Smilin'

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The fine art of a cappella is alive and well in the capable vocal range of Rockapella, an East Coast quintet best-known for its contributions to the award-winning PBS show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? They're slightly more pop-oriented than the soul-gospel flavored masterminds of the genre, Take 6, but no less inventive. More precisely, with Smilin', they're looking for the surf crowd, putting a mystical looking big wave on the CD cover, and a photo of them jumping sunsplashed waves on the back. Musically, they attack "Summertime Blues" with a spirited funk energy, playful instrumentation created by voice alone, and more improvisation than classic rockers ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The fine art of a cappella is alive and well in the capable vocal range of Rockapella, an East Coast quintet best-known for its contributions to the award-winning PBS show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? They're slightly more pop-oriented than the soul-gospel flavored masterminds of the genre, Take 6, but no less inventive. More precisely, with Smilin', they're looking for the surf crowd, putting a mystical looking big wave on the CD cover, and a photo of them jumping sunsplashed waves on the back. Musically, they attack "Summertime Blues" with a spirited funk energy, playful instrumentation created by voice alone, and more improvisation than classic rockers usually get. The fun in the sun continues on the sashaying cool of "Here Comes the Sun," and those who enjoy mainstream romances will enjoy tracks like "Off My Mind," whose light teen-flavored spirit has an *NSYNC quality. The charms of the more straightforward romances is eclipsed by the fun of their covers, which conclude with none other than "Surfin' Safari," which approximates the Beach Boys harmonies but adds some electronic, vocal, and percussive enhancements as per the new millennium. Those sounds are a bit distracting, but show capabilities of the human voice rarely heard these days in pop music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/13/2002
  • Label: AMERIGO RECORDS
  • UPC: 656613370926
  • Catalog Number: 33709

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Shambala (2:47)
  2. 2 Flamingo Sing (3:46)
  3. 3 Here Comes Sun (2:45)
  4. 4 Off My Mind (3:51)
  5. 5 Summertime Blues (3:41)
  6. 6 Lazy River (3:13)
  7. 7 Smile in My Heart (3:27)
  8. 8 Dance With Me (2:44)
  9. 9 No Doubt at All (2:42)
  10. 10 Millennial Lady (4:03)
  11. 11 Jenny Come Away (3:02)
  12. 12 Surfin' Safari (3:49)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rockapella Primary Artist
Sean Altman Vocals
Barry Carl Vocals
Elliott Kerman Vocals
Kevin Wright Vocals
Technical Credits
Chuck Berry Composer
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Jerry Leiber Composer
Sean Altman Arranger
Sidney Arodin Composer
Andrew Heermans Producer, Engineer
Elliott Kerman Arranger
Scott Leonard Arranger, Producer
Mike Stoller Composer
Bill Straus Producer
George Treadwell Composer
Scott Hull Mastering
Lewis Lebish Composer
Jeff Thacher Art Direction
Irving Nahan Composer
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Toys finally go to their heads

    Overall, a stellar effort from the Rockapella boys. The great thing is that the percussion - by the mind-boggling Jeff Thatcher - doesn't overwhelm the songs as it had a tendency to do on the last album, "2". This album also boasts more covers than their previous outing. Here, they cover, "Here Comes The Sun", "Lazy River", "Dance With Me", "Surfin' Safari", "Shambala", & "Summertime Blues". The only real problem with this CD is that they are expanding on an approach found in "2" that I'd have hoped they'd leave alone. They're substituting studio trickery for performance and Scott Leonard's penchant for over-producing reaches it's annoying nadir on "Surfin' Safari" where he employs studio trickery to mimic the sound of guitars. The song "Summertime Blues" finds the boys in a vocally-sampled sloppy mess that sounds positively horrible. "Flamingo Sing" - while it is an amazing song and one of the groups' bigger arrangements - almost crumbles under the weight of said arrangement. There must be at least 10-12 voices on that track when 4 or 5 would've gotten the job done nicely. The song simply falls victim to over-production and, while it doesn't render the song unlistenable by any means, it does make it a rather difficult listen at times. Apart from the fact that the technology Mr. Leonard chooses to use makes them sound utterly sampled and machine-like at times, it's completely unnecessary. Technology is not always your friend and we find the manifestation of that fact in certain spots on this CD. Those of us who've seen them live know that less is truly more and they sound phenomenal without technical gimmickry. Yeah, it's fun to use gadgets but when it ceases to be musical, it's time to unplug them. However, this album is in no way lacking in fine musical performances. Elliot Kerman turns in a great vocal on "Ain't No Doubt At All" and Scott Leonard - always engaging - sounds fantastic on everything he gets near. New bass George Baldi shines on "Here Comes The Sun". Baldi leaves you wanting more and hopefully on the next CD, that's exactly what we'll get. One also wishes for a bit more from tenor Kevin Wright from this release but hopefully he'll get his comeuppance next time..:) Overall, a very solid effort from the Rockapella boys. I just hope that the next time out, Mr. Leonard cools it with the electronic enhancements. All this being the case, it deserves 3 1/2 stars. Since B&N will only let me give it whole stars, I rounded up given the great work they've done before... See? I am a nice guy..:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just gets better CD after CD

    Rockapella doesn't disappoint its fans with this CD. Scott Leonard gives us what we expect, great music. Those who saw Rockapella in concert recently, will recognize Elliot's No Doubt at All, Jeff doesn't disappoint with percussion. Remakes of Lazy River, Surfin' Safari, Here Comes the Sun, Summertime Blues, Dance With Me. Sean Altman adds vocals to Shambala. New Songs, Flamingo Sing, Off My Mind, Smile In My Heart, Millenial Lady, Jenny Come Away are all good. Even add few clips of Scott and Elliott's kids before a couple songs. Great CD! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another Classic from the 'Pella boys!

    Rockapella has done it again! With GREAT new versions Lazy River, Surfin' Safari, Here Comes the Sun, Summertime Blues, and Dance With Me, the usual new songs from Scott (also one from Elliot) and sound bits of two of the Rockapella kids (one of Scott's and one being of Elliot) makes this CD one that you never want to stop listening to. Also, in addition to the most recent members (Scott Leonard, Kevin Wright, Elliot Kermen, Jeff Thatcher and Barry Carl) we're introduced to the new bass George Baldi and get to hear former member Sean Altman again! This is a must-have for all Rockapellites and anyone with good taste in music!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    These Guys are the BEST!

    Rockapella is amazing and this cd just adds to an already great collection. Fabulous harmonies and rhythms that keep you moving. This is an excellent cd of covers. You'll love it!

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