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Wall Of Sound - Naturally 7

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Genre: R&B & Soul - Pop R&B / Artist: Naturally 7 / Audio CD released 2009-01-05 at UMTV

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    2 Reviews
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      23.01.2011 15:34
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      A breath of fresh air on the modern music scene!

      Having seen Naturally 7 perform as a warm up act for Michael Buble a few years ago, we made sure to go to one of their concerts when they came round on their own tour of the UK later on. During the original concert where they were the warm up act and nobody in the audience had heard of the guys before they started, the group truly amazed every single person in the audience. So much so that the queue to buy their albums & get their signatures was far longer than that for Buble (who was also very good as per usual).

      The album is similar to a number of of their other ones and contains a number of songs which made them the massive online success that they are. The group consists of 7 performers who play modern ballad and soul music without the use of any instruments. Each member of the band has a few instruments that they specialise in immitating and the perfection to which they know their stuff is something you can only witness during the concert as each member showcases their individual skills throughout the concert.

      If you get the CD, you will be amazed at the fact that there are no instruments whatsoever being played. The benefit that this band has over traditional music is that not only can they perform whenever and wherever they like (they made an online video of performing on a crowded Paris subway to show this) but they are also able to do a lot of music which would not be physically possible on a real instrument.

      The main singer has an incredible voice which you have to hear to really understand what I'm saying. While everybody in the band is pretty good, the base & guitar are particularly good giving a real rocky feel to a number of their tunes.

      All in all, I am truly amazed that these guys have not taken the music industry by storm and am convinced that it is simply an issue of marketing as their songs are excellent, their musical ability is second to none and they are a truly nice bunch of guys. Get the Wall of Sound album, get all their other albums, then go onto their german-based website (something to do with their record contract) and find out when they are next touring the UK and go buy tickets to your nearest show. Their concert was far and away the best live musical performance I've ever seen!

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      • More +
        13.03.2010 20:04
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        Naturally 7

        **Naturally 7**

        The story of Naturally 7 began in 1999 when brothers Roger and Warren Thomas started a group with five friends. They had all been in a series of male vocal groups they decided to go forward with an a cappella sound which won them several a cappella competitions particularly in New York. They then pondered whether to become an a cappella group or a more traditional male vocal R&B group. They chose both and released their first album "What Is It" in 2003. The groups style is called "vocal play" which basically has all the "instruments" actually just coming from the vocals of the group.

        Naturally 7 consists of Roger Thomas (musical director, arranger, 1st baritone, Rap), Warren Thomas (percussion, guitar, clarinet, 3rd tenor), Rod Eldridge (1st tenor, scratching, trumpet), Jamal Reed (4th tenor, electric guitar), Dwight Stewart (2nd baritone), Garfield Buckley (2nd tenor, harmonica) and Armand "Hops" Hutton (bass). With this kind of thing they are really setting themselves up for a fail aiming to reproduce several instruments with just their voices. So how do they fair?

        **Wall of Sound**

        The groups 3rd album was released on 5th January 2009, It features a mixture of covers of classic tracks and original cuts from the group. They were quite active in their promotion of this album with several appearances at Music Festivals around Europe and they also performed at the Royal Variety Performance. They have also toured as the opening act for Michael Buble who they have also recorded with. So will Roger, Warren, Rod, Jamal, Dwight, Garfield and Armand be able to pull it off?. Well stick around and read the rest of my review to find out.

        1.) Wall of Sound

        They get things off with a catchy feel with some great vocal loops, the tempo is fast and the vocals are superb. This track even features a vocal guitar solo which is remarkable in every way. They demonstrate just how honed they are with the fabulous rhythm and melody of this track and the difficulty as well. Superb start.

        2.) Feel It (In The Air Tonight)

        This is a fabulous cover of Phil Collins classic track. The beat is remarkably taut and drum like and the smooth vocal harmonies blend extremely well with the beat. This track really shows their incredible ability to make a song their own. This is so different to the original. This is a remarkable example of the way they all use their voices.

        3.) As Tears Go By

        This track opens with a Boyz II Men like vocal harmony in the background to Roger Thomas, soon they all blend into the vocal harmony together and the sound is magical. This is just a really beautiful track that shows that whilst they can do the amazing instrumentation they are also equally adept at the vocal harmonies. Superb.

        4.) Gone with the wind

        This is a fantastic mid tempo track which really shows off their instruments. A catchy percussion backs the beat and the fine vocal harmonies really shine on this gloriously flowing track. This track shows another side to the group, showing that they can do more than the slow ballads. This is another fine track.

        5.) Broken Wings

        This track is quite remarkable, the beat is reproduced incredible well, This track is a cover of the 1985 Mr Mister track which was sampled by Tupac. This version is an incredible example of the talent of these guys, Just how they can do the instruments with such accuracy is incredible whilst singing the way they do. Absolutely fabulous.

        6.) More Than Words

        This is another cover and this time it's Extreme's gentle ballad from 1991. The vocals are superb and the gentle percussion adds a great touch alongside the smooth harmonies. This is the best version of this song I have ever heard. It's absolutely superb and really gets across the meaning of the song. Wonderful stuff.

        7.) What I'm Looking 4

        This has a Blackstreet like opening and then the soulful female vocals from Tammi Terrell come in from the sample of (Ain't No Mountain High Enough). The beat the comes in with a very dynamic feel. This is a fabulous use of the classic track and shows the superb range in the groups music. Another superb track.

        8.) Closer Now

        This is a fabulous example of their talent for vocal instrumentation. Listen to this one and you will be amazed that it's them making those sounds and not real instruments. Incredible up tempo slice of Hip Hop which further shows their range. This is one of the tracks you will have to listen to really closely to realise that it's them and not the instruments. Amazing track.

        9.) Heaven Knows

        This slows down the album with a lovely Boyz II Men like vocal harmony backed by the gentle beat and percussive claps. This is a very flowing ballad which is about when a relationship with someone means everything to you. This is another superb track with Smokey Robinson like vocals at some points throughout.

        10.) It Is What It Is

        This features some great use of their classic hip hop beats and funky electric guitar, This is another track which amazes due to the lack of instruments. This track is about their vocal play being hard to pin down to one style or genre as it mixes several. A superb track which has a fantastic flow. Superb stuff.

        11.) Let It Rain

        This track opens like it's going to be an up tempo hip hop track but after the short rap it moves into a very flowing a cappella which really shows off their vocal cohesion to great effect. I love the way that there are two or three things going on vocally at the same time. A very good track indeed with fine vocals and a superb structure.

        12.) U Can't Hear Me

        This is a really fabulous track which is just so catchy, Opening with a smooth vocal harmony it soon changes with the fantastic beat and electric guitar sounds and computer loops, This track is extraordinarily catchy and is one of the greatest examples of their talent on the album. It's just an amazing track all round.

        13.) Bridge over troubled water

        This is a fantastic cover of the well known Simon and Garfunkel track. It's almost completely a cappella here and that adds a wonderful feel to the track. This is an extraordinary version which really makes it their own. This track really shows off the quality of their voices and their harmonies together are absolutely superb. Great stuff.

        14.) Say you love me

        This is a lovely gentle ballad which starts off with some gentle keyboard like sounds and then the beat comes in. The individual vocals are again superb and the vocal harmonies are too. This is a great track which builds superbly and really shows how well they structure the tracks. Another superb moment on the album.

        15.) Amazing Grace

        We close the album with an unforgettable version of the classic "Amazing Grace", The way they sound like the horns is incredible and this is a beautiful version vocally, musically and emotionally. This is a wonderful way to end the album and really shows the immense talent that they possess as a group. Awesome.

        **Overall**

        Naturally 7 are not the most well known group around but there are without a doubt one of the most talented groups. They possess incredible vocal harmonies with an astonishing ability to sound like a wide range of instruments. This would be a great album anyway but due to the fact that they are both the voices and instruments it makes this album even better. This has to be one of the albums of 2009 and a must purchase for anyone who likes vocal harmony groups. At some points in listening to their albums you will open your mouth with astonishment at their vocals and also their ability to sound like instruments.

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      • Product Details

        Disc #1 Tracklisting
        1 Wall Of Sound
        2 Feel It (In The Air Tonight)
        3 As Tears Go By
        4 Gone With The Wind
        5 Broken Wings
        6 More Than Words
        7 What I'm Lookin' 4
        8 Closer Now
        9 Heaven Knows
        10 It Is What It Is
        11 Let It Rain (Harmony Mix)
        12 U Can\x{2019}t Hear Me
        13 Bridge Over Troubled Water
        14 Say You Love Me
        15 Amazing Grace