Year of the Album — #059
Committed – “Committed” (2011, Epic)
As a committed fan of NBC’s the SingOff for giving acapella music a chance to truly shine, I’m glad to see that Committed has managed to properly follow in Nota’s footsteps. The season two winners weren’t my favorites – I was pulling for Groove For Thought’s jazzy updates of the Manhattan Transfer sound – but they’ve brought their own sense of verve to this disc of vocals-only tracks. Their perfectly balanced cover of Chris Brown’s “Forever” is definitely a winning example of the sound that propelled them to the top, but the strongest song on the album is “Unstoppable,” their update of Kerrie Roberts’ 2010 under the radar hit. The song sounds brand new in this incarnation, and it showcases just how strong Committed can be when they’re singing something they believe in. “Sweet Home Alabama” may end up being the song to get the most listens, and it’s definitely as far from Skynyrd as you’re gonna get, but the band’s at their best when they stray from cliché and get down to what really matters to them. Committed is a winning debut, a refreshing end-of-summer release delightfully free of hype and loaded with great vocals.