“Hallelujah” by Petatonix

I have a very high opinion of Pentatonix…they’re a vocal ensemble comparable in quality to the cast of Glee, only this one doesn’t come attached to an ineptly-written television franchise. They really do have beautiful voices, and their harmonies are some of the best heard from a Pop group since the days of the Brian Wilson-era Beach Boys. Some people, perhaps understandably, resented this cover for charting above Leonard Cohen’s original version in the wake of his passing, but it seems a bit harsh to blame Pentatonix for that fact. Like the Glee cast, their covers of contemporary Pop songs frequently surpass the original singers’ versions, but it’s probably understandable that they didn’t manage that feat with this song. And this really is one of the most beautifully sung covers of this song ever recorded, and given how often this particular song is covered, that title does not lack for competition. The vocals are simply breathtaking, and if this rendition does not really pay as much attention to the lyrics as it might have, it at least struck a correct tone of melancholy and anguish instead of trying to make it sound uplifting like so many covers. Granted, Cohen’s version managed to do both at once, but he was, after all, Leonard Cohen, and it isn’t really fair to fault this cover for not matching the depth of his original. And to be honest, in terms of sheer sensual musical beauty, this is actually prettier than even the Cohen version. Pentatonix, for some reason, only seem to chart when they release their Christmas singles, and this is easily the best of those singles to date…and even if a lot of that it thanks to the superior source material, they still do a more than respectable job of interpreting it.

Verdict: Good.

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