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In the Middle of Life


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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Feb 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B000Q67ENO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 807,226 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prime Time Blues
2. Mr. Father
3. Words
4. Spring is coming
5. I Tried
6. Friendship
7. Are you coming to me?
8. The grass grows greener
9. My hidden world
10. A perfect life
11. A quiet song
12. Given
13. Göta

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nothing traditional about their songs, they are innovative and original and eminently listenable, but it is the quality of the singing that makes this group stand out for me. Each voice is perfectly balanced, but unique - no solid, four-square harmonies here. As an introduction, try Prime Time Blues - always a favourite of mine, followed by Words. Bootiful!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Real Group Is As Real As It Gets 23 Nov 2005
By Paul F. Byrne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been a huge fan of contemporary acapella music for almost twenty years and as such, was surprised that I had not, in all that time, every heard of, much less heard, The Real Group until about a month ago. After stumbling across them on amazon.com, I had purchased "Unreal" and "The Real Thing" and realized that I had missed out one something very special. My next purchase was "In The Middle of Life" and since then I'm now convinced that they're absolutely the best vocal group of, perhaps, the past twenty years. Concerning this offering from this Swedish quintet, the following are my thoughts on only three of the songs in the interest of brevity (this review applies to the Japanese import with the two bonus tracks):

Prime Time Blues: A classic example of the almost parenthetical song title (meaning, specifically, without one) - Yes, the title is "Prime Time Blues", but the lyrical hook is the chorus "In the middle of life". The harmony introduction in no way indicates the pleasure one will receive once the "instruments" kick in, and what a pleasure it is! The gang has come a long way in developing a singularly unique vocal percussion sound, vaguely similar to that of Jeff Thatcher from Rockapella but without the bombast and pretension. The real surprise to me was the "guitar" line (in harmony, of course), reminiscent of classical R&B riffs - understated, but crucial to the overall sound. The bass line is far superior to almost any harmony group ensemble I've ever heard (including, yes, that of Barry Carl from Rockapella) insomuch as he actually captures the tone and timbre of the instrument. This song could have been a hit in the U.S. if Top 40 radio (a'la Casey Kasem) still existed. Unfortunately, it doesn't but equally fortunately, The Real Group does.

Words: The vocal percussion, bass line and spoken "words" immediately captures one's interest and the production value is stellar without overcoming the intimacy of the individual singers. The highly energetic (though not fast paced) introduction shortly "collapses" into an intimate, tight, 5-part harmony stacked vocal verse which begs (no, entices!) the listener to hear what they have to say. Their message is simple, but essential concerning the most basic communications tool we humans use. Facilitating between the aforementioned intimacy and majestic, powerful chorus, this song is one that bears repeated listens, preferably with headphones to fully appreciate the intricacy of the arrangement and recording.

The Thingamabob: What happens when an exceptionally talented vocal quintet decides, presumably, to forego recording a traditional (or even actual) song and decides, instead, to explore what they can do with manipulating the sound of the human voice in the guise of a bizarre narrative replete with obscure sounds (and this is the important part here - WITHOUT the use of processors/reverb and all of that nonsense) and all the while telling a cohesive story of a mad scientist/inventor who invents a device which does, well, actually, nothing? The answer is the closing track on the CD, "The Thingamabob". I'm absolutely stunned at the fact that, not only did they record this song, but that they even conceptualized it in the first place.

If you're a fan of contemporary acapella and have even a passing acquaintance with the likes of The Manhattan Transfer, The Bobs, The Nylons, Rockapella and The King's Singers, do yourself a favor and get this CD by The Real Group. I assure you that you'll enjoy stellar performances by what many consider to be the best vocal group over the past two decades.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 20 Dec 2005
By Eric Primeau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am a fan of the Real Group since 1997. I bought my first two CDs in Sweden and never turned back. All their albums are excellent, first rate, top notch a capella, absolutely unbeatable.

Technically immaculate, the only thing we can talk about is the style. Since roughly 1996, their own compositions have taken the majority of the space on the albums over standards or songs written by others.

This album features only compositions in the very familiar mixture of funky pop-jazzy-modernist? which is typical of the five members. The topics tackled in the album are also typical of the Real Group: love, life, family, human themes, even poetry, with a touch of humor.

My wife loves this group which is absolutely different than anything else yet immensely listenable. I love them because they are arrangement kings and oh-so-tone-perfect.

This is not a hard-edged album (and this is, I repeat, a stylistic preference, not a negative point). It is well rounded and if you are into a cappella and have never heard Real Group, this is a very very good place to start (try also One for all, Commonly unique for english-only lyrics).

One thing that strikes me about this album is how perfectly balanced it is (as opposed to their earlier efforts): the songs are not off-the-wall yet varied in style, not too experimental yet very rich, everyone gets compositional space; for a capella, this is, for a bunch of now "middle-aged" guys and gals (40!), a very satisfying, dare I say mature balancing act.

Miles away from Madonna or 50 cent. I say: dare to partake in this beautiful art!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
the best 5 Mar 2006
By Cloud Blank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I own Unreal! and I was excited to pick up this one at the ACDA Western Convention. I learned it was just released, so I only had to pay $16, which beats the high price for the import. But if you're impatient, it's worth every penny. When I first listened to it, I wondered if it's all a cappella music. The backups are truly amazing and the vocals were mind-blowing. I really enjoyed the first track. I recommend this to any Real Group fan, but if you can wait for the US release, I'd go with that.
Masterful 16 Jan 2011
By MusicLover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Possibly the best CD by possibly the best A Cappella group in the world. Don't listen if you are afraid of being obsessed by lingering melodies! You'll spend the rest of the day grooving to 'Prime Time Blues' and humming the haunting melodies of Gota. Every track shows the maturity of this renowned group, each of whom is a worthy artist in his/her own right. Together, however, they're magic. Several of these pieces are available for more advanced a cappella groups to perform, which is worth looking into. It's my favorite recording by The Real Group, which is really saying something.
I love this CD! 1 Jun 2010
By Adam Griffiths - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD is amazing. I'm so happy I could get a hold of it. The songs "Words" and "Gota" are my favorites. The songs on this album are all very diverse and introduce many styles and genres of music. The blend of this group is amazing. Each of the voices is unique individually but so unified when presented together. If you can get your hands on this album (at whatever price), you will not regret it.
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