PENTATONIX UPDATE: SUPERFRUIT-INESS, PENTATODRIX, ON MY WAY HOME DOCUMENTARY, AND “EVOLUTION OF MICHAEL JACKSON”

While Pentatonix was on the Asian leg of its On My Way Home Tour, they still maintained their prominence online, what with consistent weekly antics from the Superfruit duo of Scott and Mitch, but there are other things that are abuzz, too.

Let’s start with Superfruit.  Prior to departing for their Asian tour, Superfruit posted a video featuring the duo in drag, with the help of Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 4 contender Willam Belli.  The results were fabulous with Scott looking like a fabulous, angular model, and Mitch resembling a cross between Lea Michele and Penelope Cruz.  World, meet Deb and Lulu!

Scott and Mitch then got inspired to reinvent 12 hip-hop numbers as Broadway songs, to buzzworthy results.    I like how Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” sounded perky with their twist, ILoveMakkonen’s “Tuesday” sounded sprightly and bright, O.T. Genasis’ “Coco” turned into a dramatic piece, Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” sounding like a good fit for Les Miserables, Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” given a flamenco-esque treatment, Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” sounding like a 1950s ditty, Nicki Minaj’s “Pills & Potions” turned into a wistful ballad, along with Drake’s “Just Hold On We’re Goin’ Home”, and finally giving Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” a lilting melody.  They also covered Jamie Foxx and T-Pain’s “Blame it on the Alcohol”, which got a tweet of approval from T-Pain.

Todrick Hall actually goes a very long way with Pentatonix besides the two collaborations he did with them, going all the way back when the core trio were in Arlington, Texas.  So, when he did a parody tribute of them (with a medley of two medleys, the Swedish House Mafia and Daft Punk medleys), it’s inevitable there are in-jokes thrown in for good measure.  He nailed their tics very well–Kirstie’s side-mouth singing, Scott’s height and proclivity for melisma, Avi’s body rolls, Kevin’s beatboxing tics, and most especially, Mitch’s queen-iness, which got pretty extreme coverage during the Daft Punk portion of the medley.  The only thing that Scott and Mitch noted that they would never do, as they reacted to the video (due to fan clamoring) is Mitch uttering “Toots subscribes-ies”.  There were some watchers who weren’t aware of Todd’s deep connection with the group and thought he was throwing shade at them.  But Pentatonix immediately aired their nod of approval, so all is good, and it can be enjoyed as it is–a very creative and amusing treat.

Immediately after their tour, they then proceed to promote their On My Way Home documentary.  It focused mainly on their North American leg of the tour of the same name, but it touches on where they came from, where they are at this point, and their ambition to have an album of all original music.  Admittedly I have not yet purchased the video on Vimeo, but once I have my budget in order, I’ll purchase it, and I know I’ll enjoy it.

But while we wait for their new all-originals album, the group gave us another staggering video treat–the “Evolution of Michael Jackson”.  Though I might quibble that they didn’t include “Scream”, and his last album “Invincible” (like “Butterflies” and “Your Rock My World”), well it’s still a very comprehensive overview focusing on Michael’s truly best moments.  It’s not strictly chronological as they placed 1983’s “P.Y.T” after 1987’s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, and 1995’s “You Are Not Alone” was placed as a counterpoint while they were singing 1992’s “Heal the World” before launching into “Will You Be There” from the same album, but I suppose it’s more of an arrangement sense that is why they didn’t strictly follow chronology.  I also quibble a bit that Scott sounded a bit winded in “Beat It”, but that’s just a minor note I’ll make in an otherwise A+ masterclass performance.  My favorite moments were Kirstie’s lead parts in singing “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, “Billie Jean” (though one might quibble it doesn’t quite make sense for a girl to sing that song considering the subject matter–but then again, hearing Candice Glover and Malaya Watson cover Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” in American Idol without changing the gender made me accept hearing Kirstie sing this classic better) and “Black and White”, Avi’s lead parts in “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” and “Dirty Diana”, and Kevin’s singing in “The Way You Make Me Feel”.

Well, I suppose the next time we’ll hear from Pentatonix, it will be their all-originals album.  I’m looking forward to hear it.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

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