On Tuesday night's "America's Got Talent" Quarterfinals show, the third round of the Top 48, five more music acts performed. And like in the two previous rounds, two of those acts adanced to the Semifinals. One of those acts advancing this week was the quartet Sons of Serendip. And since America decided to allow a budding musical genius to go home (9-year-old Adrian Romoff did not receive enough votes to advance), then they should at least allow the only other act that scores on the genius level to at least make it to the finale. That would be, of course, Sons of Serendip.
As recapped by Reality Rewinds on Aug. 13, the four-man Sons of Serendip performed the emotion-filled, plaintive love ballad "Wicked Game," a hauntingly beautiful song by the much underrated artist, Chris Isaak. The quartet took Isaak's 1990 Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit, stripped it down, then slightly rearranged it enough to give it their own spin, yet leaving it totally recognizable to any and all who know and love the song.
In short, with a harp, a cello, a piano and vocals, Sons of Serendip have mastered minimalist music. And it is beautiful. Or, as Judge Howie Mandel would say, "soothing."
Listening to the four guys -- lead vocalist Micah Christian, harpist Mason Morton, cellist and vocalist Kendall Ramseur, and pianist and guitarist Cordaro Rodriguez -- is akin to listening to an old-style jazz session without all extemporaneous musical runs. Their sound is tight. It is controlled, professional, and polished. And it is as minimalist as it can get, with every sound -- instruments and vocals -- as clear as if there is a dividing line to separate them but also so harmonious as to be intrinsically intertwined into one amazing work of artistic sound.
You don't see this kind of accomplished musicianship and vocal blend every day. In fact, it is rarely seen -- and heard -- at all. And those that find this kind of musical groove, the geniuses, well... they're bankable.
Yes, that would mean million-dollar bankable.
Judge Mel B. couldn't believe they had only been together for a few months (five, according to the band, and they got together just to take a shot at the "America's Got Talent" title). She said it was her favorite act of the night (at that point; she would change her mind later). "It sent me into a whole different world. I loved it."
Judge Howie Mandel said, with no joke intended, that their coming together for the show was "serendipitous." He went on: "Truly, your sound, your voice, the blending of these musicians is so... and I mean this in the most positive way... ii's so soothing. You made me feel so good. I hope America feels as good as I do. I feel good. I'm so soothed. I feel so good."
Howard Stern commented on the strong performances of the night, and felt the guys "just knocked it out of the park. You did a beautiful job." He also agreed with Howie, noting howing "soothing" the music ways, like "getting a massage."
Judge Heidi Klum said Sons of Serendip had taken a well-known song, "improving it and making it better. You guys are a class act."
But Judge Howie wasn't done, chiming in, "I feel so good."
With everyone laughing, host Nick Cannon asked lead vocalist Micah Christian how he felt. Laughing, he admitted, "I feel real good, too."
Just listening to Sons of Serendip perform "Wicked Game" is an amazing experience of harmonious sound. And that's what you want in an America's Got Talent winner: An act that will allow you experience amazement.
Not to mention having an experience that makes you feel good...
(An amusing aside: In the section explaining the "America's Got Talent" video on YouTube, it reads that "these three friends" when, of course, they're a four-man band.)
"America's Got Talent" airs on NBC Television at 9 p.m. (EST) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.