Everyone’s (and mine) a capella group has just released their newest album and I was so stoked for them to have their first #1 album because they deserve it so much. I had their album on repeat on Spotify since Billboard now includes streaming counts and voila, they were on the #1 album chart a week after the release. I’ve wanted to do this listening party with you guys since then but hey, sometimes, life happens. No worries though, we’re here and hopefully you’re ready for some serious a capella woahs and ahs and doo wops.
1. Na Na Na
A great opener for the album and most probably, for a live concert, as well. It gets you pumped up without getting overwhelmed. It may be noisy at some parts but I can only imagine it to be a great way for fans to interact with them and join them with claps and stomps and the continuous na na na na na.
Imagine: live concert when you’ve lined up for hours and the lights finally comes on and you shriek and you don’t actually hear the artist sing
Favorite Bit: them explosive bass + stomp combo
Favorite Lyric: So why sleep when my dreams looking like reality?
2. Can’t Sleep Love
A slow down from the previous song and their first single from this album. I heard the live version of this via fans on YouTube and I fell in love straight away with the song. They sang this first when they opened for Kelly Clarkson’s Piece by Piece tour. The chorus feels like a typical doo wop a capella song sans the doo wops. I mean, this is something I didn’t expect from Pentatonix because they’re always so energetic with their covers but I’d expect it from any other a capella group.
Imagine: when you’re about to sleep in your cozy bed but your mind just wants to wander away for hours
Favorite Bit: the harmony during caaaaan’t sleeeeep looooove
Favorite Lyric: Uh huh, Yeah
Initially, I didn’t like how it just started right then and there with Avi. I prefer the music video version where they take it slow first before going in with the stomps and claps and Scott belting his heart out. This is a great no brainer song, really. It doesn’t need much to understand what the song is trying to convey and it’s a nice way of capturing their passion for singing. However, everyone sang solo in this song except Kirstie and that makes me a little disappointed? It was nice to hear them express the song in their own ways so I guess I just wanted Kirstie to complete it. Other than that, great song to sing along with.
Imagine: taking a shower and just having your most fun private concert
Favorite Bit: when Scott is belting out at the end (2:25 – 2:30), it reminds me of their Sing Off days when they performed Dog Days are Over, Scott is just so passionate, man
Favorite Lyric: It doesn’t matter if you’re way off track
An easy favorite of mine. I heard it and declared this is it, I read the lyrics and declared this is really is it! Much like Can’t Sleep Love, this song lets them be an a capella group that is familiar to everyone, young and old. A feel good, calming, sweet song, it talks about long distance relationships. Being in one, it made me all lovey dovey. It’s different when you relate to something, most especially a song, because sometimes, if not all the time, songs can express and describe how you feel about something better than you. There’s a “yeah! this song gets me!” factor and that’s a great feeling of validation.
Imagine: daydreaming you and your significant other are swaying to this song
Favorite Bit: the whole song?
Favorite Lyric: ALL OF THE LYRICS, read ‘em if you’re in an LDR
Quite the transition from sweet to heartbreak angst. You wouldn’t believe this is a capella because there’s so much going on and that’s why I’m excited to hear this live. It always blows my mind when they perform their songs and translate studio to live perfectly even without adding back tracks. This song makes me angry but a good kind of angry? It makes me feel strong and that I can do whatever I want despite naysayers.
Imagine: seeing someone who messed you up big time and feel nothing, and then hearing them fail and you’re just there doing your evil laugh
Favorite Bit: Avi’s REF! Play it back!
Favorite Lyric: I did you right, but you went and left, You think this is a game, You ain’t gon’ win cause I’m the ref
6. First Things First
This one, I have to be honest, is not very remarkable at first listen. I’m going to say that this is a weak one? It’s a song that you understand exist and is a part of the album but it’s not something special. The message is great though! I’ve read the lyrics and it’s actually about setting your priorities right. Material stuff, no, Love, yes. It also gives off a throwback vibe, similar to a pop boy band, perhaps. I can see Backstreet Boys and N’Sync perform this.
Imagine: background music during a party, you kind of bop your head to it but you don’t actually remember this after the party, you may or may not Shazam this song
Favorite Bit: None?
Favorite Lyric: Earn it first, don’t have to flaunt it, What you’ve got is something flawless
7. Rose Gold
Such an indie type of electro pop song. The intro is so familiar to me but I can’t wrap my head around it. I know that I’ve heard something similar but I just can’t remember where so if you have any idea a similar intro, do tell! They jokingly said this song inspired the Rose Gold iPhone but you gotta admit, everyone just suddenly loves rose gold. It’s everywhere on Pinterest and I’m almost sick of it. But hey. I like this song. It makes me feel alone but calm. It’s a love song and the melody sounds so epic that I can picture out Romeo & Juliet die to this. They could’ve been timeless, classic and rose gold, you guys! But they’re dead.
Imagine: you’re a ballet dancer and this is your focal piece, you can’t see the audience because of all the headlights and so it feels like you’re on your own dancing your heart out
Favorite Bit: Scott in falsetto on top of that electro pop harmony at the end of the song
Favorite Lyric: If it’s true that legends never die, me and you could stand the test of time
8. If I Ever Fall in Love
This is the only non-original and collaboration in this album. The deluxe version however has another collaboration and a couple more covers. I don’t know how the original song sounds but I’ll check it out someday, maybe. I like this. I like this song a lot. Contrary to the songs before this, it gives of a very minimalistic vibe, it’s not noisy and you don’t hear a lot of production behind Jason’s and Scott’s voice. They both have powerful voices so I think it’s just right that they made the harmony simple. Also, Jason Derulo didn’t overpower them and took away their being a Pentatonix. If anything, he can be a great 6th member. We need those high notes in every song.
Imagine: (the intro) haunted house, (the rest of the song) hiding in the shadows whilst stalking the person you like, (serious) being Jason Derulo in this song
Favorite Bit: Jason’s high freaking note and there’s two of them! Them vocal chords, though!!!
Favorite Lyric: Sometimes I feel as if I don’t deserve you, I cherish every moment that we share
This is an anger-filled song but it sounds fun. This is one of my favorites because it is very different from the usual melodic songs and yet, they still make it work. Like Ref, it makes you pumped up and feel strong. It also has the same concept as Ref with regards to lyrics. The point of view is that of a heartbroken person and the stomps makes me feel like that person is out for revenge. I was listening to this whilst on public transportation and I was trying my best not to stomp with the song.
Imagine: carrying a pitchfork and torch ready to burn down your enemy’s house
Favorite Bit: Scott’s riff/belt at 2:00
Favorite Lyric: Your halo’s gone and all I see is horns and a heart that’s still intact but mine’s cracked
This song seems like it’s plucked from a 90′s Christina Aguilera album. Another throwback vibe because of it’s simplicity and expected parts. The song is structured in a typical way and Kirstie’s voice is, in my opinion, very marketable so it fits quite right in. It’s not the most original or unique song but it’s nice. Solid 6 out of 10.
Imagine: reading a romantic novel
Favorite Part: whenever Kirstie’s singing
Favorite Lyric: It’s on the tip of my tongue, I’m not asking for much, just your love and not another
11. Take Me Home
Very pure and clean. I can hear some Kevin on my left ear and it’s always good to have them all sing at the same time. No beatboxing, no overly complicated riffs, just plain harmonizing. We already know how talented they are but it’s always beautiful when they step down from all the production, you can feel their vocal prowess just as much, if not even more. This song reminds me of Run To You from their album PTX Vol. 2 and that is one of my favorites songs by them. Take Me Home isn’t as emotional but it’s just as soothing. Their vocal compatibility as a group can easily be felt in these type of songs (Take Me Home & Run To You).
Imagine: road trip / plane ride going to see your love one, looking out the window getting all excited and teary eyed
Favorite Part: ALL OF IT
Favorite Lyric: Cause love, love can never die, we’ll forever be burning, you and I
12. New Year’s Day
Emotional. This is one of the most beautiful songs they’ve written. I really have no words for this song because it’s all about how you feel when you listen to this and you have to listen sincerely. I can’t wait to hear this live and cry. This is the perfect concert finale.
Imagine: new beginnings, slow motion, fireworks, so much joy you can feel your heart burst.. also, separation anxiety
Favorite Part: 3:18 – end, I just want to cry
Favorite Lyric: Tomorrow morning when we wake, this town will be a different place and the past will wash away like coffee stains
13. Light in the Hallway
This was supposed to be called Lando’s Song as a tribute to Scott’s baby nephew and I’m gutted that they didn’t. Songs with personal touch and the best intentions is always beautiful. Avi’s voice is so gentle it’s like velvet to your ears but at the same time, it’s strong, somewhat protective. This is already the most breathtaking lullaby in the history of lullabies. New Year’s Day may be the perfect concert finale but Light in the Hallway is a great ender to this album, to your day, to any chapter in your life.
Imagine: being a part of something so big that it almost overwhelms you but no one notices because everyone has their own roles to play; people watching, observing how lovers stare at each other, how a kid’s eyes lights up, seeing love that is pure
Favorite Part: Avi’s voice
Favorite Lyric: You won’t need me forever but I’ll still be here. For we all have our nightmares.. even me, my dear.
It’s not a perfect album and I feel like there were things that they’ve done before that I wish they did in this album. Kevin’s cello, Kirstie’s whistle notes, amongst many others. But I think that’s the beauty of it, there’s still so much they can give and I’m already looking forward to another all-original album. They’re so talented, it hurts.
Favorites in no particular order:
- New Year’s Day
- Take Me Home
- Light in the Halway
Tell me your favorites and comment down below!