The King’s Men
Here’s a frightening thought: The choral scholars of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, has its own a cappella group. It goes without saying that these guys are ultra-polished. They’re almost too polished. The arrangements grow sleepy. “Old Man River” seems to go on forever, and Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven,” while it begins beautifully, actually started to sound like a record on low speed.
Still it’s a ton of fun to hear American pop hits filtered through these singers’ imaginations. The Beach Boys’ “I Get Around” isn’t a big stretch, but surprises pop out at you in “Call Me Maybe” and the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” The Backstreet Boys good-natured hit “I Want it That Way” gains an attractive new sophistication. The singing is just so technically perfect. The King’s Men set the bar high with “Minnie the Moocher.” Wisely, they don’t try to imitate Cab Calloway’s unique manner, but they capture the cool, and it’s incredible to hear them imitate the growling jazz instruments.
– Mary Kunz Goldman