Review: Pentatonix – The Lucky Ones

Blog, Music, Written Posts

I stumbled across Pentatonix back in 2015 and it’s kind of wild to think about how much such a seemingly insignificant event has impacted my life since. Not only did it reawaken a love and appreciation for music that I didn’t really know was there, but it was a big part of what drew people in to my YouTube channel to begin with and led to many more opportunities and friendships as a result. They’re the only artist I’ve attended any concerts for and I’ve even met them a couple of times. They’re really the only artist I’ve ever actually been a part of the fan community for and that allowed me to meet a lot of cool people and then go to PentaCon in Texas where I met even more cool people (and even got to be on a panel there!). I don’t think anything will ever truly match my love of them around the 2016-18 time period and being very active right in the middle of the fandom during that time but I definitely still have a love for the group and the music that they continue to put out, and I probably always will.

After Avi left the group in 2017 I knew I would continue to support them but I always had this feeling that their music would never quite live up to the quality that it was when he was there. But I’m happy to report that I continue to be impressed by their albums, and in fact their most recent albums are some of their best ever. Their We Need a Little Christmas album, which they released in 2020, was stellar in spite of me previously feeling like maybe they should take a break from doing so many Christmas albums before they completely run out of material. Their latest album, The Lucky Ones, had no business being as good as it was. It’s a rarity that I don’t feel the need to skip any tracks in an album, and The Lucky Ones does that effortlessly. They managed to capture such a unique vibe with this album that is unlike any of their albums before it (and starkly different than their self-titled album back in 2015 which is their only other all-original album thus far). It’s this unique tone, in conjunction with the fact that all of the tracks seem to lead into each other so seamlessly, that makes the album so easy to listen to without skipping a track.

Happy Now is a song that I fell in love with as soon as I heard it for the first time back in concert before it had even been released. It’s a really feel-good song that has a fun energy to it. As their first original song in quite some time when it was released as a single, it really set the tone for things to come.

I feel like I’ve grown particularly sappy over the past year, so the message of Love Me When I Don’t really resonates with me now and it’s really important for that reason. Overall as a song I don’t know if it’s necessarily one of my favorites on the album but it’s nice enough and I tend to be partial to Kirstin’s voice so I like that she has such a big role in it for sure.

Coffee In Bed is a really nice, chill jam. The blend of Scott and Mitch as the leads works really well for the vibe they’re going for, and the backing vocals add a really nice flavor to the sound that sets the song apart from the others. It’s a nice vibe to ease you into the album.

Remember when I said that I tend to be partial to Kirstin’s voice? Well Be My Eyes certainly delivers on that front and again delivers a song with a sound that is quite unique from every Pentatonix song before it. It’s one of those songs that doesn’t break from its formula too much once it starts and more or less relies on that same sound throughout but the sound is so magical in a way that I don’t really mind it. There is also a nice little build-up towards the end of the song that I appreciate as well.

A Little Space is pretty wild, and it’s definitely a jam as well. It has such cool groove to it, and it really allows some of the other voices in the group to thrive, like Kevin, for example, who also provides a whole other layer to the song with the really cool vocal instrumentation. I love the whole vibe of this song and it’s one I can always jam out to for sure (the music video they released featuring ATEEZ was a really cool version as well).

Again, the songs really flow into each other well throughout the whole album, but it’s the cool subtleties that really set them apart and give them each a unique sound. Side feels more mellow than a lot of the other songs, but it provides a nice little contrast halfway through the album, and is really effortless for Mitch’s vocal prowess. As much as I love to hear Mitch belt out with his wild vocal range, this is a nice, warm side of his voice that is refreshing to hear every now and then for sure.

Scott and Mitch are the driving force of Bored, as they are a lot throughout the album, but they again combine to make a cool blend that works well, especially when combined with some cool vocal effects and the backing vocals from the others that compliment the sound as well. Overall this is perhaps the most repetitious of any of the songs in the album but it still works as part of the overall album’s vibe.

For whatever reason Exit Signs just really stands out to me. It’s another mellow song that isn’t exactly a fun vibe like Happy Now but it’s weirdly alluring. And hey, it’s a whole lot of Kirstin, so that’s always a plus. But I just really love the feel of the song overall and much like a lot of the album, it’s one I can just really chill out while I’m listening to it. And for what it’s worth, I love how Kirstin sounds particularly at the end of the song when she really goes for it. It adds a lot!

Never Gonna Cry Again is the obligatory “wow, this is a cappella?” song of the album, where it just feels so full and stylized that you almost forget this is all done with just their voices. Mitch thoroughly kills it with this one. Such a cool sound.

Oh, hey Kirstin, nice to hear you again. This album gives a sufficient amount of Kirstin love, never gonna hate on that. But as I listen to It’s Different Now, and as I’ve listened to each song as I type this, the realization is finally setting in that this album is super chill, so I could see how it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. You very much have to bring a similar chill energy for the album to work for you. It’s not the most hype-inducing album in the world, so you really have to be in a certain place mentally to fully appreciate it. But heck, I love It’s Different Now all the same, I guess I’m matching that energy pretty well right now.

The album comes to a close with The Lucky Ones, which I feel like is a really good song to have the album named after because it really captures the tone and vibe quite well. I almost feel like a more up-beat song would be more fitting to book-end the album with Happy Now and take us out of our more somber vibe we have going on, but this is still a really cool song so I’m fine with it. Maybe a good song to end on in the sense that it eases us out of the album rather than leading us to expect more.

Overall I really love their latest album, which makes me all the more excited for everything they have planned for the future. It captured a style unlike anything they’ve done before, and is so wildly but pleasantly different from their first album of originals that they could go in any number of directions for their next album. The fact that they were able to come out with such an excellent product during these times we’re living in is particularly impressive and just reinforces my faith in their vision moving forward.

Videos I Posted This Week:

Survivor: Vanuatu Review – Tarqaron
Free Guy Review – Tarqaron
Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia Review – Tarqaron
Checking out Sof’s Fruit Water Szn Movement
Just checking in
Reacting to the wonderful wacky world of Dhar Mann

Things I Enjoyed This Week:

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