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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Groove For Thought – Groove For Thought

Groove For Thought – Groove For Thought
2006, Groove For Thought
If you happened to check out Ben Folds’ The Sing Off! this past December on NBC you would be acquainted with a number of top-notch a cappella groups.  One of the groups who particularly impressed as Seattle’s Groove For Thought.  With a sound that blends pop, R&B and jazz, Groove For Thought established themselves as a dynamic vocal force.  We recently received Groove For Thought’s self-titled debut album from 2006 and decided to give it a spin.
Groove For Thought opens with “Lay It Back”, a funky jazz/pop piece with Take 6-style harmonies.  Sung with instrumentation, the piece has a nice sound and moves with a flourish.  Groove For Thought’s take on Three Dog Night’s “Joy To The World” is inspired, highlighting tempo changes and stark harmonies over an irrepressible bass line.  “And So It Goes”, written by Billy Joel, is one of the tunes Groove For Thought performed on The Sing Off!  The version offered here is played with a bit too much; the version on the show was a bit more stripped down to allow the vocals to truly shine.  “Gotta Lotta Lemons” is performed in a jazz arrangement with instruments.  Groove For Thought offers this one up in a big sound, almost like a vocal jazz band.  This tune is entertaining, danceable and pretty.
“My Perfect Day” shows off gorgeous harmonies in a light R&B and pop arrangement.  It’s one of the prettiest vocal arrangements on the album.  Ben E. King’s “Lean On Me” is offered up in a modern electronic funk arrangement.  The version on the album is pretty but underwhelming vocally.  This is one on those iconic songs you really have to step up with when you perform it.  Groove For Thought offers a nice version, but not one that’s worthy of the quality of the song.  “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” is heartfelt and soulful; beautifully done.  The frenetic and complex voxtrumental “La Fiesta” is highly entertaining; a Latin jazz & swing extravaganza that brings light instrumentation into the mix but impresses for the vocal work nonetheless.  Groove For Thought closes with “Walk The Straighter Road”, a peaceful and pretty signoff that shows off Groove For Thought at their harmonious best.
Groove For Thought impressed on The Sing Off! In December.  Groove For Thought impresses in its own right, although it’s clear that in the three years since this album was released the group has refined their sound.  There is a tendency to want to do too much here at times, but the vocal sounds are sublime when Groove For Thought hits their stride.  This album marks a solid starting place for a group that’s only gotten better with time.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Groove For Thought at or For Thought is available from as a CD or Download.

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