The late-great Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen left an indelible mark on music that will live on through generations of artists. His work explored all facets of the human condition, everything from depression, politics, death, loss, love, religion, and many other different subject matters. His earnest, gravely, and earthy voice wasn’t the smoothest or most polished, but it had a depth that couldn’t be matched. His most famous song was a hymn named “Hallelujah,” released in 1984. Since its release, the song has been covered well over 300 times by different artists. The song was almost a standing tradition for the contestants to sing on the popular singing show American Idol.
While there have been many great covers of the song, few have been a match for the original. However, one of the few has to be the cover performed by the world-renowned Acappella singing group Pentatonix. These talented singers managed have become an internet sensation amassing over 11 million YouTube subscribers, and their videos have generated a whopping 1.5 billion total views. After listening to their many fantastic covers, it isn’t hard to understand why their cover of “Hallelujah” has earned so much praise. Their harmonies are simply out of this world, and they perfectly capture the soulful depth of Cohen’s vision for the song.
The background for their video is a barren desert, which really adds to the dramatic effect of the lyrics, giving it a biblical feel. This is by far one of Pentatonix’s most celebrated masterpieces, and I’m sure it made Cohen, who passed away in 2016 one month after the video came out, very proud.
You can view the entire Pentatonix performance of “Hallelujah” in the video below.