Vocal Point is back, and they have their game faces on. The newest album by the all-female a cappella group is not only enjoyable but also powerful. They take widely known songs such as “Don’t Lie” by the Black Eyed Peas and “Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye and, through their dynamic and expressive voices, make them their own and, in many ways, much better.

The fact that the newest album, “Game Face,” was recorded live instead of in a studio gives it a more personal feel. It is as though the listener gets his or her own personal concert.

“I think the album is the best so far because it’s live,” vocalist and senior Rachel Thibo said. “It sounds more like us.”

Thibo admits feeling reluctant to graduate and leave the amazing group of women with whom she has loved to sing throughout her college years.

The phrase “Game Face” became a motto for Vocal Point at last year’s International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella. Before the group went on stage, they always reminded each other to “put their game face on.” And put them on they did, resulting in major successes. Junior Kristy Doot’s arrangement of “River” by Joni Mitchell won first place. Fittingly, this intricate and beautiful arrangement can be heard on “Game Face,” giving chills to anyone who hears it. The soft tone of the song is extremely relaxing, making it enjoyable to listen to, especially while studying.

One of the most powerful songs on the album is “Real Love” with a solo by Meredith Flouton-Barnes ’05. She shows off the stunning range of her voice with poignant high-notes.

The group is in sync throughout the entire album. The transition between the notes is very smooth and creates a resonance.

“The tone of the music is very real and expressive and appropriately captures fun and uniqueness,” junior Emily Calcagnino said.

“The group as a whole has a great range,” junior Emily Dunstan said.

In order to decide on which songs to arrange, Vocal Point holds “song parties.” Each member brings in a song they enjoy and the group votes to decide which they would like to perform. When deciding the songs for “Game Face,” the group decided as a whole which tracks were their favorites.

“Game Face” includes three senior songs. Each senior picks a song she feels is personal to her. The song is arranged and the solo is then given to the senior. The purpose of including the senior songs on the album is to thank the graduating women for the time, effort and passion they put into Vocal Point.

Vocal Point was founded in 1969 as a women’s choir but transitioned into an a cappella music group over the years. The group currently consists of 15 talented women. Vocal Point has toured through parts of the U.S. and has performed with groups from other colleges such as Cornell University, Boston University and Williams College. Be sure to catch Vocal Point’s senior show in April!

Balaban is a member of the class of 2009.

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