Tuesday, 2 December 2014

BLOGMAS #2: THAT'S CHRISTMAS TO ME PENTATONIX ALBUM!

Hey guys, 

Welcome to Day 2 of BLOGMAS, today I wanted to share a wonderful and talented Christmas album that I have been listening to non-stop since mid November and it's by a few masters in acapella music-making called Pentatonix. They have been around for quite a while and their youtube has gained quite a following since they have formed and I believe they were on an acapella tv show once. Anyway, they have come out with what I believe is their second Christmas album called That's Christmas to Me and it features an array of beloved Christmas carols and songs that we have all grown up with over the years featuring nothing but their beautiful voices. 

If you didn't already know, Pentatonix is made up of 5 people Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirsten Maldonado, Kevin Olusola and Avi Kaplan. At first Scott, Mitch and Kirsten began a trio at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. They entered a competition that a local radio station was holding and performed "Telephone" on it. Despite not winning the competition their performance was able to receive recognition from their peers and from then on they decided to start arranging songs. Fast forward to the competition Sing Off which is where they recruited Kevin and Avi to the group and thus the wickedly talented group Pentatonix was born! 

You can purchase the album for just £4.99 on iTunes or 0.99p if you want to buy your favourites but in all seriousness every single song on this album has so much craft and work put into it. £4.99 is definitely not enough.

1. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
This traditional Christmas Carol remake stays true to the classic, it simply features their voices singing in harmony with one another in a very mellow, legato pace. The thickness of the song is made by the layers of their voices on top of eachother and without any beat boxing involved it captures the simplicity of just singing, and singing fantasticly may I add.



2. White Winter Hymnal
I must look up the lyrics to this song as I have a feeling that they are way more melancholy then it lets on. This song features a lot of tapping, clapping and snapping of different parts of the body, all of them with their hands. Their voices again, layer onto one another to create a beautiful crescendo of voices. The tapping, clappinng and snapping make this song  a possible descendant of the Cup Song. Check out the Youtube video below to see how it's done:

 

3. Sleigh Ride (one of my favourites)
This song is one of my favourites of all time everything about it just screams Christmas, bells are being rung and everything about this song just oozes happiness and candy canes. Kristie takes the lead in this song and executes it beautifully.




4. Winter Wonderland / Don't Worry Be Happy (another one of my favourites)
This song is another one of my favourites simply because Pentatonix did what they do so wonderfully, a mash-up. Who knew Winter Wonderland and Bob Marley's Don't Worry Be Happy would ever go together? Well this is what they gave birth to and that song baby is a wonderfully array of reggae beats and beautiful tones. Tori Kelly kills it in this song, I love the thickness and purity that her voice holds!
Check out their video here featuring Tori Kelly:




5. That's Christmas To Me
This song again portrays the simplicity of a song using the power of their voices, with this they are able to convey an emotion that doesn't come about by just shout-singing, the beauty is measured in the softness and calmness of the song which creates such a relaxing atmosphere. 
Check out their music video for this song here, it features an array of home videos from their childhood that are so cute:




6. Mary, Did you Know?
This song is so powerful, God is so present within this song that reveals the true meaning of Christmas which I think is such a beautiful message to convey amidst their huge fan base. Their voices are used in such a magnificent soulful and meaningful way and the words ring so true. I encourage you to look up the lyrics and really meditate on those words that are being sung. Thank the Lord that the King came so humbly down to earth to save us all.



7. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (one more of my favourites)
A marvellously arranged piece of acapella beauty this piece is, remaking Tchaikovsky's wonderful piece they incorporated beat boxing into classical music and used their incredible range to portray each musical instrument used in an orchestra. When the beat drops you'll have your mouth left open thinking how the heck do you even acheive this using no electronic beats?




8. It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Avi takes this song on the Christmas album and does an incredible job, I still can't get over how deep his voice can go, it's a voice well worth listening too. 



9. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (my final favourite)
This is another favourite song of mine on the album, they used Kevin's awesome beat boxing skills as what I believe to be the focal point of the song. As always their harmonies are en pointe but Kevin and Avi are the stars here using their thick and deep tone and range as the main building block on which this song is built on.



10. Silent Night 
This song is strong and reliant mostly on the harmonies of each voice, it is a slow and true representation of the Christmas carol in terms of pace where their strong use of vibrato creates that of a professionally trained choir. Every part is thought of carefully and you can tell because every harmony is different and successfully weaves in and around each other and their connection to eachother I feel, is heard  in this piece.



11. Let It Go
Although I am one of Frozen's biggest fans, this is actually the least song I have listened to on this album, it may just be the fact that my ears are tired of hearing this song but other than that from the very few times I've listened to it I can safely confirm that Pentatonix are genuine musical geniuses.



I hope you enjoyed this post guy, stay up to date with each Blogmas post if you want more, comment down below if you enjoyed this post or if you have any suggestions of other albums I should comment on!
God bless,
All my love,