Pentatonix (abbreviated as ‘PTX‘) is an a capella group with 5 members: Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Avi Kaplan, and Kevin Olusola. They started their career by competing in The Sing-Off, a singing competition for a capella groups, in which they won the third season. From The Sing-Off, their career started to rising after their debut EP ‘PTX Vol I‘ released. They’ve also won Grammy Awards for 3 consecutive years; 2015-2016 for ‘Best Arrangement, Instrumental or a capella‘ and 2017 for ‘Best Country Duo/Group Performance‘.
And now here they are, releasing a new Extended Plays called “PTX Vol IV: Classics“, and I, as a big fan, am gonna do a review for you because I’ve been listening to this EP since it’s officially out at midnight! So here it goes!
Track 1: Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody is such a classic and iconic song by the legendary band, Queen, and it has been covered so many times, and yet Pentatonix made a rendition of this song and it’s perfect! like who knew 5 people could make such an amazing rendition with all the complicated and beautiful harmonies that the song have. The best part is actually the guitar solo, which is sung by Mitch Grassi (yes you read that right, it is sung) he really nailed the guitar part in which gave me chills. You know the original song has this ‘magical-supernatural’ vibes from their lyrics and melody, and I think Pentatonix has succeeded at creating those vibes because I honestly got chills from this rendition.
Track 2: Imagine
Imagine is originally written and performed by John Lennon, and the message of this song is about encouraging the listener about a world of peace. I think Pentatonix succeeded at delivering the message with their rendition. Their rendition is really soothing and calming for everyone who listens to it; it’s like they’re asking you to close your eyes for a moment and listen to the lyrics closely and start imagining! I really love the overtones part after the second chorus where they sing “…live as one”, and the note just keeps getting higher and higher.
Track 3: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
This song was such a hit in the 40’s originally sung by The Andrew Sisters and popularized by Bette Midler in 1972. The intro is quite catchy because they use this sound effect like they’re singing from vintage radio and it’s totally spot on. This song is actually my personal favorite from the EP because they nailed the classical vibe in the 3 parts harmonies and they also added a bit of ‘modern’ touch in it with the beatbox sung by Kevin Olusola. I’ve always been so impressed with their ability to sound like a certain music instrument. In this track, somebody did a trumpet’s sound for the beginning and the end of the song and it’s just making it more perfect.
Track 4: Somewhere Over The Rainbow
This song is originally performed by Judy Garland in a hit movie The Wizard of Oz. Honestly, their rendition is just okay for me. It’s good, sure, but they only make it sound like a choir performance with Kirstin as a soloist and everyone else are backups (though Kevin provides some sound effects). I’m not as impressed as I was for other songs. They actually sang this version for Todrick Hall’s video ‘The Wizard of Aaahs’ but only the beginning part and it sounds exactly like this one. I don’t feel any surprises from this song, though Kirstin’s vocal is great as always, especially when she belts the final note and blends it with the backups; it gave me chills.
Track 5: Take on Me
This song was originally written and performed by Norwegian band A-Ha. Pentatonix really nailed the song. The song itself is synthetic pop, which is obviously difficult to be made a capella, but Pentatonix actually nailed it to make this song sounds as close to synthetic song sounds like. Kevin’s beat-box is really spot on in this song. For example, during the chorus, you could hear the beatbox’s rhythm changes significantly and it makes the song catchy.
Track 6: Can’t Help Falling in Love
I’m really amazed by how they covered this song. It’s just so simple and minimal which actually makes the song really soothing and relaxing. Originally sung by Elvis Presley, Pentatonix really made this song sound even sweeter and more beautiful by their simplicity at singing this.
Track 7: Jolene (ft. Dolly Parton)
A collaboration with the original singer? Perfect! Pentatonix and Dolly Parton’s energies here are so synergistic, thus making the song sounds really great. This rendition also won the 2017 Grammy Awards for ‘Best Country/Duo Group Performance” so there’s nothing more I can say.
So those are my reviews, track by track of the extended plays, and now I suggest that you buy the EP. It’s available on iTunes or Amazon! Meanwhile, you should totally listen to the EP from the Spotify player below! enjoy! Don’t forget to follow Pentatonix on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!