3 out of 5 stars
The five-person a capella group Pentatonix released PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol 1 on April 13. The 11-track album is a reimagining of some of today’s biggest hits, including: “Attention” by Charlie Puth, “Stay” by Zedd and Alessia Cara, and “Feel It Still” by Portugal The Man.
This LP is not as inventive as their previous albums. Over the course of six years, they have accumulated four EPs, three Christmas albums, and a self-titled LP containing 13 original songs. However, the newest contribution to their discography does offer a little excitement.
“Issues” features the all-too-rare lead vocals from Kirstin Maldonado, who often finds herself backing up Scott Hoying, as she does on many tracks here.
The biggest surprise on the whole album is “Despacito x Shape Of You.” The original mashup seamlessly shifts between songs and offers a stunning arrangement of two of the most streamed singles of all time. Maldonado and Hoying take the lead of “Despacito” and “Shape Of You,” respectively, with Mitch Grassi opening the number. Maldonado sings in fluent Spanish and Hoying commands the chorus of Sheeran’s song atop the melody of the Luis Fonsi smash hit.
The entire album is impressive due to the ultra-talented nature of the group, but some of its straightforward covers, such as “Finesse” and “Sorry Not Sorry,” drag the album down. Perhaps if these uninspired covers had been excluded, listeners would’ve been given something consistently exciting and near-perfect.