Under the Influence

Under the Influence

by Straight No Chaser
5.0 3

CD

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Under the Influence 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
JennTX More than 1 year ago
Simply put: WOW. As usual for these 10 tremendously talented young men. Never a dull moment and always perfect harmony on this mixture of classics and new hits. Amazing list of collaborators who all sound even better with the a cappella enhancement. However, personally, I still prefer SNC without guest artists, so, my recommendation is for "Soldier" and "Lego House" (solos of Ryan and Mike, respectfully). "Jolene" is beautiful though too, but I may be biased toward Ms. Dolly..... And credit to Jerome for taking on Adele so successfully!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a cappella at it's finest! Great collection of familiar old and new favorites, highlighting many influential musicians, all with Straight No Chaser's usual perfection and twist!
JerseyLou More than 1 year ago
My enjoyment of Straight No Chaser (SNC) is relatively new (only 'discovered' them last November) but is already quite intense.  I just love this group.  My tastes in music are eclectic: I was raised on the introspective music of the late 60s and 70s and still love that singer songwriter stuff, but I like oldies, classic rock, instrumental, bluegrass, country, Adele... the lists goes on.  So, I like a lot of different stuff. Straight No Chaser does lots of different genres and they do them well.  "Under the Influence" illustrates this versatility and also pays homage to some of those who have inspired or encouraged them over the years. Some fans have complained because a good number of songs on this disc (8 out of the 11 on the standard issue disc) have SNC "singing backup" to other artists, but I find this complaint wanting.  SNC is all about the music and doing it well. A lot of the songs they've done in the past only have one of their members doing the 'lead'.  I put that in quotation marks because, for all they've joked about these things, I sense that this group is a true team effort, and each member values the contributions of the others - harmonies, vocal percussion, whatever.  So, to have someone from the outside do the lead on the vocals doesn't seem like a big deal to me.  It actually gives them a chance to shine in terms of what they can deliver in interpreting the whole sound of a well-known song. A couple of the songs with guest artists don't stray much from the original versions, but they still sound richer to me for the depth of sound created by these ten voices.  And come on, "I Want You Back" is just sheer fun!   Apart from guest appearances, there are three songs SNC does on their own, so to speak: Adele's "Rolling in the Deep", a mash up of "Some Nights" and "We Are Young" (both originally done by Fun.), and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah".  I confess to being made a bit weary of this last song in the recent past.  I was anticipating SNC's version with fear and trembling. I should have known better - they do a great job with it, and given the depth of talent in the group, are able to feature three lead vocalists on it, giving each verse its own twist. I tend to like my music simple and clean; things can get to sounding cluttered to me very quickly. Even with ten voices in SNC, it never sounds cluttered to me - instead, I can appreciate new things about the song as it was written.  Generally speaking, I love their arrangements.    Tenor Mike Luginbill knocks it out of the park with Gotye's "Somebody that I Used to Know"; he just has a gift for delivering the joy, pain, despair, whatever in song lyrics.  I love Ryan Ahlwardt's vocals on "Soldier" on the disc and I was holding my breath a bit to see how Steve Morgan would do with it on the new tour (Steve having returned to the group to take departing Ryan's spot). Last night at Bryant Park in NYC I heard Steve nail it and loved it.  By the way, I had never heard the song before SNC did it, and it probably would've missed my radar in the original version.  But I have found my musical tastes expanding as I listen to SNC, because they don't have just one genre.    So... go forth and BUY this!  And when you've wrung every good drop out of this one, go back and get their earlier stuff and go see them live!