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Combo Fiasco - Illegal Harmonies

On their third live album, Combo Fiasco offer up their usual mix of show tunes, standards and lesser known gems. "Como te gusta mi pinga" isn't the chance for Sean Murphy to show off his operatic training that I expected. Also taking an unusual turn is "Wind beneath my wings." Again included is a locally written comedy number, this time by performers Phil Scott and Tony Sheldon. (Scott makes a guest appearance on the album.) No medleys this time though. More serious numbers are represented by CF's trademark pairing of two songs - represented this time by "Where do you go to my lovely/All the men that I believe in" - as well as the fragile "Something I thought I'd never do" and "The games I play" from William Finn's Falsettos.

The harmonies are as tight, the parodies as clever and the arrangements as effective as ever. Sometimes McGill and Murphy (who've always done the bulk of the arrangements) add money notes such as in "The Games I Play", but occasionally they sap the intensity out of the song, as in Ahren and Flaherty's "The Human Heart".

Illegal Harmonies is funnier than their last CD Live at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival but their debut Here will always remain my favourite for reasons that have everything to do with Sharon Millerchip.

Their website promises a 10 year anniversary concert due this year; something to watch for.

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