Album Review: “The Best of Pentatonix Christmas”

Original members Kristen Madonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Kevin Olusola, along with newly added bass, Matt Salee, combine their voices to create the worldwide sensation that is Pentatonix. I have been an avid listener of this Grammy-winning a capella group since their creation in 2011. They have both recreated popular songs and written every musical genre, but their more traditional pop music has nothing on their Christmas albums. The release of their fifth Christmas album, “The Best of Pentatonix Christmas,” on November 20, 2019, truly brought the spirit of Christmas.

This album is the perfect combination of songs from past albums and new ones, upbeat songs and serene ones. They repeat some of their most popular songs “Mary, Did You Know,” “Hallelujah” and “White Winter Hymnal,” and add “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Joyful, Joyful” and more. The melding of their voices is surreal and the perfect tone and harmonies make each song uniformly crisp and appealing to the ear. 

 In “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” a traditionally instrumental song, Pentatonix creates a beautiful sound using only their voices. The singers described it as being extremely difficult to arrange and sing, but when I listened to it I found it captivating and flawless. The most jaw-dropping song in the album is the dubbing of their rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” with one that Whitney Houston sang before her passing. Hearing one of the most amazing singers come back to life with the help of Pentatonix is beautiful and emotional.

My personal favorite song, “God Only Knows” was added to their repertoire this year. Originally sung by the Beach Boys in 1966, Pentatonix turns a classic into a holiday tune. I enjoy the fact that it isn’t a traditional Christmas song, and the upbeat tone of the song is one that is easy to listen to. “Grown-Up Christmas List,” a more solemn and thought provoking song, is beautifully executed and features Kelly Clarkson, the original singer. The lyrics, “no more lives torn apart, that wars would never start,” is  relevant in today’s society. 

Every year, Pentatonix’s Christmas albums seem to improve. Their sound becomes more united and clear. Having listened to every single one of their albums, the progression of their musical abilities is noticeable. If you’re in search of a new Christmas album, look no further than the culmination of this group’s talents, “The Best of Pentatonix Christmas.”

 

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