Pentatonix - That's Christmas To Me

Pentatonix is one of my mom's favorite bands, so I've been exposed to their music quite a bit, especially over the Christmas season. Not that I'm complaining -- acapella music is a vastly overlooked genre, albeit one growing more in popularity since the "Pitch Perfect" movies and "The Sing-Off." And while not all of Pentatonix's songs are acapella, they've helped breathe new life into the genre, updating it for modern audiences and giving their music a sense of pep and playfulness that I enjoy. I ended up purchasing their Christmas album for my mom as a birthday present, but was also able to nab a copy for myself. What can I say, they're addicting.

Pentatonix - That's Christmas To Me
While not every song on this album can strictly classify as a Christmas song, it's a beautiful album that hits the right balance between upbeat and soulful, and is destined to be a holiday classic.

It's hard to pick a favorite song on this album, as each song has something fun to offer. Their version of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" gives a classic Christmas carol a funky gospel flavor, while "Sleigh Ride" makes for a bubbly and playful twist on the song. Their mash-up of "Winter Wonderland" and "Don't Worry, Be Happy" doesn't seem like it should work at first glance, but they make the two songs mesh almost perfectly. "That's Christmas To Me" is far more laid-back, but still lovely and warm, and their version of "Mary, Did You Know?" is beautiful and haunting. "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" turns a classic "Nutcracker" orchestral number into something funky and unique, and I love their takes on "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Santa Claus is Coming To Town," and "Silent Night."

Two songs on this album aren't exactly Christmas songs, but seem to be included simply because they discuss wintery topics -- "White Winter Hymnal," a Fleet Foxes song, and "Let It Go" from Disney's "Frozen." While I wouldn't classify either of these as Christmas songs, they wouldn't be the first songs that don't talk about Christmas but have been appropriated as Christmas songs simply because they're about winter (just listen to songs like "Jingle Bells," "Winter Wonderland," "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow," and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" -- none of them mention Christmas but are considered Christmas classics). And while I love the original versions of both songs, Pentatonix still does a good job of adapting these songs and putting their own signature on them.

And the extra tracks included in the deluxe edition are a delicious bonus -- "Joy to the World," "The First Noel," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," another version of "Mary, Did You Know?", and "Just For Now" (best recognizable as a track on "The Holiday"). These, as well as the poster included with the physical CD version of the album, make the deluxe edition of the album worth it, even if you already own the original version.

A beautiful, upbeat, and just plain fun Christmas album, this earns a place among my favorite Christmas albums. Keep up the good work, Pentatonix.

Kenya Starflight

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