III of a Kind

Groove-A-Pella

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In 2001, Philippine vocal group III of a Kind released their debut album, Groove-A-Pella. III of a Kind consists of female singer Annie Nepomuceno, who has sung back-up on many Philippine albums, and male vocalists Gelo Francisco and Edward Granadosin. Groove-A-Pella features many interesting vocal arrangements, far more adventurous than usually heard in the Philippines. The songs list who is singing lead vocals at any given time, which is helpful to a listener. Groove-A-Pella opens on an a cappella version of Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," and starts with Francisco singing the opening lines, as Nepomuceno soon adds gospel-inflected vocal harmony. Soon, doo wop-styled bass vocal lines are heard, adding an exciting flavor to the song. "Daybreak" is a nice romantic love song written by American singer/songwriter David Pomeranz, who has a large following in the Philippines. Granadosin sings lead vocals in a glistening tenor with much passion. The album has diversity, and "Tibok" (Heartbeat) is a funky, dance-inflected tune featuring the crackle of '70s-styled wah-wah guitar. "Nahan" (Where), which is performed entirely a cappella, and "Hanggang Langit" (Up to Heaven) are rooted in the typical, Filipino easy listening love song, but the complex vocal arrangements add an interesting dimension. The instrumentation is also excellent throughout the album. The group sings a complex version of the Police's "Every Breath You Take," which features a vocal harmony reminiscent of monks singing in the medieval era. Unfortunately, this gets tedious towards song's end, as do some of the other vocal histrionics on the album. The members of III of a Kind have strong, versatile voices, but need more development if they want to achieve international success. Nonetheless, the album sets a high standard for vocal group performance in the Philippines.

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