The recently released CD “Singthree: mlange a trois” features a cappella from all over the world. Talent from many notable universities such as University of Georgia, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Duke University, Tufts University and our very own UR Midnight Ramblers come together in an absolutely fantastic compilation of a cappella.

Produced by the Alliance for A Cappella Initiatives (AACI), a group dedicated to the advancement of vocal music, this compilation features an unique blend of music genres. It includes such classics as “Ain’t No Sunshine,” sung by The Accidentals from UGA, to Oasis’ “Wonderwall,” delivered soothingly from an all-female group also from UGA, to a high energy “Hysteria” sung by Duke’s Pitchfork.

The boys from Tufts’ Beelzebubs performed an interesting tune called “The Trial.” Though very high energy and sounding very spot on, it seemed as though it probably would be a better song performed live, as the group’s stage presence would probably enhance the song’s power.

For a more ’50’s feeling, 5-Alone from Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School nicely delivered the head bobbing hit “Ridin’ the Ralls.” I have to say, for middle and high school students, it proves a very impressive display of vocal talent.

The Midnight Ramblers made an appearance with their song, “Question!” This fast-paced hit is wonderfully sung by junior Josh Hatcher.

Not all these great hits come from university singing groups, however. Many professional a cappella groups are also represented. Kid Beyond performs an intense in-yo-face rap hit, “Mothership,” which won acclaim at the 2003 Sojam, an a cappella festival. Hyannis Sound has quite the booty shakin’ sound in their version of “Love Train.” It even managed to get me shakin’ in the PRR.

The House Jacks’ version of “Summertime” amazed me when the soloist, Deke Sharon, started to harmonize like a trumpet. Honestly, it was unbelievable.

Another group which caught my attention, Transit, featured in the Midnight Rambler’s Feb. 17 concert, sang Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” Their amazing vocal range and control made the song quite moving.

In addition, the group m-pact performed the soul-filled tune, “Have a Talk with God.” As great as they sounded on the CD, vocalist Rudy Cardenas can also be seen on the T.V. show American Idol.

Now for the international flavor. Not going to lie here, I ended up going to www.babelfish.com to figure out what these songs were about. First up, “Saullekts,” by Cosmos, was an extremely soulful song of Latvian origin. The group’s harmony was simply amazing, as if a philharmonic orchestra was playing. Next, another calming song, “Kivinen Tie,” performed by the Finnish group Ragton, delivered another solid, relaxing melody. Another upbeat dancing hit, “Treat Her Like a Lady,” followed from Denmark’s baSix. Their percussion was spot on, pretty fly for some white guys.

Overall, this collection of a cappella talent truly deserves kudos. We at UR were fortunate to hear two of these groups, Transit and the Midnight Ramblers, perform last weekend. If you are interested in AACI’s other CDs you can find them at http://www.allforacappella.org/sing.html. Cheers and rock on!

Campbell is a member of the class of 2008.



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