(Wow, I am really playing fast and loose with the timing of these posts.)
I think the record is clear on my love of all things reality singing shows. I’ve at least tried almost all of them: American Idol, The Voice, Rising Star (remember Josh Groban’s comp that lasted not too long?) and most recently Sing It On. If you have Netflix I recommend Sing It On if you are into this kind of thing – I watched the whole season while I was sick on a Saturday and the musical geek in me ate it up. There is, let’s just say, an appropriate amount of DRAMA.
I also watch The Sing-Off and that’s how I discovered the group Pentatonix. Guys, they are the BEST EVER. If you don’t know about The Sing-Off, here are a few details. It was a competition for a cappella groups. A cappella groups, I should tell you, are very fond of saying that they “don’t use any instruments” in the making of their music. Except their voice, of course. ‘Cause that’s an instrument.
Nick Lachey of 98* fame hosts the show and he is kind of awful at it, but the judges are more than enough to make up for that fact. Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) and Ben Folds (MUSICAL GENIUS) anchored past seasons and artists Nicole Scherzinger (season 1), Sara Bareilles (seasons 2-3), and Jewel (season 4) each took a turn rounding out the panel.
With the exception of Nicole–I never got much out of her critiques–the panel has some seriously serious musical chops. I am not kidding when I call Ben Folds a musical genius. That’s probably, like, an insult because he is so much more than that.
This show is all about pure musicianship and you can tell the difference right away. There’s a camaraderie that emerges from the time spent on musical arrangements, harmonies, and performance with all the groups. A Cappella is a community and it’s so incredibly heartwarming.
Pentatonix is the five member group that won The Sing-Off back in 2011 and they’ve had a remarkable rise to popularity between now and then. I just bought their most recent album and it’s been looping in my car for the past 3 weeks. So legit. Almost too legit to quit.
- Their story gives hope to choir participants in high schools and colleges everywhere. Listen, if I had had more musically gifted friends and had gone to high school during the YouTube years, I could BE IN Pentatonix. I mean, they are WAY more talented than I am, don’t get me wrong. But their roots were in choir and vocal competitions. https://www.youtube.com/embed/t2XBMWRK4Mw“>That’s how the core three started the group. If I had a nickel for every time I donned a black choir dress and performed in recitals, formal school competitions, and/or cantatas, I would be a rich woman. Just ask my sisters, they had to attend every one. 😉
- They set the bar for YouTube channels. Period. Boy, they are gifted at entertaining. All you have to do is check out one of their YouTube channel videos. My favorites are The Evolution of Music, The Wizard of Ahhs, The ‘NSYNC Medley, and The Little Drummer Boy. They make a cappella music relevant, cool, and wicked fun to watch which is why I think they’re climbing the ranks in the music biz.
- They go way back and their friendship = awesome music. I think it’s so amazing that three high school friends started on a course that brought them where they are today. The harmonies aren’t the only things that are tight.
- They are grounded and accept all the success with humility. I watched the Netflix documentary “Pentatonix: On My Way Home” (don’t judge, I am a true fan) and I was really moved at how overcome they were when they performed in their hometown for their parents, choir teaches, high school friends, and a community that helped them get to this point in their career. The way they take time for the fans and interact with them also reflects how grateful they are for each other and everyone else in the support system.
- The music comes first. Their musical innovation is ground-breaking. They have covered tons of Top 40 songs and I love how their arrangements bring out different colors of the music. They are musicians that hone their craft and keep striving to get better. This latest album was mostly original music, and it’s awesome. They created each song with special care so that they could easily live on the radio with current artists. Just listen to their latest single “Can’t Sleep Love”.
Happy Friday, Everyone!