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Viva Voce
[ hooray for now ]


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Horray For Now - Click to view! Confession time. I am a confirmed penny-pincher. Sales are my friends even when it comes to the third most important thing in my life: Music. On my last trip to the bookstore clearance rack, searching through the cases of Allison Krauss and "25 Favorite Bluegrass Hymns" I came upon an album called Hooray for Now by a little known band called Viva Voce (pronounced vee-vah VOH-chay, meaning "by word of mouth" i.e. I learned it Viva Voce).

One might describe the husband-wife duo of Kevin and Anita Robinson as a coffeehouse style Alterna-Rock. A Sixpence None the Richer meets Skillet sound. As a matter of fact, Sixpence founder Matt Slocum plays the cello on a few tracks throughout the album. Deftly melding easy vocals with super creative melodies and interesting lyrics, you're going to be hooked by track one.

"Beautiful is all you are..." begins the first track "He Touches Stars." Surrounded by crunchy electric guitars and a very experienced bass guitar, Anita's vocals sparkle. To make another Sixpence correlation, Anita has the same breathy, quiet sweetness that Leigh Nash possesses, though maybe not quite as soulful. Seamlessly moving from one song to another, "June" brings some upbeat joy and awesome (if all too short) harmonies to the confusing verses. "Hi, say my name inside, wouldn't it be fine, we could talk all the time." Unfortunately almost all of the lyrics follow this pattern of semi-nonsense, but the melodies are so engaging it's a minor flaw to the listener. There are a few songs with understandable words, such as "Closer Than Far" and "Colour Wheel." In the former Anita quietly sings of the everlasting Lord "Oceans are made, motion and fade, I know your eyes, I made your skies… I AM." In "Colour Wheel" Viva Voce offers an awesome praise song: "Our Father, Holy Father, be my vision, be my wisdom… Be my everything." Average lyrics, but made rather non-traditional by searing guitars and synthesizers.

Viva Voce has been around for over 6 years. Maybe in the year 2030 they will have garnished the crowds that they deserve. Those who are lucky enough to have "discovered" this talented little band can revel in their find. I know I am. Thank goodness for penny pinchers! Brings a verse to mind: "Those who are stingy with their money shall find a great treasure." Okay, so it's not a verse, but even still you should look into the music of Viva Voce. You'll be glad you did!
- Melissa Miles
June 2002
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