A Cappella

Review by Eliot McCann (Switch to

Just a quick bitch- I'm intrigued to note how many Toddsters have spelt "a cappella" with one P- wrong!!

This is the first TR album I ever heard. Boring background stuff now. I was in an a cappella group, and we thought we were pretty good for our ages. One of the members brought a Balinese pirate tape of this album to a rehearsal. He wanted to do Hodja- why not? I expressed an interest in this guy -"Todd Wha?". He played me "Pretending to Care", prefacing its playing with the words "What you're about to hear is the work of one man with lots of time on his hands!". At the end of the song, I was in tears; tears of emotion for the sentiment of the song, tears of joy for the beauty of the arranging, and tears of frustration that this Todd guy was a better singer than me! Ah, sweet envy!

From the opening wash of sound through to the final shrieks, this album is a milestone in compositional and arranging skill- to say nothing of the extaordinary voice of OH (one of this century's greatest voices left out of the limelight). Ok, track by track!

Blue Orpheus- The sound effects/drums get a bit monotonous after a while, and they also overwhelm the sweet lead and harmony of the piece. I'd love to hear a remix of this track.

Johnee Jingo- A rebel song? A folklore? Whatever, it's a great booty-swayer.

Pretending to Care- Perfection.

Hodja- After initially loving this song to death, I find I always skip this track after performing it for 5 years straight!!

Lost Horizon- Haunting backing vocals (the "oohs" as found somewhere on No World Order). I played this song after learning of the death of a friend. "When you lose a friend forever..." made perfect sense.

STFBO- Oh, well. Guess something had to sound like a single...

Miracle in the Bazaar- Astounding studio trickery. Sounds great LOUD! What the heck is OH talking about though?

Lockjaw- I only like this song for the stoopid narration.

Honest Work- If you're having a "talent show" at a party, sing the first verse- people lose their minds! Arrangement from hell- so simple, so deep.

Mighty Love- Just what's needed at the right time. The perfect closer. The ad-libbing at the end (the last minute and a half) is a bit too much.

There you are.

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