VariAsian’s A Cappella
Like its name suggested, VariAsian is a-cappella group consisted of various Asian (Vietnamese, Filipino, and Korean) Americans. From a quick glance at their brief bios, most of the members had sung in choir in their school years; therefore, they have their chops down from gospel to R. & B. to soul. What sets them apart, however, is the Asian synergy they bring to the music, and their debut shows some potentials. Their version of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is groovy without the disco arrangement backing them up. The beatbox and vocal harmony do the job well. On the slower piece, Lisa Lisa’s “All Cried Out,” their strong voices, which drawn mostly from gospel, give the popular tune a fresh vibe. The most disappointed tune is the cover of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly.” That elementary rap has to go. It ruins the ladies’ singings. They need to bring Wyclef Jean on board if they wanted a hip-hop verse. Too bad, “Nguoi Oi & Yeu Nhau” the only Vietnamese tune featured on the entire album. While the harmony is great, the lead singer sounds almost flat on the first piece. I am still rooting for my 5 Dong babes when it comes to Vietnamese a cappella. While their debut is not so bad (except for too many popular tunes being covered), I am not sure what they have in store for the next release. One thing we can reassure, they do not sing with broken English.