Unwind with Pentatonix
When I first heard of Pentatonix and its music, I was astonished by the way it was able to create such realistic sound effects that resembled an instrumental supplement with nothing more than a combination of vocal harmonization and beatboxing. With the release of the Pentatonix (Deluxe Version) album, the group manages to amaze me once again with its unique, fresh take on contemporary pop music. This album features a collection of notable covers and original tracks, a broad variety that either got me to dance along with its catchy beat or left me feeling calm and at ease.
The particular combination of songs in this album creates a large contrast of tones and moods. Its single “Can’t Sleep Love” is filled with deep, resonating bass notes mixed with a rhythmic beat. The slow and steady tempo lets out a soothing feel, which made me sway along with the tune as a sense of relaxation settles into the song. I was able to sit back and unwind while I was listening to the song, as the smooth melody would bring any stressed person to a collected state.
Almost as if they feared that the previous song was too slow, the next track, “Sing,” features a fast, upbeat song composed of powerful vocals and even a short portion of rapping. The contrast between the two songs seems sudden, but it also balances out the tone throughout the rest of the album.
Though I occasionally kicked back to enjoy the relaxing, serene sound of their voices in the softer slow-paced songs of the album, I still preferred tunes that packed a little more energy and zest. For this reason, “Cracked” became my personal favorite track for its rustic blues style and heavy accents of certain phrases and lyrics. The first 25 seconds of the song are almost deceiving, as it starts off with a leisurely beat and a long, low hum in the background. This is followed by a brief second of complete silence before the vocals return with a new resonance and an explosion of sound, as all five members harmoniously sing a short riff. The rhythm that follows is a drastic increase in speed compared to the initial beat of the song, which creates a catchy and head-bobbing melody.
Aside from the originals, the album includes three covers of the pop hits “Where Are Ü Now,” “Cheerleader” and “Lean On.” Instead of creating an exact copy of the original song, the group adds in qualities of its own such as incorporating vocal percussion and altering the initial speed of the song to suit their tastes. The striking dynamic changes and the perfect balance of their voices are also prominent aspects of how Pentatonix is able to make even a cover version genuine to its own style.
With the varying styles of the five vocalists combined to create a single piece of music, along with the diverse range of tracks, the new album includes tracks that appeal to anyone’s tastes. Whether you’re in the mood for a moderate, easy tune or a quick-paced, confident song, give some attention to the Pentatonix album; it’s worth a listen.
By Jessica Huang, Staff writer
Photo Courtesy of RCA Records