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Album Review

Comic a cappella group Da Vinci's Notebook is more focused on novelty material than ever on its third album, Brontosaurus. The chief topics here seem to be the world of computers and below-the-belt bodily matters, particularly sex, both fields combined on the chipper celebration of "Internet Porn." Leadoff track "The Gates" (as in Bill Gates) is a lament for a computer crash, while such songs as "Heather Graham" ("What I would not give to rock her/But I can't, so I'll just stalk her"), "Enema Countdown," and "Enormous Penis" address, uh, that other subject. Elsewhere, the quartet considers the dire consequences of being transformed into an animal ("I Wish I Were"), satirizes the notoriously alcoholic habits of the Irish ("Another Irish Drinking Song"), and concludes that, whatever else you may be able to do, "you just can't eat hot soup with your bare hands" ("Hot Soup"). The humor is found not only in the lyrics, but also in the vocal arrangements, which are full of musical jokes, asides, and impersonations. The material is occasionally uneven, particularly in tracks 11-20, collectively known as "Uncle Buford Mega-Mix," which the group accurately describes as "a collection of semi-songs, bits of strangeness, inside jokes, and other things that just didn't fit anywhere else." But one hesitates to brand any of it actually unfunny, since a good-natured, well-lubricated club crowd could disprove such a statement quickly enough. Let's just say that the sense of humor is often closer to the excretory than the witty and leave it at that.


Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The comic a cappella group Da Vinci's Notebook was formed through a classified ad in the Washington City Paper that brought together Bernie Muller-Thym, Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo, and Paul Sabourin. Richard Hsu, a college friend of DiCostanzo's from the University of Maryland, joined in the summer of 1993, completing the lineup, though a fifth member, Jay Jones, sang with them from late 1993 until 1994, when he moved to Scotland. The group made its mark by coming in third in the 1994 Mid-Atlantic Harmony...
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Brontosaurus, Da Vinci's Notebook
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