The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 57.0°F | Overcast



Energetic Logs Keep Harmonies Tight

By Dan Robey


MIT Logarhythms

What can I say about Superlogs, the new Logarhythms CD? It features strong soloists on every track, a blend of tight rhythms and percussion. It’s an energetic voyage through Logs songs compiled between 1999 and 2001. Every time I play the CD, I find myself singing improvised harmony parts along with them.

The energy is apparent from the beginning, as the album opens with “Freedom,” by Wham!, an upbeat ‘80s classic that lends itself well to tight background rhythms and harmonies.

Not all tracks are pure a cappella, relying on drums, bongos, and other percussion to fill in where the rhythms are too complex for voice. U2’s “Mysterious Ways” and Coldplay’s “Yellow” both use them to the full extent, completing the beat. But the Logs haven’t lost their flair at vocal percussion. It floats behind the melodies on all tracks and glues the songs together, giving them their usual Logs sound.

On a few tracks, the harmony seems almost inhuman. “U Remind Me,” an Usher cover, is just one example of the tight, interweaving harmonies that grace the CD. The Logs have refined their shading and blending, to pleasing effect. The classic “If I Ever Fall in Love” is a beautiful example of how the group is maturing. David S. Kong ’01 and Jordan M. Alperin ’02 blend perfectly, and the balance is heavenly on the soft, heartfelt track.

The CD is an extremely slick package, unified and presenting the current finesse of the Logs. The only song that doesn’t satisfy on the CD is “Heavenly,” by Harry Connick Jr. It doesn’t fit in with the general character of the CD, which is a nice mix of upbeat rock arrangements and slow pieces that lets the Logs show off their more refined side.

Superlogs combines Logs favorites and the obligatory a cappella classics with a few new, clean arrangements. I especially like “All the Small Things,” a Blink-182 cover. Though a little more subdued than the punk original, it departs enough from standard a cappella music to delight listeners. With a perfect transition it slides into “Yellow” by Coldplay. After the mellow Coldplay, “Man in the Mirror” raises the intensity, with Chris D. Vu ’04 doing a great Michael Jackson, complete with cries of “j’mon” and little screams interspersed throughout the song.

Although some tracks on the CD lack some of the energy apparent in live Logs concerts, the remaining energy behind the music, combined with the Logs’ intensity, brings Superlogs up to a satisfactory level of entertainment. I missed the skits between songs, but the studio cut of “Superlogs” shows a little of that clowning humor shown in concert. The adaptation of REM’s “Superman” has a catchy Beach Boy flavor, and ends the CD nicely.

At $15, Superlogs is a must-have for Logs fans, showing off their constantly refining style. The tight harmonies and driving a cappella beat fuel the music, which is more polished than ever.