Christmas albums have proven to be a safe, quality road for Pentatonix to take. Between their previous Christmas album That’s Christmas to Me reaching the second spot on the Billboard 200 charts and the general success of their other albums and YouTube videos, it makes sense that they would revisit the formula. Now that they’re tackling it again with their second Christmas album, A Pentatonix Christmas, it’s easy to see that it wasn’t just a fluke.
Given the obvious a capella style of their music, they offer some interesting twists on these Christmas classics in terms of style. The opening track, O Come, All Ye Faithful, sounds almost as if it was ripped straight from the soundtrack for The Lion King in terms of its backing vocals and voice effects used, while Up On The Housetop takes on an R&B slant, which is a nice break of pace from traditional Christmas covers of these traditional and classic songs. The first half of the album is light on highlights outside of these songs, but the second half is where it picks up.
The two original songs written by the band themselves, The Christmas Sing-Along and Good to Be Bad, are brighter covers with more of a light-hearted tint to them, and are both highly enjoyable. This is especially good because the second half of the album is where it takes a darker tone sonically. Coventry Carol drops the mood roughly after The Christmas Sing-Along, and following it up with other sombre covers such as Coldest Winter makes it feel even bleaker. Far from ruining the album’s flow, however, these are some of the strongest covers to be found. Hallelujah in particular is a show-stopper, with an amazing vocal arrangement and a general presence that’s astoundingly powerful.
So while it is just another Christmas album in essence, Pentatonix do enough to shake it up and keep things interesting. It’s a brilliant step up from their already popular previous Christmas album, and a generally solid continuation of their discography in general. Whether you’re a Pentatonix fan or just someone looking to get in the Christmas spirit, A Pentatonix Christmas is a solid choice for your holiday music needs.