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Pentatonix nails the classics


Half a year after the release of “A Pentatonix Christmas,” Pentatonix delivers another stylistically innovative album, “PTX Vol. IV-Classics,” composed of remade hit classics from the 20th century.

Pentatonix begins the album with a rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Their opening of “Bohemian Rhapsody” was deeper and richer than the original and the variation in the individual voices harmonized quite nicely. The group’s use of vocals to replace many of the instrumentals in the original song is a strong indicator of their vocal talent as an ensemble. However, Pentatonix’s use of vocals over instruments becomes slightly repetitive.   

Their cover of “Take On Me,” by A-ha, begins with fast-paced vocals that replace the disco beat of the original song. The song alternates between a quick tempo and a slow pace, heightening the contrast between the different sections of the piece. This song in particular demonstrates Pentatonix’s cohesiveness as a group; they effectively utilize a counter-melody to create another layer of music that complements the main harmony.

Contrary to the fast pace of “Take On Me,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” by Elvis Presley, consistently maintains a slow beat, with a soulful, soothing mood. Throughout this piece, Pentatonix establishes a smooth connection between the mood and lyrics of the songs, while also creating a unifying undertone to reinforce the romantic vibes of the song. The closing of the song was especially alluring as Pentatonix slowly becomes softer to evoke a pensive feeling. I found this version of the song to be far more heartfelt than Elvis’ original version, as the ensemble does a wonderful job at expressing the emotion they put into the song.    

Though their performance of the various classics is inventive, Pentatonix’s use of old songs renders the album ultimately unoriginal. Despite this, the work they put into creating contemporary styles for well-loved classics is commendable. As a millennial, I found Pentatonix’s Vol. IV Classics to be generally superior to the original songs; many of the remade songs appealed to my music tastes as opposed to the classics that were made for a different audience.

Written by Isaac Le, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of iTunes

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