Ballads, The Idea of North, review by Barry O’Sullivan
The latest recording from critically acclaimed a cappella ensemble The Idea of North showcases the group at its very best – performing beautiful songs in cleverly constructed new vocal arrangements.
Using just the voices of the four members,soprano Sally Cameron alto Naomi Crellin tenor Nick Begbie and bass Andrew Piper, sing songs from ABBA to Sting and the Bee Gees to Cold Chisel. They are are joined by guest artists, the supremely talented jazz vocalist and composer Kristin Berardi,the arranger and tenor Ed Fairlie,the altoist Joy Hague and the Japanese vocal percussionist Kaichiro Kitamura.
The origins of this album lie in a long held concept of inviting audiences to live concerts whose content consists solely of lush,serene and gentle songs which encapsulates this ensemble’s numerous and highly successful Ballads by Candlelight series.The Idea of North has performed these concerts around Australia and internationally in beautiful acoustic spaces in capital cities and small towns.
Highlights are many on this recording but standouts include Ode To Oli, My One and Only Love, Flame Trees and Too Much Heaven though each track is a gem in its own right.
Faultless technique combines with luscious harmonies in an ensemble that sings with empathy and impeccable intonation making this a ‘must have’ for lovers of ensemble vocals with a modern twist.
soprano Sally Cameron, alto Naomi Crellin, tenor Nick Begbie and bass Andrew Piper