HomeRecording Review: Basix's "Diversity"

Sapphire0610's picture

A cappella world, please make way for Basix’s latest CD Diversity.  Released on August 31, 2009, I had the true pleasure of being one of the only people outside of the group to get my hands on a copy early: about three weeks before the release date.  I would like to start out by saying thank you to the guys of Basix for letting me review Diversity.  This album is ALL ORIGINAL.  Yeah, I know.  “No covers?  What?  It’s not a cappella without covers of the same songs that have been covered about 42 million times.”  Diversity is chock full of nineteen all-original songs, and their album title says it all.  Granted, with this many tracks they had a lot of room to work with, but this is probably one of the most diverse albums I’ve heard.

When I uploaded this CD to my iTunes, the genre it was assigned was “pop.”  I quickly learned that this CD is so much more than that.  While Diversity might be considered a pop album, it is littered with rock, love ballads, reggae, hip-hop, and Middle Eastern influence.  Each track is different from the one before it, and some of them are wonderful, unexpected surprises.  These six men are armed with amazing voices and brilliant minds, and we get the pleasure of listening to what they want to share with us.

Track six, “Cry Out For Muses”, stands out of the crowd as my favorite.  The lyrics very simply tell a story of a writer who is stuck in, what I’m sure all arrangers have felt, writers block.  The background vocals are simple block chords.  It seems as if the group is suppressing the soloist and keeping him from breaking out during the verses and choruses.  In the last forty-five seconds of the song, when the soloist is repeating the lyric “I cry out for muses” the roles reverse.  The group begins to echo the soloist and support him as he rips the vocals for the last twenty seconds of the song.  This is just one of many brilliantly written songs on the album.

Track four shares the album’s title, “Diversity”, and it certainly proves its point.  This track can be best described with one word: grit.  Imagine melding all of the genres I listed earlier.  This song is the grit that that melding would create.  A rumbling bass line, thumping percussion, and growling middle parts makes this song.  The emotion betrayed in the solo comes off as hate, and that just feeds the hip-hop feel of the track.  This is one that should be played at clubs.  No joke.  I would totally get my groove on to this.

Those are just two examples of the great songs on Diversity.  Looks like you’ll just have to buy the album to hear the rest (you know, the other seventeen original songs).  When I think about it, there wasn’t one song that I didn’t like.  It’s very rare that a whole album makes it to my iPod, but I think this one’s a winner.  I don’t want to give away too much, so I’m keeping this review short and sweet.  Diversity is full of beautiful ballads, thumping hip-hop, chill reggae, and some classic “boy-band” a cappella, but please don’t forget the soaring talent of the six guys behind it all, be it writing ability or just their impressive vocal chops.  This belongs in everyone’s a cappella library, if for no other reason than because it is an all original album which are few and far between.  But really, I think that this is a CD that any a cappella fan can dig.  Or really…it’s a CD that any music fan can dig.  I suppose that’s a perk of being…diverse.


About the author:
Jill Clark has been involved in music since age 5, singing, playing guitar, drums and piano. She is a member of UNC-G Sapphires, who were the 1st place competition winners at SoJam 2008. Clark also won Best Vocal Percussion at SoJam '07 and '08 for VP within the group.

Mouth Off's review: http://www.mouthoffshow.com/2009/10/mouth-off-10-04-09/


If I had to review YOU, Jill

If I had to review YOU, Jill Clark, I'd give you four stars.

For a few audio clips and another couple of opinions on this album, listen to this week's episode of Mouth Off: http://www.mouthoffshow.com/2009/10/mouth-off-10-04-09/

--Dave Brown

now: Mouth Off host | ICCA & CARA Judge

then: CASA president, CASAcademy director, CASA Bd of Directors | BYU Vocal Point | Noteworthy co-foun

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