Can’t Stop Singing!

Can’t Stop Singing!

Various Artists

PBS/Warner Bros.

My friend Joe Lamy moves in barbershop quartet orbits. He sings in one, attends contests and showcases. I’ve always admitted more than passing interest to him, and though he’s invited me to a couple of events, I’ve never made it. Listening to this disc, comprising highlights of the 60th annual contest (the “Big One,” I assume) makes me wish I had. A passing snippet will deliver the expected olde-tyme feel, but even a casual listen reveals the complex individuality each quartet has. The interplay between the voice qualities and chosen harmonies of each group has quite a unique fingerprint, far more distinct than you’ll find in most of today’s radio-ready rock, and this reminds me that there’s a lot to a good song beyond a bitchin’ beat and catchy riff. If you feel the need for a musical reset, this will do it.

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