Gonna be hard to top some of the amazing performances of last week, but there are several intriguing groups in tonight’s bunch. I’m sharing my thoughts real-time as I watch it…
DARTMOUTH AIRES – “Higher Ground” – Great start to the show! This guys had a lot of energy and moves, but their sound kept the whole thing from being too gimmicky. And the lead on “Higher Ground” has the kind of star quality the judges are looking for. Interested to see if he continues to be the lead on future songs.
PENTATONIX – “Alien” – This group of five singers makes an incredibly rich, deep sound, but I thought the song was way too rushed. I’m blaming that on the arrangement, not the talent. Their beatbox and bass are just downright sick; the two of them really lay down a great foundation. I wasn’t impressed with the female’s voice, but their group has a lot of potential.
MESSIAH’S MEN – “People Get Ready” – Great story here! But their song seemed average. I really liked the inclusion of a traditional African sound in the song, but otherwise the arrangement lacked creativity. I didn’t feel a lot of depth in their sound. The judges seem to be looking for groups that have room to grow. Not sure Messiah’s Men has that potential.
SONOS – “Wicked Game” – Great take on this song! I really like the things they did with it. Nice switch in tempo midway through. Nothing in this group stood out as exemplary, but they showed an ability to do some innovative work.
Halfway through…my pick to go home is MESSIAH’S MEN. Turns out I was right, but I would have understood if SONOS had gone home. This is an interesting decision, because Messiah’s Men had a compelling, heartstring-tugging story. Good to see the judges are not allowing their emotions to cloud their judgment.
Woo hoo!! COMMITTED made an appearance!! Love those guys. Their new album is just incredible.
THE COLLECTIVE – “Rolling in the Deep” – I was so looking forward to hearing this group. I loved Jeremy Lister and Street Corner Symphony last season, and I had high expectation for this group, which he put together. But their lack of a cappella experience and little time together definitely showed (not unlike Kinfolk 9 from the first night). The song was good but didn’t wow me. Great voices individually, but didn’t come together smoothly.
SOUL’D OUT – “Let the Sunshine In” – This kids had great voices and mixed well, but there’s something about lack of life experience that seems to come through in the voices (see the Fannin Family from last week). They are a really, really good glee club, but that won’t cut it against the talent on this show. Also, I’m not sure this group has any room to grow.
NORTH SHORE – “Runaround Sue” – Yeah, it’s an old sound, but man, it’s awesome! This is one great doo-wop group, and another reason why the Sing-Off is such a good show. The talent is immense yet incredibly diverse. These guys blended beautifully and had great energy. Loved the lead’s voice! Definitely want to hear more from them. The were crowd-pleasers, as well. I predict they’ll go far on this show, much like Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town last year.
DELTONES – “Feels Like Home” – Our third college group of the competition. Kudos to the Deltones for not trying an over-the-top number to make an impression. But this choice was even more risky, because they absolutely had to nail it to stand out. And they did. What a beautiful, moving rendition of this song. One of the best performances of the first round. Can’t wait to see what this group does when they cut loose.
I’m definitely sending home SOUL’D OUT. While THE COLLECTIVE didn’t blow me away, I want to give them another chance. Glad the judges agreed.
Top Round One performances: Delilah (“Grenade”), Urban Method (“Love the Way You Lie”), Dartmouth Aires (“Higher Ground”) and Deltones (“Feels Like Home”)