Thursday, October 10, 2013

Great cover of "Royals"

The Lorde hit "Royals"covered by Pentatonix, the a capella group that won THE SING OFF on NBC. Very cool cover.


R's Woman said...

This is excellent, Ken! Thanks for sharing. Hadn't heard of this group - now I know, thanks to you!

RyderDA said...

Try this version. Hyper-creative Canadian group Walk Off the Earth. Percussion on plastic spoons hanging around their necks. Juggling ukeleles. Just awesome, plus they sing amazingly well, too. 2,000,000 YouTube views for this video -- and counting.

Rinaldo said...

I've been a Pentatonix fan since they won The Sing-Off. They're exceptionally musical and resourceful. Any of their videos on YouTube is a pleasure to hear. I especially like the "live" ones, like the ones from that competition, which show that their musicality is no trick of postproduction or enhancement.

For instance: a required mashup of two songs, which they interwove into a minidrama:

Or their rendition of "Let's Get It On":

Thanks for sharing this one, Ken.

PatGLex said...

Like Rinaldo, I've been in love with Pentatonix since they won The Sing-Off. They are truly amazing. I usually download both the original song and the cover they do -- because they're both amazing. You need to check out their Evolution of Music on YouTube:

And they're even more astounding live.

Thanks for spreading the word!

Jocelyne said...

Amazing! Thanks for sharing!!

Tim W. said...

Great version, but just a couple of comments. What is it with guys who basically sounds like women singing? At first, I thought the guy was lipsyncing.

Also, why do I get the feeling they didn't really understand the meaning of the song? Flashing the diamond rings and their expressions during the chorus made me think they didn't.

Barbara Phillips Long said...

Tim W -- Guys who sound like women singing are sometimes called countertenors. They're using a falsetto voice and have normal male speaking voices. Some countertenors sing old opera roles written for castratos (sorry, correct plural is castrati). A lot of "early music" includes parts for male singers performing in the alto or mezzo soprano range, and English music from the 1600s used such singers. I believe some madrigals were written for countertenors.

For a hilarious reaction to a countertenor, look at Simon Cowell's reaction to Greg Pritchard:

The King's Singers, an English a capella group, generally has had a roster of two countertenors, a tenor, two baritones and a bass. Chanticleer, a group based in San Francisco, was founded by a singer with an interest in medieval and Renaissance music. The roster includes several countertenors singing in the alto and soprano ranges.

This NYTimes article about a French countertenor provides some background about how the sound is produced and some of the history of the voice:

I happen to like the sound and tend to prefer the countertenor voice and the mezzo soprano female voice over the female soprano, although I don't know why.

bettyd said...

THanks for sharing. I enjoyed the Sing Off, but I think NBC ruined a good thing putting it on for a longer run. I loved it 3 days a week during December, when everything was in re-runs. Perfect for me!

I hear Sing Off is coming back, so I hope the show brings back some old favorites like Penatonix here.

Pat Reeder said...

They are an excellent group. And let's not forget to give some props to Theater Arlington, just a few miles from where I live here in the DFW mid-cities. The members all came of that little theater company's training program for kids. I've had friends visit me from NYC who were floored at the caliber of musical theater we have in the larger companies like Lyric Stage, that revives old Broadway shows with the original charts and full 40-piece orchestra. Now I can tell them that's nothing, Pentatonix came out of one of the smaller suburban companies' kids' musical theater program.

jbryant said...

To me, a great a cappella cover should reinvent the original a bit more. Pentatonix sing great, but Lorde's version is practically a cappella to begin with, though it does have spare instrumentation (which the Pentatonix version emulates via its two beatboxing members). So I was more impressed by the Walk off the Earth version that RyderDA linked to. While still not a drastically different vocal arrangement, their instrumentation and performance style made it stand out.