Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
What, exactly, is Rockapella? While the thought of an unaccompanied vocal quintet might bring to mind a finger-snapping doo-wop group or close-harmony jazz, they are that and more--a pop-rock band complete with bass (Barry... more »
What, exactly, is Rockapella? While the thought of an unaccompanied vocal quintet might bring to mind a finger-snapping doo-wop group or close-harmony jazz, they are that and more--a pop-rock band complete with bass (Barry Carl), percussion (Jeff Thacher), and mostly original material that just happens to use only their voices and appendages as instruments. Despite a rabid international following that's particularly strong in Japan, Rockapella didn't attract all that much attention in the U.S. until a now-famous Folgers TV commercial and the 1999 release of their first widely distributed album, Don't Tell Me You Do. Again, member Scott Leonard contributes most of the songs, but unlike the previous album, Rockapella 2 is an all-new collection. "This Isn't Love" and Squeeze's "Tempted" show off the group's R&B groove, while "People Change" and "Where Would We Be" are solid ballads. Note also that while the Folgers commercial was a hidden track on a limited number of copies of Don't Tell Me You Do, it's a permanent part of Rockapella 2, along with a holiday version. --David Horiuchi
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This is the kind of CD that will leave you in awe...
Laura Hattaway | Dallas, TX | 03/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...because of these guys' incredible and as yet underratedtalent. The arrangements are fresh and their performance style alwaysconveys this joy for music that you can't help but catch. There is not one "forward through" song on the disc, but I can already tell which ones are going to get a lot of play during my commute: "People Change" is heart-wrenching and a gorgeous display for the group's vocal ability. "Doorman of My Heart" with its Latinish feel and "All That Comes to Mind" are both fun to listen to... I'm a big lyrics fan and have to give Scott kudos for his ability to make vivid word pictures that are also esthetically perfect (there's one such phrase in "Blah Blah Blah"... it uses what is not technically a word and shouldn't exactly make sense, but you can put yourself exactly where they're singing about). This is my favorite collection since "Primer." No matter what kind of music you like, get this CD. If you're not already a Rocapella fan, you will be soon! Scott, Barry, Elliot, Jeff, and Kevin: Thank you for keeping at this for so long! You are unbelievable and deserve the success that is most certainly just around the corner. Yes, the last two are Folger's commercials>* END"
Love the disc for HOW it's done, not for what it's done.
Dexter Jones | NYC | 06/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Rockapella faithful vividly remember the days of Altman and Leonard swapping leads on the covers, pumping out originals that became classics, and rocking PBS' "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" at 5PM every day of the week. Many will agree that the vintage Rockapella sound culminated with the 1995 live studio release of "Primer," which featured countless hits. But that was then, and "2" is now. This new disc is almost entirely original, the lone exception being the cover of "Tempted" by Squeeze. Yet while the music is original, the style of Rockapella's new set seems a little too familiar; that is, it seems that they are trying to get a piece of the boyband pie. Too often the chords remind the listener of an N'Sync interlude or a Backstreet breakdown. It's tough to argue with the success of the teen idols, though, so one can't fault "2" for gearing towards being successful with the pop audience. Style aside, the production value of this album is astonishing. At no point does one feel as though they would sound better with instruments behind their voices. The arrangements and the studio manipulation manage to fill in any gaps one might expect from an all-vocal group. Jeff Thacher displays why he is universally regarded as the leader in the growing field of vocal percussionists. His drumming is so diverse, so refined, and so precise that one would swear they used a drum machine. I've seen him do it face to face, and it truly must be seen to be believed. The rest of the band members play their parts perfectly. Barry Carl lays down bass lines that are felt as much as they are heard. Elliot Kerman and Kevin Wright consistently provide smooth backing vocals and sneak in a lead every now and then. And Scott Leonard coolly re-asserts himself as one of the premier lead vocalists in the country, regardless of the genre. The new disc is fantastic, but more for HOW it is done, less for what is done. The new style of Rockapella hasn't been embraced wholeheartedly by the old school fans, but no one can question their sophistication, which makes "2" a worthy album for the collection."
Betsy | Cincinnati, Ohio United States | 10/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rockapella is by far the most talented group of singers you will ever hear. With a combination of Scott and Kevin's voices automatically you find yourself in complete awe. When you add Barry's ground shaking vocals,Elliots smooth tones and Jeff's unbelievable beat,you have a sound that is beyond comparison. Not one other group can come close to this talent. This album offers a variety of beats and chords that are undoubtedly amazing. I recommend this to anyone and everyone who enjoys talent because you haven't heard it until you listen to Rockapella."