The Persuasians - A Cappella Dreams

The Persuasions
A Cappella Dreams


First Appeared at The Music Box, January 2004, Volume 11, #1

Written by John Metzger


In recent years, The Persuasions has released a collection of childrenís music as well as tributes to Frank Zappa, The Beatles, and the Grateful Dead, and as a result, the ensemble currently is enjoying the longest string of mainstream exposure since its albums of the early í70s. With its latest outing A Cappella Dreams, the group has returned to its roots, rearranging a variety of classic tunes from the í50s and í60s to suit its own unique vocal talent. Featuring a blend of soul, doo wop, and gospel, the new collection highlights The Persuasionsí otherworldly harmonies, which, quite frankly, are pure magic. Though the songs chosen for A Cappella Dreams arenít quite as much of a stylistic stretch for the group as those on its other recent offerings have been, there are still quite a few inventive moments to be found, including a sparkling cover of Otis Reddingís Dock of the Bay, a masterful take on The Four Topsí When She Was My Girl, and a brilliant re-imagining of Solomon Burkeís I Have a Dream. The biggest problem with A Cappella Dreams is that at 15 tracks spanning 55 minutes, itís almost too much of a good thing, and several songs are ill-fated right from the start. Letís face it, even The Persuasions canít save a dud like Sheís a Lady, the Paul Anka tune that was popularized by Tom Jones. Still, the group couldnít have picked a better title for its 1972 gem Street Corner Symphony, and despite the passage of over 30 years, the voices of its members are still very much intact. starstarstar

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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2003 The Music Box