Before “Pitch Perfect,” there was “The Sing-Off.” Before the Barden Bellas and the Barden Treblemakers, there was Pentatonix—the third season winners of NBC’s singing competition show “The Sing-Off.”
I am sure that if you do not remember the group from the show, then you are remembering them from the Internet. I discovered Pentatonix on their YouTube channel, PTXoffical, and then caught some of their sing-off performances later on.
Their videos have become a viral sensation, which include the amazing and recent “Evolution of Beyoncé,” which have garnered more than five million views.
The a cappella group consisting of five vocalists was formed in 2011 in Arlington, TX., as three of the members went to the same high school. One of the members, Scott Hoying, found out about “The Sing-Off” from his former a cappella group and the rest was history.
A year after the release of “PTXmas,” Pentatonix returns with their third extended play album, “Vol. II,” which features covers of popular songs such as the EP-opening “Can’t Hold Us,” “I Need Your Love,” and “Don’t You Worry Child.”
Though the album features carefully-picked covers, Pentatonix collaboratively wrote three original songs that are featured on “Vol. II” and they do not disappoint.
“Natural Disaster” is an upbeat, catchy tune with amazing vocals from Hoying, the equally-impressive vocal bass from Avi Kaplan and the remarkable beat boxing from Kevin Olusola.
“Don’t you worry ‘cause the night is young, dance until the morning sun,” the group chants.
As great as Grassi’s tenor is in “Love Again,” Olusola’s beat boxing skills steals the show, setting the tone of the song with the energy that could be played at a club until the wee hours.
Pentatonix’s “Run to You” is as haunting as it is breathtaking. The group lightly treads the melancholic tone of the song as they touch on loss and despair. “I’ve been settling scores, I’ve been fighting for so long,” they croon.
The song shifts and beautifully builds around the bridge, offering some light into the dark, soulful track.
A highlight on the album is the Daft Punk medley, which features bits of “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” “Get Lucky,” “Digital Love,” and “One More Time.” The arrangements are, to no surprise, insane and impressive. The transition, and change of pace, of one song to another blend seamlessly.
If you are not a fan of a cappella, Pentatonix will have you changing your tune. “Vol. II” demonstrates what Pentatonix does best with their artistic abilities. They display impressive vocal ranges, effective harmonies and creative arrangements. Pentatonix proves that they are one of the best a cappella groups to beat.
Pentatonix’s extended play “Vol. II” is available for digital download on iTunes and available for purchase in stores.
You can also check out “Vol. II” on KSLC 90.3 FM and listen online at www.linfield.edu/kslcfm or stream the station on iTunes.
Vanessa So / KSLC Music Director
Vannessa So can be reached at email@example.com