I don’t even know how to start this article without saying if you haven’t bought this album yet, drop what you’re doing and go buy it. Pentatonix released their first, almost all original album on Oct. 16 which, depending on the version you bought, boasted 13 to 20 songs. They released three different versions of their album: a standard, a deluxe version and a Target exclusive deluxe version that includes three more songs (which is one more original) than the deluxe you can buy on iTunes.
We at The Daily Quirk have listened to their new album, multiple times, and have created a track-by-track breakdown of why you should buy it and what to expect:
- Na Na Na: Mitch headlines this catchy, upbeat song. It’s actually one of my personal favorites on the entire album, and it kind of just makes me want to groove. The best way to explain is it’s a feel good song and it’s a great way to kick off this album.
- Can’t Sleep Love: So. Much. Jazziness. This song was released early, and to say that I was obsessed with it from day one is an understatement. It’s so smooth, and it’s such an interesting contrast to the rest of the songs on this album.
- Sing: What I love about this song is that Kevin, their beat boxer, has a little rap section. Also that they released a music video with this that is start studded with YouTube stars and celebrities. You can check that out by clicking here. Plus, it totally makes me want to get up and sing – at the top of my lungs, like no one is looking.
- Misbehavin’: This song is adorable to me, but it’s not your classic love song. I think it’s a great testament to today’s society. The song is all about being out, having a good time, maybe having one too many yet still wishing they were with their lover, doing these things with them. They might be a million miles away, but they ain’t misbehavin’ and they want to be with you.
- Ref: When I first heard this song I kind of thought of the vibe that ET by Katy Perry gave me. A good underlying beat, an instant hit and Scott kills the vocals. Best line? “You made your bed, you know the rest.” Also, can we talk about the sass that Kirstie brings? Slay, girl, slay.
- First Things First: This song reminds me of a Justin Timberlake song, circa Cry Me A River. Maybe I’m alone on that, but there’s just something mid 2000s about this song that takes me back. The chorus is great, and is probably where that JT vibe is striking me.
- Rose Gold: This song is also so different than most of the songs on the album. It’s slower, but definitely radio worthy. It’s a song that over the course of listening to it probably 30 times since I woke up the morning of the release has grown on me a lot. It’s smooth and a breath of fresh air after the heavy hitting songs that came before it.
- If I Ever Fall In Love (feat. Jason Derulo): One of the few covers on this album, I’m thrilled they got to work with Jason Derulo. Plus, this song is amazing in itself. I honestly don’t think PTX can do wrong when covering a song, and when you add a superstar like Derulo, well, it only makes sense this song rocks. Of course, after hearing all the originals, it does make for a stark contrast that was a little jarring. I think it would have been better received at the end of the album with the rest of the covers.
- Cracked: This song moves. There’s so much passion, and the beat is sick. It’s so unique to the rest of the songs on here, and I attribute that to the fact that Avi and Kevin killed it on the bass lines and beat boxing. It’s got soul and that’s what helps make this song so catchy.
- Water: Kill it, Kirstie! Seriously, the moment I heard that she had this song to herself it was an instant favorite. She has an amazing voice, and it was so refreshing to get to hear her stretch her wings in an album that was predominantly run by Scott (not that I’m seriously complaining). It’s slower, mellower but not lacking anything that I wouldn’t love from a PTX song.
- Take Me Home: The end of this album begins to wind down – in a calming way – at least when it comes to the originals. You start off fast paced with songs that make you want to dance, and then you get to this song and it’s calming. It’s nice to hear them do something like Cracked or Ref, and then also, on the same album, do something like this with just as much passion but on the other side of the musical spectrum.
- New Year’s Day: I. Love. This. Song. It’s a sleeper song that you might be inclined to skip on first listen but give it time. There is something about that moves you once you get past the slower start about the apple dropping in times square, and singing auld lang syne. It’s got a feel to it that makes you feel empowered. Think Great Big World-esque anthem, but a capella. Yeah, it’s amazing.
- Light In The Hallway: Avi can do no wrong. Honestly, this mans voice is that of an angels. A deep voiced, sultry angel. This is such a great way to end the originals, and like all things Avi does, this song makes you want to find your loved ones, give them a tight hug and tell them you love them. This feels like a nod to his final song on their last album PTX Vol. 5. If I had to give you one word to describe this song, it’d be lullaby. Great one to close your eyes to and drift to sleep.
- Where Are U Now (Deluxe Version Only): One of the four songs that was pre-released when pre-orders started, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this cover. It’s a great new take on a fast EDM song, and considering PTX’s love for EDM, it was nice to see them take it a non-obvious route.
- Cheerleader (Deluxe Version Only): This song was also pre-released, and is also a great example of their ability to take a song and transform it. I think it can be said, without doubt, PTX is talented, and each time they cover a chart topper, it makes me wonder why they didn’t think of singing it first. PTX that is.
- Lean On (Deluxe Version Only): In an album that really doesn’t show off their talents for EDM type music, it was nice to see them take on a song that is close to that. This cover, while not as hard hitting as the original, is still great. And Mitch kills the vocals.
- Can’t Sleep Love (feat. Tink) (Deluxe Version Only): The final pre-released song from the album, and is a reprise of their original Can’t Sleep Love. It features an artist named Tink, and she has a verse that really compliments the song. Rumor also has it that it’s been playing on the radio. I have yet to confirm this rumor for myself, but I promise if it does the whole world would know it.
- To The River (Target Deluxe Edition Exclusive): An original tucked away on a Target Deluxe Edition that you will not want to miss. Like the rest of their songs they’ve created for their debut, it’s got a great moving beat, it’s radio worthy and it’s catchy. I think I just said the same thing three times, that’s how great it is. If you’re going to splurge on the album, go to Target and make sure you get this one, it’s worth the extra original.
- Problem (live from On My Way Home Tour) (Target Deluxe Edition Exclusive): I don’t think many artists can proudly go into a concert knowing they will sound better live than on the recording, but PTX can. It was a great idea to include some live recordings from their last tour. As always, the cover is hypnotic and it’s great to hear them have some creative liberty singing it live.
- Aha! (live from On My Way Home Tour) (Target Deluxe Edition Exclusive): One of my favorite covers they’ve done of all time, by an artist I really love, and hearing them perform it live was a much deserved treat. I honestly think this is better than their studio recorded version of this song, partially because they could feed off the crowd.
So, what have I learned? Scott is the leading man – he was the main voice throughout most of the album but I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. There was no EDM style music, which was kind of a disappointment since they do it so well but it was made up by the eclectic mix of styles they presented in it’s place. And lastly, having this big of a debut album really has spoiled me. Next album, I’ll expect nothing less than fully original, and maybe a few more songs.
Now it’s your turn: which song had you moving? Which song is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!