Not like your grandpappy's King's Singers, harumph
Goshen | Ypsilanti, MI United States | 02/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am a long-time King's Singers listener, with a particular fondness for their interpretations of popular material. The early/middle line-up of the King's Singers rendered songs from the folk/pop/jazz genres with a charming blend of humor, respect and tasteful musicality. Personnel has changed over the years, of course, and I haven't always kept up, but even *Good Vibrations*, which only featured three of the group's earliest members, was an enjoyable album.
Not that this CD isn't enjoyable.....
....I just have so many little complaints! This mostly new line-up (save David Hurley and Stephen Connolly, who've been around awhile) is making stylistic decisions I don't understand or like. There are newly distracting vocal details: pop sliding from the lead on Track 1 and especially irritatingly on Track 9 ("My love luh-uvs me"), and strange pronunciation decisions: "charioh" instead of "chariot" in "Swing Low" (??!), "oughta be" instead of "ought to be" in "Simple Gifts," and "flah" for "fly" in "Helplessly Hoping."
Also, a lot of the songs you would expect to be GREAT when given the King's Singers treatment end up falling strangely short here--"Helplessly Hoping," for one, somehow sounds more strident than gorgeous. What a disappointment! If anyone should be able to do CSNY, it's them! The versions of "She's Always a Woman," "Simple Gifts," "The Water is Wide," and "Black is the Color" are also mysteriously unsatisfying. Perhaps it's the arrangements that don't work for me, because the group's vocal blend is certainly lush, perhaps even more beautiful than in the old days.
And one final complaint: why, oh why, of all the fabulous Randy Newman songs in the world, did they have to record "When She Loved Me," a treacly nothing from his Disney days? Argh! This decision alone ought to knock another star off my review.
Anyway, despite all my whinging, you should probably buy this album. There are countless fabulous moments and at least six whole tracks that even *I* can't find fault with (including the trademark "New Day," as good as you've ever heard it). I might suggest *Beatles Connection*, *Get Happy*, or *Good Vibrations* before this album, though, if you're on the fence. That 2-CD *Greatest Hits* compilation looks like it's way beyond reproach too!"