Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great harmonies, lots of fun music
Cons: The first track isn't to my taste.
The Bottom Line:
A cappella songs
Tight harmonies; lots of fun
Listening brings smiles
One reason that people immediately fell in love with Straight No Chaser is the fun they exude. That comes through in their videos on YouTube. I haven't had the privilege to see them in person yet, but it's a safe bet that is part of their stage show. It also comes through on their various releases, and One Shot is no exception.
This disc features sixteen new recordings from the a cappella group. I was smiling from almost the moment I started listening to it the first time, and that's continued as I've continued listening to it. How can it not with such tracks as "Livin' La Vida Loca?" Okay, so I've never really listened to the lyrics, and they are on the strange side, but the song itself is lots of fun. Other highlights include "No Roots," "Lean on Me," and "The Boys are Back in Town."
They even include a couple of tracks recorded from their live shows. "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I've Been Everywhere" capture the fun I talked about earlier. Yes, you'll be laughing as you enjoy their impressive harmonies. Both of the songs are fun in their own right, but the creativity the group is known for adds to the fun of the lyrics and music.
Between many of the tracks, we get the guys talking about their story and their lives on the road. As they talk through the humble beginnings when they were all in college to their "one shot" at landing a recording contract to life on the road, we get a feel for how much they enjoy where they've been and where they are now. These stories are all less than a minute long, so they are more vignettes than anything else.
Truly, the music here is outstanding. The harmonies are perfect, and whether the song is an upbeat, fun number or a slower song, every note they hit is perfection.
About the only track on here I'm not in love with is the first one. "MotownPhilly/This is How We Do It" is too hip hop for my taste. But one track I don't like out of sixteen isn't too surprising, really.
One Shot only needed one shot to prove itself a winner to me. This will get lots of play time.
CD Length: 57:16
1. MotownPhilly/This is How We Do It
2. Livin’ La Vida Loca
3. Go Your Own Way
4. Working for the Weekend
5. When a Man Loves a Woman
6. The Boys are Back in Town
7. Whatever It Takes
8. No Roots
9. Just Like We Rehearsed
10. We’re an American Band
11. Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag (Live)
12. I’ve Been Everywhere (Live)
13. Homeward Bound
15. Our House
16. Lean On Me