Landing a spot in the top ten trending videos on YouTube in less than 24 hours of its release, Pentatonix’s latest music video has accumulated 1.5 million views. The a cappella group released its cover of Cosmo Sheldrake’s song “Come Along” March 22.
Pentatonix began singing together when the members were in high school and has been in the spotlight since 2011 after winning NBC’s “The Sing-off.” Afterward, the group’s YouTube channel became one of the largest on the platform and brought a cappella to mainstream music. Since then, its produced multiple albums and singles, headlined international tours and won several awards including Best Arrangement – an award never before won by an a cappella group. Pentatonix continues its success with over 16 million YouTube subscribers, 1.9 million Instagram followers and over 3 million Spotify streams currently.
Sheldrake is a European musician, composer and producer who’s mostly known in France and the United Kingdom, but is growing in popularity in the United States. He’s been recording singles since 2014 with “The Much Much How How and I” being his debut full-length album. He’s also known for doing his own loops for his recordings and live shows.
“Come Along” is Sheldrake’s biggest hit on the album and is featured in a recent iPhone commercial which introduced it to people across the globe. He’s composed music for multiple Samuel Beckett productions and different movies such as “Let’s Be Frank,” “Moving Art” and “Nobblycarrot 7.”
The song is about running away from the boring concepts of reality and feeling free to express one’s self. A line in the chorus says, “We'll go to a place that is safe from / Greed, anger and boredom” which echos the overall theme of the song. In the original version, there’s an orchestratic vibe with an alternative twist that provides an interesting mixture of sounds. The background of Sheldrake’s version has playful melody – a common trend in his music. The orchestra intensifies when the vocals increase, boosting the dramatic effect of the track. Sheldrake’s voice has a soft, calm tone to contrast the powerful chorus.
As a three-time Grammy winning music group, Pentatonix is known for its numerous covers, so fans were excited to see a new video. It started promoting “Come Along” on social media and even posted clips of the music video on its Instagram story a week in advance.
Each cover the group produces adds its personal sound to the original and continue that tradition with its version of the song. Since Pentatonix is an a cappella group, it more percussive and isn’t as orchestral as the music Sheldrake produces, which brings higher energy to the song. Its combined voices sounds both operatic and alternative. The tempo is quick at the start and the singers project their voices within the first few lines, but also slows it down at points to the calmer tone similar to Sheldrake’s.
Kevin Olusola does a great job keeping the beat by taking it from a snare drum to a beatbox. Vocalists Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying and Kirstin Maldonado create incredible harmonies throughout the song in both and instrumental moments. Matt Sallee also adds a nice extra beat to go along with Olusola’s beatboxing. The group’s cover sounds similar to the original song, but with that Pentatonix touch. Known for incorporating simple yet constructive visuals into the music videos, they incorporated radiant colors throughout to connect to the fun and upbeat spirit of the song.
Pentatonix’s newest cover is well done and successfully arranged. The group balanced the original song and its signature sound perfectly. Fans of the creative a capella group won’t be disappointed.
Contact Gracie Brogowski at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.