It seems to me that there’s been one thing missing from all female a cappella groups that I’ve seen ? balls. If you’re not going to have any instruments to back you up, you’ve got to be aggressive.

Aggression was mostly MIA at the Vocal Point karaoke concert last Friday. With the exception of a few energetic arrangements, including a rendition of No Doubt’s “Bathwater” that served as a nice encore, Vocal Point gave a mostly uninspired performance. They even seemed shy or self-conscious at points.

Although some of their slower numbers were very pretty to listen to, I felt that they would have had the chance to be much more charismatic if they had given themselves some better material. Every all female a cappella group that I have ever seen has seemed to shy away from the aggressive, catchy songs that work so well for the guys.

This contrast was brought into sharp relief by the presence of the guest group, the Yellowjackets. They presented a brief, fast-paced set laced with strong beats. Billy Joel is almost always a winner for a cappella groups and the Yellowjackets did a rocking version of “Only the Good Die Young.”

The karaoke aspect of the night was entertaining ? they had the audience put their names into a box and then picked people to come up on stage and sing a song with Vocal Point. The audience chose the winners, who were awarded Vocal Point CDs. It was an entertaining way to break up the evening, even if most of the contestants were members of the Yellowjackets.

Vocal Point does have some gorgeous singing voices, including a couple of alto soloists who are very talented. Their harmonies were lovely and most of their arrangements were well put-together. I just think they could have chosen better songs to arrange.

That’s a shame, because I don’t think it’s the lack of basses that’s holding them back.

Smith can be reached at

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