Something Good - Single (2016)
Review By Catherine Lewis
August 4, 2016
This single is available for download from these vendors:
Not much is known publicly about Vassar's Scape Effect: the group doesn't seem to have a web site or a Facebook presence as of this writing and has released only two songs at this time — this original song and a Jessie J cover, Mamma Knows Best.
Something Good is written and arranged by group member Hannah Tobias, who's also the former MD of the Vassar Devils. It's a solid piece of vocal jazz: the bass line here moves and grooves and keeps this song moving along. Soloist Jacob Damsky sounds solid and smooth, and the group's delivery is spot on. Tobias's arrangement is nuanced and layered; I was actually surprised when I read on the Loudr page that there are only six singers on this track — the arrangement and recording sound much bigger and fuller than that.
This song really settles into a fun groove — which is both its strength and its weakness. These singers sound phenomenal and engaged in the track's laid-back jazzy tone, but my issue is that it's a little too laid-back, and the singers aren't pushing to tell or drive the story forward. I keep going back to the amazing bass line here: every once in a while, it pops out from the rest of the song (at 2:58 and 3:33, for example). There's so much drive and movement coming from the bass, and I wish there had been a little more motion from the rest of the group, either from some arrangement variation or some dramatic dynamics.
Still, this song sounds good, and it's a really great step on the path towards getting to know this new and mysterious group at Vassar. It's a testament to Tobias's songwriting and arranging skills that this song doesn't sound like a college-level composition — there's so much going on here that Something Good never sounds thin or simplistic, and it's a testament to the rest of Scape Effect that they're able to pull off such a nuanced arrangement so effortlessly.