Music Review: The Pentatonix A Capella Christmas Album

     It’s the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and all ears harken to the sweet sounds of the holiday seasons. There are so many classics such as “Jingle Bells,” “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” and of course, my personal favorite, “Silent Night.” This year, in continuing with the ever growing trend of a capella music, there is a new album out with all the classic holiday songs, but this time sung a capella. Pentatonix, the incredible Sing Off champions and YouTube sensation released their holiday album, “That’s Christmas To Me.” It has already set the record for the most holiday albums sold by a singing group. Each song is unique and complete with the Pentatonix’s signature crisp, clean, beautiful style. “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” begins in a traditional choral style then transitions into a funky percussion-filled beat. “White Winter Hymnal” takes the Fleet Foxes haunting composition and turns it into a harmony-filled chant, while still maintaining the playfulness of the song. The chords in these songs are rich and produce beautiful melodies that fill my ears with what my former choir teacher would call, an “eargasm.”     One of the more surprising songs on the album is a cover of the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” a song traditionally performed by a classical orchestra. The Pentatonix are known for their covers of instrumental music, particularly techno and EDM, however, all of these songs have lyrics of some sort. This instrumental cover uniquely captures the essence of this beautiful piece and it is as if no instruments are missing at all. Pentatonix’s original song, “That’s Christmas to Me” will no doubt become a new holiday classic. It contains all the elements of the quintessential Christmas song: vivid imagery, a catchy melody, and a Pentatonix staple of majestic, blending harmonies.

          Another fantastic song on the album is the unlikely mashup of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” Originally I was a bit skeptical of this mashup because both songs are very different. However, after listening to the song a couple of times through, there are in fact similarities that compliment each other into a beautiful composition. In my opinion, the best songs on the album, although they are all fantastic, are “Silent Night” and “Mary, Did You Know”. The Pentatonix never cease to make insanely beautiful choral music that provides an experience that transports the listener to new worlds. The first time I heard this rendition of “Silent Night,” complete with a melodic twist that resembles a Boroquian chant from the Renaissance era, I was almost in tears. The Pentatonix have enhanced the holiday music game and have changed it forever more. I am so beyond excited to hear what’s coming next for this amazing group of singers.