In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Vocal sensations and winners of season 3 of NBC's The Sing-Off, Pentatonix are taking instrument-free music far beyond anyone's wildest expectations. Named after the world's most widely recognized five-note musical scale, this vocal quintet has transformed one of pop music's purest and most soulful expressions into an exciting future, filled with limitless sonic possibility. Pairing their intricate arrangements with cleverly re-imagined pop songs, Pentatonix have quickly cultivated a sound and style that is entirely unique and undeniably infectious.
Pentatonix is comprised of lead vocalists Scott Hoying (21), Kirstie Maldonado (20) and Mitch Grassi (20), vocal bass Avi Kaplan (23) and beatboxer Kevin "K.O." Olusola (24) and, while the individuals would maintain that each of their fellow band members is irreplaceable, the fact remains that 24-hours before their audition for The Sing-Off they still hadn't all officially met.
A freshman at The University of Southern California, Scott decided to audition for the show and enlisted childhood friends and fellow Arlington, Texas-natives Kirstie and Mitch. As a high school vocal trio, they had found success both locally and online thanks to their cover of Lady Gaga's "Telephone." Determined to add depth and a distinctive dynamic to the group, Scott set out to add more vocalists, first adding Avi, who'd built himself a reputation as one of the most talented vocal basses in Southern California, and eventually took to YouTube where he found the video for "Julie-O," featuring Kevin's cello-boxing (simultaneously beatboxing and performing the song on his cello).
Finally a fully formed group, Pentatonix perfected their sound (and their chemistry) throughout the season, naturally developing a signature style and a knack for arranging songs that pulled equally from the five individuals' strengths. Despite drawing from a dizzyingly eclectic set of musical genres - the group cites pop, jazz, r&b, indie, folk, dubstep and electronica as just a few of their inspirations - the quintet seemed to mesh magically, evident in their modern interpretation of The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star," or their epic adaptation of Florence and the Machines' "The Dog Days Are Over." Before long, Pentatonix had become a legitimate musical force, armed with a collective confidence and swagger that would eventually propel them to win the competition.
Now a year removed from The Sing-Off, Pentatonix - who have all relocated to Los Angeles - have continued to build upon their already fiercely loyal fanbase, introducing a slew of new material via their YouTube channel, including covers of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know," Fun's "We Are Young," and Psy's "Gangnam Style." The three videos - featured by Perez Hilton, The Huffington Post, RyanSeacrest.com and Nightline - have eclipsed 17 million views, collectively, while the channel has quickly reached 30 million views, buoyed by its roughly 250,000 subscribers.
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Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Review: Four men, one woman Pentatonix, Season 3 Sing-Off Champs, places a sumptuous slice of holiday cheer on our mantelpiece, "That's Christmas to Me." Some of our favorites among the 10 cuts are reinvented traditional hymns like the opening cut "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Mary Did You Know," and "Silent Night;" popular Christmas songs like "Sleigh Ride," a "Winter Wonderland"/"Don't Worry, Be Happy" medley that features guest artist Tori Kelley, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy;" and three songs new to our ears: Robin Pechnold's "White Winter Hymnal," Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez's "Let It Go," and the beautiful, nostalgic title track, written by Pentatonix. One of our favorite Sing-Off winners, Pentatonix truly celebrates the human voice with stunning arrangements, unbelievable leads and harmonies and vocals that redefine a cappella. Don't miss this one!
Songlist: Hark The Herald Angels Sing, White Winter Hymnal, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland, That's Christmas To Me, Mary Did You Know?, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Silent Night, Let It Go
Review: Pentatonix, Season 3 winner of The Sing-Off, brings us their third finely-crafted album, simply named "III." There are "only" 7 tunes here, which is kind of like saying the Sistine Chapel is only a painted ceiling. "Problem," by Kotecha, Martin, Salmanzadeh and Kelly, is a rhythmic, rappish love tune, "On My Way Home," by Evigan, Martin, Lomax, Johnson, Johnson & Coffee, is a gorgeous anthem with a soaring chorus, "La La Latch," by Khan, El Kaubaisy, Mbabazy, Smith, Murray, Omer and Napier is sweetly delicate and complex; "Rather Be," by Patterson, Napier, Marshall & Chatto, is a jazzy, upbeat love song, "See Through" by Angeria, Koiv and Kirjonan, features strong vocal percussion and sweetly melodic leads; the oddly-named "Papaoutai Feat. Lindsay Sterling" by Paul Von Haver, sung in French, is a salsa-flavored, rhythmic dance tune and "Standing By," written by the group, is gently poetic that builds to anthemic, then returns, a gem that seemed to end way too soon. Five man, one woman Pentatonix creates wonderfully arranged, multi-dimensional pieces that fill the speakers with rich, perfectly harmonic sound. If you're into a cappella, as we are sure you are, you'll want to own and listen to "III" to experience what sounds and harmonies, that, although rare, are now possible!
Songlist: Problem, On My Way Home, La La Latch, Rather Be, See Through, Papaoutai Feat, Standing By
Review: Winners of the third season of NBC's The Sing-Off, this songbook from Texas-based a cappella group Pentatonix is presented here in arrangements with chord symbols, lead vocal lines and full vocal harmonies.
Songlist: Ah-Ha, The Baddest Girl, Hey Momma/Hit The Road Jack, I Need Your Love, Love Again, Love You Long Time, Natural Disaster, Run To You, Show You How To Love, Starships, Valentine, We Are Young
I Need Your Love
Review: Winners of the Sing-Off and now the most popular group in contemporary a cappella Pentatonix has a touring schedule that's so busy it makes you wonder how they find time to create so many videos. These YouTube videos usual garners up to 20 million views each (yes 20 million) making them one of the most successful musical acts on You Tube. This is their third CD release and they are in top form. Produced by the talented a cappella wonder kid Ben Bram these are some of the most rewarding tracks for lovers and connoisseurs of contemporary a cappella with intense harmonies and dazzling vocals. The disc also includes a couple of Pentatonix originals that deftly show their versatility. We are one of the very few places where one can buy physical copies of the CD and this is one recording every fan should have in their collection.
Songlist: Can't Hold Us, Natural Disaster, Love Again, Valentine, Hey Momma/Hit The Road Jack, I Need Your Love, Run to You, Daft Punk, Save the World / Don't You Worry Child
Review: 4-man, 1 woman Pentatonix, or PTX, are vocal sensations and winners of season 3 of NBC's The Sing-Off, who are pushing the instrument-free envelope. Named after the 5-note musical scale, this quintet has paired their intricate arrangements with brilliantly re-invented pop songs. Lead vocalists Scott, Kirstie and Mitch, bass Avi and beatboxer Kevin, all Southern Californians in their early 20s, got together to audition for The Sing-Off, and created a sound and style that are unique and deliciously infectious! "Volume I" is 6 tunes, "Starships" is a techno pop rhythmic dance tune with salsa and hip hop flavors, and one of the most danceable a cappella tunes we've heard; "The Baddest Girl," written by the group and Ben Bram is a complex, driving, rhythmic torch song, and "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Luiz Bonea and Walter de Backer is a poignant, memorable tune about a former love. Cut 4 is a wonderfully-arranged cover of Imogen Jennifer Jane Heap's "Aha!" that keeps on coming with powerful beatboxing and intertwined rhythms, and "Show You How to Love" is another sweet group original with a top 40 hook. "Love You Long Time" by Salaam Remland and Jazmine Sullivan is a powerful, driving love song. Bottom line: Pentatonix is re-inventing a cappella all over the place, they're one of the hottest vocal bands on the planet, and "Volume I" is one of the best of the year. Enough said!
Songlist: Starships, The Baddest Girl, Somebody That I Used To Know, Aha!, Show You How To Love, Love You Long Time
Review: Groundbreaking southern California winners of NBC's The Sing-Off, season 3, mixed (1 woman, 4 men) quintet Pentatonix has re-addressed the a cappella envelope with their transformation of pop hits and innovative arrangements. Just in time for the season, the group ducked into the recording studio and left this brightly-wrapped all a cappella 6-song EP under our tree, and we have to say, PTX has re-invented the Christmas album! Cut 1 is a stunning, beatboxed, hip-hopped, driving version of "Angels We Have Heard On High" that is unlike any carol we've ever heard; #2, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is a powerfully dramatic, rhythmic arrangement with roaring wind effects; #3 "Carol Of The Bells" drives and soars like Santa after a few drinks on the Interstate, #4 "The Christmas Song" is a bluesy finger-popper with a sweet tenor lead and even some faux trombone; #5 "O Holy Night" is more traditional, harmonic, soaring and sweet, and #6 "This Christmas" is a romantic, driving pop hit that promises big changes in the relationship this season. Pentatonix clearly has the vocal chops, arranging talent and the (circular Christmas tree ornaments) to use them. Watch out, Santa!
Songlist: Angels We Have Heard on High, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Carol of the Bells, The Christmas Song, O Holy Night, This Christmas