The human voice holds incredible power. It has the power to soothe a crying child. It has the power to insult and tear down another, causing incredible pain. And it has the power to connect millions of people feeling lonely and isolated. One of the most successful a cappella singing groups is Pentatonix, a group of five singers who arrange and perform popular songs without the aid of any instruments. Their latest EP At Home would not exist without advanced recording technology, creative song-arranging, and the power of the human voice.
At Home was conceptualized, arranged, and recorded while each member of the group was isolated during the COVID quarantine in early 2020. Digital recording technology allowed each member to record their vocal part for each song and then send it to recording engineers to mix and master. At Home demonstrates how creative products can be produced, distributed, and consumed without anybody having to leave their house.
Pentatonix is careful to choose songs that are already familiar to listeners and then offer creative arrangements. At Home finds songs that speak to common experience of being, well, at home. The first track is a 13-song medley featuring songs that have “home” or “house” in the title. Pentatonix sings a few lines from each song before morphing to the next to create a fast-paced trip down memory lane. The other five tracks on the EP are more traditional arrangements of pop and rock songs. They cover “Blinding Lights” by the Weekend, “when the party’s over” by Billie Eilish, “Break My Heart,” by Dua Lipa, “Cologne” by Clean Bandit, and “Dreams” by The Cranberries. Each arrangement captures the unique emotional qualities of the original artist but blends them into a cohesive album.
The album reveals the capability of human voices to blend into intricate harmonies and capture the listener without the help of any instruments. It demonstrates God’s amazing creation of music and voice that we read of many times in the Bible. Simply using voices make this style of performance extremely accessible. Amateur singers everywhere can easily join in and sing along with each track.
At Home is an excellent listening choice for those looking for connection and encouragement during this difficult time. Whether it is simply used to provide a few minutes of distraction, used for personal karaoke, or music that sparks gratitude towards our amazing Creator, At Home is worth the listen. (RCA Records)