Music

The Penny Loafers: Side A

The Penny Loafers have recorded a decent little college a cappella album, but it's not enough to propel them from the shadows of UPenn's other a cappella groups...


The Penny Loafers

Side A

Label: self-released
US Release Date: 2005-11
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon
iTunes

I'm not sure exactly what it is about the University of Pennsylvania that makes it such a hotbed of college a cappella talent, but the school has no less than three groups that have garnered some degree of national acclaim: Off the Beat, famous for their incredible recorded output, the Counterparts, famous for being the jumping-off point for John Legend (forgive my reductivity, UPenn-ers), and this group, the Penny Loafers. The Penny Loafers, for their part, have always displayed more rough edges than the other two groups, particularly in their studio output, and their latest album Side A is no exception. Admittedly, the rough edges give the Penny Loafers' output much of its appeal -- even as they obviously know their way around a studio (witness the gated, distorted vocal guitar backing up the opening cover of Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"), most of these songs have a driving, live sound to them. Unfortunately, a little more studio polish might have helped, as tuning issues on the first section of Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" and Coldplay's "Warning Sign" (the soloist for which, Andrew Dalzell, still makes a welcome replacement for Chris Martin) distract from the overall product. Still, you have to admire the moxie required to take on songs by The Postal Service and The Strokes, despite the misguided decision to include a pointlessly profane take on "The Rainbow Connection" as a secret track. In the end, Side A isn't impressive enough to deflect the attention from the other Pennsylvania groups, but it's not bad, and will be a fabulous little yearbook for the group's existing campus-wide fanbase.

5

The 10 Best Debut Albums of 2009

Continuing our celebration of PopMatters' 20th anniversary, we revisit our 10 picks for the best debut albums of 2009. It turns out our selections were prescient as many of these artists have gone on to storied careers. Travel back to 2009 and see them again for the first time.

Music

The 60 Best Albums of 2009

PopMatters turns 20 years old this October and we're beginning to celebrate our history by taking you back in time a decade ago. Obama was in the White House and the musical times were very good indeed. Revisit 2009 through its best albums.

Music
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.