Is the Pitch Perfect Holiday Album a Good Idea?

Measure for Measure

In Measure for Measure, A Cappella Blog contributor takes a look at both sides of a controversial issue in collegiate a cappella. Please note that the views expressed by columnists do not necessarily represent those of The ACB as an organization, nor do they necessarily represent the view of individual columnists. The purpose of this piece is to explore issues and further civil, intellectual debate.

This summer, it was announced that there would be a Pitch Perfect holiday album, featuring holiday music, recorded a cappella, for mass consumption. In this edition of Measure for Measure we take a look at the statement:

The Pitch Perfect holiday album is a bad idea

True: As much as The Sing-Off brought a cappella to broad audience, the Pitch Perfect film was the truest coming out party for a cappella on a national stage. As such Pitch Perfect is the most valuable brand in a cappella today, boasting a successful track record critically, at the box office, and on iTunes (for the soundtrack).

The release of a holiday album waters down the Pitch Perfect brand, taking a step away from a lovely and accessible story, (very) loosely based in fact that drew people in alongside top notch a cappella, in favor of a generic a cappella holiday album, akin to the Glee Christmas CD or a Now That’s What I Call Music! seasonal offering. Sure, die hards, curious fans, and gift givers without any other leads will buy this album, but there’s nothing inherently holiday-oriented about Pitch Perfect and the product will only cheapen the name by overexposure.

False: Be it fate, shrewd planning, or the intersection of the two, each turn in the Pitch Perfect has proved a good one thus far, whether it was the respectable performance of Mickey Rapkin’s original book, or the break out success of the film to follow. In each the masterminds behind the product found the drama and the story of a cappella and served it up in a palatable way, including expertly arranged, performed, and recorded music for the motion picture.

Let’s face facts: 1) people love and will buy holiday music and 2) Pitch Perfect has made a cappella as hot as it has ever been for a mainstream audience. What’s more Straight No Chaser has already demonstrated that a cappella holiday albums can thrive in the marketplace. All that said, if it boasts a shred of the quality represented in the Pitch Perfect soundtrack, the holiday album should be a legitimate slam dunk, with the added bonus of keeping the Pitch Perfect brand vital in the public eye as we await the next film, coming in 2015.