Acapella for the Holidays

Pentatonix releases their new Christmas album just in time for winter season

Jaclyn Ferreira

Staff Writer

    The hit acapella group Pentatonix released their newest album “A Pentatonix Christmas” on October 21, 2016. This festive eleven-track album adds a modern twist to softer carols that accommodates the group’s sound and style as well.

    Originating in Arlington, Texas, Pentatonix rose to fame in 2011 after winning the third season of The Sing-Off. They gained instant popularity and created a YouTube channel where they posted covers that attracted millions of subscribers. Now, releasing their eighth album and third Christmas album, the group covers a greater variety of classical carols such as “Up On The Housetop” and “A Coventry Carol” with their well-renowned style and beat.

    The album begins with a more mellow but engaging version of  “O Come, All Ye Faithful” that combines upbeat beatboxing with smooth vocals. Next is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” that begins with a dulcet sound before it transitions into a fast-pace cover of a classic song. Track three is “White Christmas,” featuring The Manhattan Transfer another acapella group that infuses jazz/pop sound to their music. It differs from other “White Christmas” covers because of the jazz and pop influences.

    These three timeless classics are followed by the holiday favorite “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” which Pentatonix adds its own flare to. For a song that has been redone by various artists such as Michael Buble and Rascal Flatts, Pentatonix does justice to a slow song. The follow-up is “Up On The Housetop,” a childhood favorite to which the group adds a spunky sound-featuring soft harmonies and beatboxing. “A Coventry Carol” is a haunting religious ballad that Pentatonix keeps close to it’s original sound, but is, nevertheless, beautifully done. Although it is not a Christmas song, the group covers “Hallelujah,” by Leonard Cohen, which was one of the most enjoyable songs on the album because of the unique voices and the way the group is able to change their unique voices to accommodate a particular tune.

    “Coldest Winter” by Kanye West is another song the group covered which was one of the best songs on the album because of how different it was from the original. When compared, Pentatonix takes out the bass background music and replaces it with a more winter-like feel. “Good To Be Bad” becomes a fun song that talks about naughty and niceness. The album concludes with “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,” a cover of the popular band NSYNC’s song which is a perfect conclusion to the album. It is another one of the more favorable songs because of how well Pentatonix was able to cover it because the renowned boy band’s sound is difficult to imitate but Pentatonix did an excellent job.

    Overall, the album is excellent. Pentatonix never fails to amaze their audiences with their classic sound. Being one of the few popular acapella bands today, they do a beautiful job by adding their personal sound to every song on this album. Various artists have been covering these songs for years. Depending on the approach of sound the band takes to renditioning the song, it can easily take a bad turn. Pentatonix adds a fresh sound to these holiday classics that differs from the songs they covered in the past. With Pentatonix, you could never go wrong. Mostly, this is because there are no other acapella groups that have such a well-known name in pop culture. For anyone, they are bound to enjoy “A Pentatonix Christmas” whether you’re one or ninety-two.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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