An A Capella Christmas With A Twist From Pentatonix

December 13, 2013

Comprising of the five vocalists; Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola, Pentatonix became a household name in the US after winning season three of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” vocal competition and it’s easy to see why. Each member brings a unique skill to the group, the backbone of their sound being provided by Hoying, Grassi and Maldonado, with Kaplan adding essential bass and Olusola exceptional percussion acrobatics.

In 2012 Pentatonix brought us “PTXmas” and we were impressed. As the second EP from the group, it simultaneously marked their first Christmas release and showcased the quintet’s ability to transform classic Christmas hits into beautiful vocal arrangements with added innovation and gravitas.

Fast-forward to this Christmas and the quintet have re-issued “PTXmas” under the title “PTXmas Deluxe” and added two tracks bringing the total number of festive arrangements to eight, with one that stands out quite extensively; “Little Drummer Boy”. The reason? It has just debuted at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the highest-charting Christmas hit of all-time in the US.

Featuring the incredible vocal percussion techniques of Olusola, “Little Drummer Boy” is contemporary enough to distinguish from the original to such a degree as to make it unique whilst still holding true to the original feel of the classic tune. It is, in fact, quite remarkable that there is no actual percussion featured on this song, the ‘instruments’ you’re hearing are purely voices.

The 2012 edition of “PTXmas” consisted of: “Angels We Heard on High,” “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” “O Holy Night,” “Carol of the Bells,” “The Christmas Song,” and “This Christmas.” As well as “Little Drummer Boy”, this Deluxe edition also includes “Go Tell it on the Mountain” a wonderfully executed Gospel rendition utilising Grassi’s joyful solo with the other four group members adding a sense of urgency to the celebrational track.

There are so many Christmas albums to choose from every year, many of which are outstanding, but this is one we would recommend to everyone. It’s innovative, it’s strong and you may think you know these classics but trust us, you’ve never heard them like this before!

Tell us your thoughts at @Weknowthedj

-Lucy Jenkins



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