Pentatonix nails the classics
Half a year after the release of â€śA Pentatonix Christmas,â€ť Pentatonix delivers another stylistically innovative album, â€śPTX Vol. IV-Classics,â€ť composed of remade hit classics from the 20th century.
Pentatonix begins the album with a rendition of â€śBohemian Rhapsodyâ€ť by Queen. Their opening of â€śBohemian Rhapsodyâ€ť was deeper and richer than the original and the variation in the individual voices harmonized quite nicely. The groupâ€™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, Pentatonixâ€™s use of vocals over instruments becomes slightly repetitive. Â Â
Their cover of â€śTake On Me,â€ť 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 Pentatonixâ€™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 â€śTake On Me,â€ť â€śCanâ€™t Help Falling in Love,â€ť 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 Elvisâ€™ original version, as the ensemble does a wonderful job at expressing the emotion they put into the song. Â Â Â
Though their performance of the various classics is inventive, Pentatonixâ€™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 Pentatonixâ€™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