Vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth build on their 2014 Grammy win with ‘Render’

Roomful‘Render’
Roomful of Teeth (New Amsterdam)
4 stars out of 5

With the popularity of the “Pitch Perfect” movies, NBC’s “The Sing Off” and even Fox’s recently departed “Glee,” mainstream interest in — and appreciation of — a cappella has never been higher. Grammy-winning Massachusetts collective Roomful of Teeth look to capitalize on the genre’s popularity with intriguing sophomore platter “Render.”

Roomful CDThe sounds created by the nine-member ensemble are breathtaking at times as they specialize in modern compositions that incorporate classical, chamber, pop and world music into a tasty sonic stew. “Render” boasts impossibly intricate harmonies that should appeal to a cappella enthusiasts everywhere.

Three-part composition “The Ascendant” is the centerpiece of the nine-track, 56-minute release. Though it (surprisingly) features sparse percussion in addition to Room of Teeth’s signature vocals, it ranks among the group’s finest offerings. Additional keepers include haunting opener “Vesper Sparrow,” “Beneath” and the title track.

It’s hard to build on a debut album that landed them the 2014 Grammy for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, but these talented vocalists have done just that. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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