8

296: Jon Gomm, ‘Passionflower’

This is what the kids call, I believe, a “mind-fuck.”
You hear it, you see it, but you can’t believe it.

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4

061: The Doobie Brothers, ‘What a Fool Believes’

A hopelessly happy jaunt into the 1970s– the sappy grin on the face of lead guitarist, the come-on smile of the backup chick singer gives Michael McDonald, the ‘Oh, I really am cool and hot and couldn’t be enjoying myself more’ look he returns; the illogical, off-the-beat smash of the cymbal on ‘Anybody else would sure-LY know’, the loopy little calliope adornment – every element perfectly enmeshing to form a tapestry of fun-k. And a painfully familiar, seldom-told story. And a crazily cool Italian a cappella version you’ve never heard. Whooo!

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10

293: Sam Robson, ‘Warmth of The Sun’ (Beach Boys A Cappella)

55 years ago I dreamed a dream. Last week the tapes arrived.

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2

209: The Real Group: ‘Monica Vals’ (‘Waltz for Debby’)

When they say ‘The voice is the only instrument made by God’, they’re thinking of Margareta Bengston of The Real Group singing Bill Evans’ ‘Waltz for Debby’. Four minutes in heaven.

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10

173: The Real Group, ‘Nature Boy’

An immaculate union of the pristine and the passionate – The Real Group in a breathtaking take on ‘Nature Boy’. It’s just a little perfect.

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7

172: Anúna, ‘Jerusalem’

Michael McGlynn’s Anúna invents traditional Irish Holy Music, Folk Music,neo-Gregorian Chants, New Age and Riverdance–all a cappella, in costume, in candlelight.

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8

158: Paul Simon, ‘Surfer Girl’

‘Surfer Girl’ is a schlocky, heartfelt ballad of unrequited teenage love, Brian Wilson clawing his way out of the gooey larva of his California pubescence. Paul Simon works his magic on it, tapping the genius that is Brian, elevating it to a work of great beauty.

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12

139: The Swingle Singers, ‘On the 4th of July’ (James Taylor)

This week we talk about the United States’ bar mitzvah, how we discovered Bach, the history of The Swingle Singers, the marvels of Scandinavian a cappella festivals, and older people falling in love.

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