The holiday season always seems to spring upon us earlier each year in a reckless, impulsive oncoming of premature Christmas lights and too-festive-for-fall peppermint lattes. While Christmas purist, like myself, often frown upon this act of seasonal treason, they didn’t seem to mind this year’s quick jump into the holiday spirit, and Pentatonix’s Christmas album might have something to do with that.
As early as October, the five-piece a cappella group had us singing along to Christmas classics even before the Halloween candy was put away. A Pentatonix Christmas, the fourth studio album by the talented singers offered a sweet segue into the winter months with smooth harmonies, skillful beats, and vibrant vocals that made us all want to pretend it was snowing and rock around the Christmas tree.
Now that the season has so beautifully arrived with a chill in the air, there’s no better time to turn your Florida lifestyle into a winter wonderland with A Pentatonix Christmas. This collection of holiday favorites is a great addition to a relaxing night by the fire or a lively Christmas party. Songs like “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” are reimagined with innovative vocals and melodic improvisations, making the album unlike any holiday music compilation.
If you are already a fan of the five fabulous singers, you probably discovered them while surfing YouTube or scrolling through your Facebook feed. After their rise to fame from winning the third season of NBC’s The Sing Off, the group has maintained 11.5 million subscribers to their YouTube channel with over 1.8 billion views. Their channel is the thirteenth top channel on the website.
This is a long way from their humble roots of Arlington, Texas, where Avi Kaplan, Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, and Mitch Grassi combined their talent into a pop powerhouse of vocal medleys with stunningly artistic arrangement. These impressive talents were showcased in their 2012 debut EP, PTX, Volume 1, as well as their first Christmas release of the same year, PTXmas.
Perhaps the most standout song on the album is Pentatonix’s chilling cover of Leonard Cohen’s universal ballad, “Hallelujah.” At a first glance, many listeners might not associate the song with Christmas, but the haunting interpretation of love and divinity has become a cornerstone in the reality of the triumphs and losses of life, emotions that surface every Christmas season as we reminisce on relationships of the present and past. The most sobering fact surrounding the track is its timeliness in relation to Leonard Cohen’s life, who passed away less than a month after the album’s release.
The album also features two original songs, “The Christmas Sing-Along” and “Good to Be Bad,” showing off the undisputed fact that the singers are more than just pretty voices—they are a creative force to be reckoned with.
The album debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at number 3 with 52,000 albums sold in the first week, and it shot to the top of the Billboard’s Holiday Albums chart, becoming the band’s second number one on the chart after their first holiday album.
Pentatonix only continues to impress their audiences, and this Christmas album is sure to sweeten up your chilly nights and ring in the New Year with holiday cheer.