Last week, the first heat of six took to the mics as
they belted out hits from the 60s and today. Kinfolk 9 ended up getting the
boot. One more team will join them as we continue toward $200,000 and a Sony
But before we get into battle, let's feel the
"Rhythm of Love" (Plain White T's) with tonight's six...
- The Collective; Nashville
- The Dartmouth Aires; Dartmouth College; Hanover, NH
- The Deltones; University of Delaware; Newark, DE
- North Shore; Boston
- Pentatonix; Arlington, TX
- Sonos; Los Angeles
7) DELTONES - They are "Friends first, singers
second." That explains why they changed arrangements so much in the last two
weeks. Will they find a winning combination to start the show off proper? The
opening number in competitive play... "Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga.
Well, when in doubt, stick with what's written.
That's what this group does, as they sacrifice the "moment" for safety. The
good: they are solid on the harmonies, and the soloist is pitch perfect. But
there was a LOT that could've been done with that song to make it stand out from
the original. As for the power level, if only the group vocal could match the
intensity of the group choreo (which wasn't that good to begin with, but what
the hell). Props to Lou for holding onto the drumbeat as long as he did. But
overall, small step backwards.
8) PENTATONIX - They plan on doing "crazy things
with their voices" this week, going from a basic Katy Perry last round to
remixing Ke$ha's "Your Love Is My Drug".
My favorite song by Honor Society: "Here Comes
Treble Again". Way too much top, and not enough bottom. The singers need some
support. And when they don't have support... they end up pulling that remix
stunt. Are we going to remember the tightness of the group? No, we're going to
remember THAT, starting a little squirrelly with a cut-rate Blake Lewis
impersonation, but bringing it together at the end.
9) THE COLLECTIVE - Last week, the 'net had them
at the bottom of the power ranking, as the pro musicians made their obvious a
cappella debut. Do they tighten it up tonight or stay on the course of
mediocrity? They're going from the hot tub to the stage with "Rocketeer" by Far
East Movement featuring Ryan Tedder. Can they pull it off with one member
playing wounded (acute laryngitis).
Infinitely better. Although, and I'm speaking
from 23 years as a vocalist, if you are playing wounded, and you are given the
opportunity to fall back and recuperate while someone else takes the mic, you do
so. I say this because of the solos, Rachael's (the one who saw the doc) was far
and away the weakest. But we're starting to see a semblance of a group dynamic,
and that is always a good thing. The arrangement was solid, the harmonies
blended into each other, and the tones mixed into the timbre of the song.
10) NORTH SHORE - The doo-wop kings of the season
are going to take a brave step out of their comfort zone. All they have to do is
find a song that they can adapt their own brand to. Hard to do if you don't
listen to the radio anymore. But they find their niche in... "The Lazy Song" by
Perfect song choice. The arrangement needed work.
And you haven't seen performance until you've seen a bald guy in a La-Z-Boy
doing the dougie. JUST SAYING. Anyway, they own the performance, and that's
11) DARTMOUTH AIRES - They established themselves
as early favorites last week with "Higher Ground", but Michael's heart is
elsewhere... with his sick mom. He's back in it, but will they win it with
"Animal" by Neon Trees, a song that one member wasn't AT ALL familiar with
before this week?
Again with the crazy college antics on the stage.
They fit the song perfectly. As for the vocal, the dynamics are on point, the
arrangement works, and everyone contributes their fair share. Picked up where
they left off last round. Not bad when you consider they crammed for this
12) SONOS - The tech-driven LA quintet has
ditched the pitch pedals for a more natural sound, which exposed their
weaknesses. Can they stomp them like they stomp the pedals, or will we hear the
last of them after "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay? A natural bass is singing the
solo. I'm afraid.
... the bass should've held the song together
while a higher voice sang the lead. Shawn is right on, it was crazy "tinny", to
the point of almost gratingly high.
Time to fire up the WABAC machine again.
8) PENTATONIX - "Piece of My Heart" by Janis
Simple song sung simply, and made current by the
group in the mixed-up arrangement, making up for the complete CF of the last
round. And nice goof on the flugelhorn as well. You're back in the hunt with
this. Now build off of it.
7) DELTONES - "You Can't Hurry Love" by the
Classic choreography, and a smart move to let the
girls take this one. Among the best of the night thanks to spot-on performance
and arrangement. I would've picked a better "copout ending" and watched the
pitch, but I was feeling the performance with that.
9) NORTH SHORE - "Unchained Melody" by the
You almost want to call shenanigans since this is
the only group that can REMEMBER the 60s. But they kill it.
10) THE COLLECTIVE - "Hold On I'm Coming" by
Sam & Dave
Perfect example of a breakdown that works. But it
falls apart by the end. Get lost in the performance, but don't lose yourself in
the performance. Take it to the people, but keep some for yourself. Points to
Kaleb for going into the false and pretty much taking us to church. And also...
there's a rule when you're dealing with a minute and change for a performance...
"Kill the damn dog already." But a nice step up from last round.
12) SONOS - "I Want You Back" by the Jackson
This group takes a normally upbeat song and goes
to a dark, shadowy almost Gordon Pepper-like bizarro world. Inventive
arrangement, but is it a little too much too soon? ... YES. You needed a goof on
the original SOMEWHERE.
11) DARTMOUTH AIRES - "Pinball Wizard" by
Sonos, take notes. That was a goof, complete with
a goof on a pinball table. Of course, it helps matters that it's a classic song
for a classic outfit. And Tar Heel Voices called, they want their arrangement
These six groups gave all that they had. But for
one group, it will not be enough. Performance time is over... Decision time is
On the set list for NEXT week... North Shore...
and the Dartmouth Aires! Joining them... Pentatonix and the Deltones!
This week's bottom two: The Collective and Sonos.
This week... we'll hear the swan song from...
SONOS. Said song, in a bow to judge Shawn... It's Boyz II Men's "It's So Hard to
Say Goodbye to Yesterday". And of course, Shawn can't watch.
GO GO POWER RANKINGS!
Power Rankings after Week Four (including ALL
Next week, the last ten standing will sing as one
as we move one step closer to a title. Big thanks to Joe Mello for his
assistance in writing this recap. Signing off from the Sing-Off, it's Achordant
#5 reminding you to support local and independent music!
To see this episode in its entirety, visit