Standing Up For A Capella

Men’s A Capella groups are an easy target for ridicule. Take Ed Helm’s character from The Office, Andy Bernard for instance. He’s just a ridiculous guy all around and to make matter’s worse he’s a former member of the fictional Cornell A Capella group Here Comes Treble. It’s easy to laugh lose even more respect for Bernard for his participation in such a group. But when you take the time to actually look into college A Capella groups around North America, I think you’ll be pretty impressed. They seem to have a self-deprecating sense of humor about what they do which legitimizes them for me. Besides that there are some groups which are very talented. Then there are other groups that are less talented, but still entertaining. One of those is Emocapella. They are the first A Capella group I was ever a fan of, and they’re good but not great. It’s their song selection and the way they market themselves that I find really likable.

The best all-male A Capella I’ve heard yet is the Clef Hangers from UNC. I could describe their tight harmonies and their remarkable ability to keep everything together. Or I could I just have you watch this video.

I just showed that video to my girlfriend and she informed me that the first solist is Anoop Desai from American Idol Season 8. So there’s a little trivia for you.

Cornell does indeed have an all-male A Capella group. They’re called Last Call, and they’re technically good but their song selection is boring and out of date. I’d rather listen to Here Comes Treble.

I was debating whether to mention any co-ed A Capella groups. Then I saw this video for On A Boat and I had to mention Acquire from UC Santa Cruz. NSFW due to language.

All in all I think it’s an under-appreciated style of music and though I wouldn’t go as far as Bernard and say “Every song ever written is better A Capella” I would say that taking the time to listen to A Capella versions of songs you like is a pretty enjoyable experience.

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