Sing Off second season premiered tonight. I know y'all are hanging on by a thread waiting for my take. I can feel the pressure from all sides. Well settle down, kids. Here it comes and here's how I ranked the first episode with the new groups:
Groove For Thought – that's what a'cappella's supposed to sound like at this level. Slick, smooth, and I agreed completely with Shawn when he compared them favorably to Take 6. They need a little more confidence in their staging and movement but I enjoyed the sound.
Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town – I remember when these guys were on Jack's Big Music Show. The big man out front can still work it after all these years. If nothing else, they proved that you don't have to dance all over the place and do "jazz hands" to SING.
On the Rocks – took balls to pull off Lady Gaga. I wasn't too thrilled by the arrangement, but I want to hear more from this group. The energy level was very high and the voices were good.
Eleventh Hour – good for a high school group. But they're a high school group. I honestly don't think this is the venue for them. Tight – very tight – but too slick; too "Glee." I guess I'd rather listen to them than, well, to….
Pitchslapped – well butter my butt and call me biscuit, but Nicole made total sense! I quote: "sometimes it was weak." I agree. I also thought it was too pretty. Whoever picked the leads messed up. There wasn't any consistency. All around it was a "meh."
…and I was glad to see them go. Were they terrible? No. But the others were better.
Committed – ooo. I got chills. Was it the best performance of the night? I don't know, but I felt it. Oh yeah.
Street Corner Symphony – were doing great until the end and then the pitch went south. I love that song. I liked their arrangement. I like their attitude. I hope they can chill out and relax and get better.
Backbeats – if nothing else, they were loud. I wondered if they could hear themselves because they seemed to have little or no balance between lead and accompaniment. The lead singer was fabulous, with or without the rest of the group. (Yeah, Shawn… we altos DO rock, thankyouverymuch.)
Whiffenpoofs – (really with the name? really?) Um… I dunno. The judges seemed impressed. I usually can get on board with Ben's assessment but I've got to say that I thought the performance was gimmicky. They can obviously sing, so DO it. I could do with a little less of the falsetto. Okay, a lot less.
Men of Note – that's a very, very tough song to keep in key, as they proved in the first few measures. It also doesn't need to be messed with, arrangement-wise. Whatever else I may think of Billy Joel, he knows how to write a tune, and this was a good one. They might be nice dudes but I don't think they added anything overwhelmingly great to it.
…and another good release.
I hope Wednesday night is as good as the teaser promises.