Top positive review
89 people found this helpful
Not spinning tires.
on November 12, 2013
I've liked Pentatonix since their "Evolution of Music" video. And from all the comments on there, I figured it'd be a good idea to watch their season of The Sing-Off. That's when I fell in love with the way they build music and fill out their sound with so few voices. And you could just connect with each one of them and their specific charisma and quirks on stage.
Their "Dog Days Are Over" and "Love Lockdown" replaced the originals for me.
Now, I liked PTX Volume 1. I respected their more polished sound and it was a nice easy listen. But it felt more like a compilation, and I just wasn't especially interested in the originals of most of those songs to begin with. Their Gotye and fun. covers were especially good, and I liked their original "Show You How to Love."
Fastforward to this week, with PTX, Vol. 2 coming out and it's a whole different story.
1. "Can't Hold Us" -- I liked the Macklemore track just fine, but didn't really get the whole 'song of the summer' hype it was getting. PTX's version, I love. It feels this epic battle chant, as if 20 voices were on the track. Scott, Mitch and Kirstie put so damn much personality into their vocals and every one of them gets a moment to shine, with Avi booming the hook. 9/10
2. "Natural Disaster" -- a PTX original, but you couldn't tell without being told. It sounds familiar, but it's own thing. You can tell how much they've grown as songwriters, because this blends into the album so well. Scott's lead is heartfelt and the whole song is sweet and full of restraint. I'm not a big fan of the hook, but this is pop done well. 8/10
3. "Love Again" -- another PTX original, and again, someone would have to tell you this was an original. It's a really good dance track, very much in the vein of "Show You How To Love," but better even than that. It's getting to the point where I'm not sure how to address PTX originals, when they can stand shoulder to shoulder with their covers, like this does, because I honestly think this is better than anything on PTX, Vol. 1. 9/10
4. "Valentine" -- now, I wasn't especially a fan of the Jessie Ware original. It was an alright track. But the sweet calmness that they approach it with, and their soft harmonies. Mitch comes in so softly underneath the melody, whereas Jessie has a bit of a pushier voice and sort of tells you, instead of pleading with you. They grab you from the first note and they proved they can make headphone music as well as speaker/dance music. 9.5/10
5. "Hey Momma / Hit the Road Jack" -- half original/half cover. Coming in, this was the track I was most looking forward to. A modern remix of Ray Charles' Hit the Road Jack. Now, this is really well done. I love the transitions and how they worked in the original. It had great bounce to it and the 2nd half was the song I wanted the whole thing to be. It was just a bit too sweet and lovey dance club, when I wanted more of a bite to it? 8/10
6. "I Need Your Love" -- a cover of a Calvin Harris original. And I gotta just flat out say it. It feels like a cover and it doesn't quite stand next to the original, or feel like a special different take on it. It feels like something that maybe wouldn't have even made it onto PTX Volume 1. It's not bad, but it is the weakest track on the record to me. 7/10
7. "Run to You" -- an original. Wow. That's just about all I have to say. 10/10
If ever those PTX kids made an original song that could legitimately chart well and break through, it's this. This is one of the best songs I've heard all year, and the best original they've ever made. It's gorgeous and somber and deep and it never lets you go from the first note. One of the most beautiful songs I've heard in a good while. Again...10/10
8. "Daft Punk" -- a medley of Daft Punk songs including: Technologic, One More Time (several times), Get Lucky, Digital Love, Harder Better Faster Stronger, Television Rules the Nation & Get Lucky. They. Killed. It. 10/10
It is absolutely perfect, and that's coming from someone who always knew and decently liked Daft Punk songs, but never loved them like a lot of people. They'll make you love it. The transitions are so brilliant, and ever single of them has at least a couple standout moments. My favorite being Avi singing Television Rules the World. I'm not sure they'll ever make a more inventive and talent-stretching song than this again, because this is them at the absolute height of their powers. Again...10/10.
9. "Save the World / Don't You Worry Child" -- a mashup of Swedish House Mafia's originals. It's an album exclusive track, and it is such a beautiful way to end the album. Save the World on its own would be a good, albeit sort of 'same ol PTX' dance track for them to cover, but this mashup is seamless, and Scott's vocals on Don't You Worry Child are so heartfelt, that it just raises the whole record up. It's beautiful, catchy and it makes you wanna dance. It's a testament to all of their strengths and interests and talents all at once. 9.5/10
It goes without saying how great Avi and Kevin are, but the PTX kids really outdid themselves with this one. Their first album felt more like something they had to put out to capitalize on how YouTube famous their songs had made them, but this is just very, very good music. And if you're open to it, one of best dance albums of the year.
Standout tracks: "Run to Me" "Daft Punk" & "Save the World / Don't You Worry Child"