Justin Bieber song covers are coming thick and fast this week. “Where Are Ü Now?” gets the Pentatonix treatment this time, and it’s fantastic.
The five-piece a capella ensemble (Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstie Maldonado, Avi Kaplan, and Kevin Olusola) take on Bieber and Skrillex And Diplo’s (Jack Ü) collaboration and make it their own, ahead of dropping their self-titled studio album on October 16.
The banger peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 100 and generated over 280 million streams on Spotify alone. It went platinum in the U.S. and recently shot back into the top 10 (now top 20) after the Biebs’ worldwide hit “What Do You Mean?” debuted at No.1 on the Hot 100 on September 8, making Bieber the youngest male artist to do so.
But back to Pentatonix’s cover of “Where Are Ü Now?” Departing from the original, the group forgo the intro repeat of the “I need you the most” lyric and that famous dolphin-like sample. Instead, Grassi sings lead over the first verse with stacked vocals in the background.
Grassi segues into the “Where Are Ü Now?” chorus over hand clicks, Olusola’s vocals bass effect and a warm bed of vocals from the rest of the group. The sampled vocal effect (which was, in fact, the Biebs’ voice on the original) arrives with a step-up in the pace of the track as the vocalists reproduce the drum ‘n’ bass beat.
At this point, Hoying delivers on the second verse, offering soulful anguish on lyrics such as “I was on my knees when nobody else was praying.” From there, Pentatonix break down the track with the “I need you the most” lyric, which then builds back up with layered vocals and real drums.
All hell (in a good way) breaks looks as the dance beat, vocal stacks, dolphin reproduction, and Hoying soar over a full on throwdown in the song’s outro.
Adding to the appeal of song is the tasteful video shot in some industrial space and ensures each group member gets a chance to shine. It’s likely Justin Bieber and Jack Ü fans will appreciate this cover, which definitely does justice to a great song.
Earlier this week, Scottish Synth-pop trio Chvurches showcased their disco version of Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” during their BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge session, ahead of releasing their own album today. It looks as if bands are wise to the headline guarantee that Bieber’s name generates. Still, listeners benefit as it can expose them to great covers.
Meanwhile, in other Bieber news. The superstar remains at No.1 in the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart with “Mean” for a third non-consecutive week, as announced Friday by the Official Charts Company.
“Mean” broke the UK’s most streamed in a week record after its August 28 release and has now done it again, punching in 3.2 million streams over the last tracking week. Elsewhere. the single is No. 4 on U.S. Singles Sales chart on iTunes after a mighty 24 day reign at No. 1 on the digital download chart. It is No. 1 on the Canadian equivalent and remains at No. 2 on Billboard’sHot 100.
The song is still No. 1 in the national charts in Australia, the Netherlands, and Ireland, and set a new Spotify record in Germany, after it notched up over 2 million streams in its first week of release.
The superstar’s highly anticipated as-yet-untitled album touches down on November 13, the same day as a certain boy band.
[Images via INFPhoto]