundscape relies on breathy whispers to carry the ambiance of floating. Soft, smoky, dark and inescapable, this is the soundtrack to a dream.
Tori Amos - The Pool (Buy Winter #1 EP)

Admit it, you LOVED "Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego?" The group that brought us the theme song also brings us a slightly more unnerving but no less amusing tune about the other thing everyone loves, zombies.
Rockapella - Zombie Jamboree (Buy Rockapella Vol. 2: From N.Y.)

If you only nab one song here today, this should be it. This group has been performing together since the 1960's and are known for their unbelievable renditions of classical pieces, jazz and movie soundtracks. With different members emulating different instruments of the orchestra, this impeccably staccato performance will blow your mind.
The Swingle Singers - Flight of the Bumblebee (Buy Live in Japan)

Finally, here's a video of the Carleton Singing Knights doing Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago".

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