Postmodern Jukebox, the musical collective that puts a vintage spin on modern hits, has achieved something phenomenal – more than one trillion views and 3.6 million subscribers. With the PMJ crew heading to the UK for a series of live shows next month, iSing’s Kimberley Cartlidge has chosen her top five PMJ covers.
With 325 videos to choose from it’s a tough call to pick just five PMJ favourites. I’ve chosen the ones that really bring the vocalists to the forefront. It’s so great to see singers really relishing their performance and showcasing their own personality and style.
Bad Blood ft. Aubrey Logan
The intro is incredible. Instantly you know Aubrey Logan is going to deliver. Notice that she counts in the band; I’d love this to inspire singers to take the lead. Logan’s diction and intonation are brilliant and her performance ranges from breathy to almost brassy – and that’s before she picks up the trombone! Sassy and stunning.
My Heart Will Go On –ft. Mykal Kilgore
Inspired by the 50s and Jackie Wilson, I love where they took this arrangement. Mykal Kilgore is a singer with so much dedication to his craft and every time he performs it shows. This man’s vocal flexibility blows me away, not to mention his stunning control and range. Vocally reminiscent of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, I love what they did at the end of the chorus. Everybody loves a classic backing vocal arrangement. This is perfectly executed from start to finish.
I’m Not The Only One ft. Maiya Sykes
Soul meets jazz for a reboxed version of the Sam Smith hit. Sykes has a big voice that’s perfect for this. What really caught my attention was her scat line in the chorus and then her timing and note choices in the 2nd verse. The improvisation gets more elaborate and interesting as the song develops. I love to see a band milk an ending for all it’s worth and the singers loving what they’re doing.
Closer ft. Kenton Chen
This may be the first time 70’s funk and Nine Inch Nails have been used in the same sentence. This version of Closer is fantastic. It does what funk was designed to, get you moving! Chen’s performance gradually gets more intense as the song progresses. The vocal arrangement is tight, particularly noticeable in the solo section to the scat and the backing vocalists do a great job. They add so much texture to this, smooth and sassy!
Thiller ft. Wayne Brady
Couldn’t not include this. Taking Thriller back to the 1930’s, this arrangement begs for smoky rooms, trilby hats, fabulous dresses and a martini. The vocal delivery is suave and understated and so, so cool. It’s so smooth with the focus on vocal tone and the subtleties but don’t be fooled, there is a lot going on here. That understated vocal is achieved through stylistically varying tone, his onset and offset, using the space between the notes, his vibrato and dynamics.