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55 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 6, 2010
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VOCAbuLarieS + Spirityouall + Beyond Words
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2010 release from the 10-time Grammy Award winner/vocal innovator, his first new release in eight years. Like his #1 worldwide hit song 'Don't Worry Be Happy' and his multi-platinum duo album, Hush, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, VOCAbuLarieS is based on Bobby's experiments with multi-track recording and his ceaseless exploration of the potential of the human voice. VOCAbuLarieS is Bobby McFerrin music for the 21st century. A collaboration with the composer/arranger/producer Roger Treece, VOCAbuLarieS features over fifty of the world's finest singers, recorded one at a time and in small groups to create a virtual choir made up of over 1,400 vocal tracks.

About the Artist

"There is something almost superhuman about the range and technique of Bobby McFerrin," says Newsweek. "He sounds, by turns, like a blackbird, a Martian, an operatic soprano, a small child, and a bebop trumpet." But despite the undeniable uniqueness of his gift, Bobby's music is always accessible and inviting. When he invites his fans to sing along, as he almost always does, few can resist. Inclusiveness, play, and the universality of voices raised together in song are at the heart of Bobby's art. Bobby McFerrin was exposed to a multitude of musical genres during his youth--classical, R&B, jazz, pop and world musics. "When you grow up with that hodgepodge of music, it just comes out. It was like growing up in a multilingual house," he says. Bobby McFerrin continues to explore the musical universe, known and unknown. Drawing on all genres, demonstrating matchless improvisational skills, he never fails to dazzle. He never seems to run out of new ideas, and he loves having no clue what's going to happen next. Ask him where he went to school, and he just might tell you that he is a graduate of MSU: Making Stuff Up. "Music for me," McFerrin says, "is like a spiritual journey down into the depths of my soul. And I like to think we're all on a journey into our souls. What's down there? That's why I do what I do."

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Baby 8:04Album Only
  2. Say Ladeo 8:44Album Only
  3. Wailers10:26Album Only
  4. Messages11:22Album Only
  5. The Garden 8:34Album Only
  6. He Ran To The Train10:30Album Only
  7. Brief Eternity 6:13$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EmArcy
  • ASIN: B00303WR3M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,536 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Brian Whistler VINE VOICE on April 13, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Over the course of a career spanning three decades, Bobby McFerrin has worn many hats. From fronting his band on his debut album, to the pyrotechnics of his amazing live solo performances, his choral work with Voicestra, duos with Chick Corea and Yo Yo Ma, (not to mention simultaneously singing with and conducting symphony orchestras,) McFerrin has demonstrated a restless and far ranging musical intelligence which is constantly in search of new musical turf to explore.

Seven years in the making, "Vocabularies" is certainly the most ambitious McFerrin project to date and may very well be his magnum opus. For it is on this album that virtually all of McFerrin's wide-ranging musical interests are brought together in perfect balance. In a way, all of McFerrin's prior output has led up to this moment, the realization of a lifetime of artistic achievement.

I have always felt that the one thing missing from McFerrin's writing was the ability to take his fresh ideas and fully develop them harmonically and compositionally. Fortunately for all of us, McFerrin has found the perfect collaborator in composer/arranger and conductor, Roger Treece, whose prodigious gifts give McFerrin's ideas the harmonic and developmental lift they so deserve. The two worked together closely, first gathering McFerrin's ideas from past albums, recorded improvisations etc, weaving them into substantial compositions that average about 10 minutes in length.

Each piece is a journey unto itself, in which African, Eastern European, jazz, Western classical, R&B and pop elements bump up against each other, blending and recombining in a constantly shifting kaleidoscope of harmony and rhythm.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David Reiley on April 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Bobby McFerrin is a musical genius, and this album continues to demonstrate that fact. His compositions and improvisations go beyond what anyone previously thought the human voice could do. Relative to the previous albums I've heard by him (Circlesongs, Beyond Words), this one has fuller orchestrations and a much larger chorus. I'm reminded of Bach, Mozart, and Manhattan Transfer, mixed with joyous African rhythms and harmonies (think Lion King) and scat singing. McFerrin's own solo vocals feature his clear, flutelike falsetto.

Listen to this album, but also make sure to watch clips of McFerrin's vocal improvisations on YouTube. Better yet, try to see him in concert. We saw his live performance last night in San Francisco, and it knocked our socks off. His musical improvisation reminds me a bit of Robin Williams playing the genie in Aladdin - the performance is eclectic, eccentric, surprising, joyous, virtuosic and beautiful. Kudos to McFerrin for finding his amazing voice, creating something entirely new, and moving us to pure ecstasy with his music.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By MRC on May 9, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant vocal album. The arrangements by Bobby McFerrin and Roger Treece are stunning. The time and effort put into making this project come to life brings wonderful rewards for the listeners. The sound quality is amazing. Hearing these voices sing these arrangements is thrilling. The level of excellence in their intonation and musicianship is inspiring. I would recommend this recording to anyone in music education at any level. I would recommend this to anyone who simply enjoys the sound of the human voice. This CD has passion, commitment to excellence, and pure musical joy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patricia A. Lodge-sykes on April 3, 2012
Format: Audio CD
In this age where rap artists are hyped and musicians are over analyized the music is the only thing that matters. Bobby is a first rate musician and his talent shows itself in this CD.

We all know of artists who take a theme or motif that they have been working on and continue to refine and redefine it. This is what Bobby has done on this masterpiece. He took a few songs from earlier CDs and gave them an extended arrangement. Several of the songs start out with a certain theme and then go through several movements, as classical artisits used to do. We now live in an age where this type of long range artistic planning, in most current genres of music, is seldom orchestrated. We have lauded artists in the past for doing the same. Why should Bobby be knocked for bringing this type of artistry back.

I can understand how this can seem disconcerting to a lot of folks when you consider the fact that this is not classical music. I would not label every song on this album as jazz either. Despite my inability to give this type of music a label, I enjoyed the different moods each song took. When I listened to each piece without judgement, it put me in a calmer, more thoughtfull mood than most of the standard 3 and 4 minutes pop songs I listen to.

I applaud Bobby for doing what was in his heart. He has taken his love of arranging and his background as a jazz artist and combined them in this CD with little regard, thank goodness, for what type of music this CD would be labeled as. I think labels are overrated anyway. But this CD cannot be. This is a consummate artist expressing himself and I consider myself fortunate to have this CD in my collection.

PS: The lyrics are uplifting and hauntingly beautiful as well. Guidelines
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Bobby McFerrin's VOCAbuLaries
Where have I heard that first song "baby"? Was it part of a soundtrack to some movie or TV show? It sounds SO familiar?
Apr 28, 2010 by S. Hobbs |  See all 2 posts
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