Have ‘Another Drink’ with Villanova’s Haveners

Jessie Markovetz

Hard rocking? Head banging? Good driving music?

You’d be hard-pressed to use any of these adjectives to describe the latest offering from the Haveners, the University’s 12-woman a cappella group. What you will find on “Who Wants Another Drink?” however, are 11 honest tracks — honest both because they are faithful to the original songs and because these renderings come straight from the heart.

Even those who have not heard the group perform live will be able to enjoy these offerings. That enjoyment is enhanced by the pure sound the CD has — the money invested in a professional studio recording session clearly pays off in terms of listening quality.

The Haveners get things rolling with Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” which features a solo by the student director, senior Megan D’Amico. The infectious “ping” of the opening seconds of the song will be replaying in your head for days, and the powerful chorus effort makes this one of the most intense tracks on the album. The second song, “Because the Night,” originally performed by Patti Smith, continues the same trend as the first track. The song relies on a strong chorus that, though at times overpowering, accentuates junior soloist Colleen Wisor nicely.

The album’s high point is the fourth track, “Again,” performed by junior Lauren Elyea. The slower feel to the Janet Jackson song is unique to the others on the album, most of which are louder and faster-paced. Elyea’s soft, slow voice draws the listener into the song of torment, and the accompanying Havener chorus provides a perfect backdrop that effectively complements the song.

By far the most interesting track on the album is an adaptation of Salt N’ Pepa’s “Shoop,” which features solos by Laura Egan, Alyssa Manning, Kate Davidson, Ashley Damron and Elyea. The rap song stands out not only because it is simply fun to listen to but also because it is completely different from the other songs on the album, helping to give the CD a diversified feel.

In addition to these songs, the Haveners come up strong on the three closing tracks: “One Way or Another” by Blondie, “Cruel to be Kind” by Nick Lowe and the soulfully-rendered “True Colors,” originally by Phil Collins.

Perhaps the only major shortcoming on the album is its length — or, more precisely, lack thereof. With 11 songs totaling just 38 minutes, it winds up playing through in almost no time. The individual songs don’t seem rushed, though, so for some the short length could be a plus.

“Who Wants Another Drink?” is available for $10 Saturday night in the St. Mary’s Auditorium, where the Haveners will perform at 8 p.m. To request a copy of the disc at any other time, you can visit the group’s website at www. villanova.edu/vuhaveners.