If you follow my blog here, then you know that I have already reviewed every Dalton Academy Warbler track that has been released up until this new Glee: The Music presents The Warblers album. Basically, this is going to a scrapbook of a review post, because all reviews from “Teenage Dream” to “Raise Your Glass” are coming from my previous Glee Cast reviews. Just a friendly FYI.
Track 1 – “Teenage Dream“
Hands down my favorite track from “Never Been Kissed” was Dalton Academy Warblers’ version of Katy Perry’s huge hit, “Teenage Dream.” The song features lead vocals from Glee newcomer, Darren Criss (Blaine). This is a song that I wouldn’t expect to hear covered by a guy, but I thought Glee’s interpretation was wonderful.
The arrangement for this song is great. Replacing instruments with harmonizing does not go unnoticed. The harmonizing is a huge part about what makes Glee’s take on “Teenage Dream” so successful.
I really enjoy Criss’ voice. His voice is a great addition to the cast this season, and I hope that the audience gets to hear more from him.
Track 2 – “Hey, Soul Sister”
The multiple-part harmonies combined with Criss’ voice breathe new life into one of the most over-played songs on the radio.
Track 3 – “Bills, Bills, Bills”
In “The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle” episode, we once again hear from Dalton Academy’s Warblers who sing Destiny’s Child hit song, “Bills, Bills, Bills.” The song features cast member Darren Criss (Blaine) on lead vocals.
Criss is showing some vocal versatility on his part with this track. If you’ve listened to his EP, you kind have the idea that he’s more of a folk-pop singer. He really embraced the spirit of this track and infused the attitude of the lyrics into his vocal. I really liked hearing Criss on an R&B track, because it allowed him to show a more soulful side to his voice.
I also have to give mention to the very talented singers, the Beelzebubs from Tufts University, who play The Warblers. Their a cappella skills are like none other that I’ve heard in a while. I think they did a phenomenal job on the backing vocals for “Bills, Bills, Bills.”
Track 4 – “Silly Love Songs”
The Warblers sang Paul McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs.” I’m definitely not complaining getting not one, but two songs from the Warblers this week. Especially when both songs were produced and sung really well. Criss got to show two different sides to his voice this episode, and in the process gave the rest of the Glee guys a run for their money.
The upbeat “Silly Love Songs” really showcases the enormously talented Beezlebubs from Tufts University. Their harmonies sound really good and mesh well with Criss’ lead vocals.
Track 5 – “When I Get You Alone”
With Robin Thicke’s “When I Get You Alone,” Criss continues to impress. His vocal performance is flirty and has some swagger to it, which really adds to the song overall. There’s a big note that he hits at the end of the song which is absolutely fantastic. I really like that the Warblers sing songs that are more pop/R&B, because it distinguishes their style from New Directions.
Track 6 – “Animal”
I would just like to say that it’s about time that Chris Colfer (Kurt) is featured on a Warblers’ track. Although, both his and Darren Criss’(Blaine) vocals were slightly attacked by the monster known as auto-tune. Colfer and Criss have fantastic singing voices, I don’t completely understand the need to overdo it with the studio magic. Shout out to Tuft University’s Beelzebubs for another job well done with the backing vocals.
Track 7 – “Misery”
I’m a huge Maroon 5 fan, so I was pretty ecstatic to find out that Glee had the Warblers cover “Misery.” Darren Criss (Blaine) was on lead vocal, per usual, and he didn’t disappoint. I like that he kept Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine’s ad-libs in on the track. There was quite a bit of studio magic going on with this track, though, that I could have lived without. I really wish when it came to Criss’ vocals, Glee would lock up the auto-tune monster. I really enjoyed the breakdown of the song; the emphasis on the drum beat really put a unique spin on it.
Track 8 – “Blackbird”
Chris Colfer sang “Blackbird” by The Beatles — great song and great vocal performance. His vocals were understated, yet they packed a lot of emotion. Ever since his character switched schools, we haven’t gotten to hear Colfer sing, so for him to have a solo is pretty awesome.
Track 9 – “Candles”
Hey Monday’s “Candles” is a duet between Criss and Chris Colfer (Kurt). This is probably my least favorite Warbler track. Singing-wise, both Criss and Colfer sound great. I like their voices together; however, I just wasn’t loving this song. It’s hard to listen to all the way through without wanting to fall asleep. On the plus side, the studio magic was kept to a minimum, which really showcased both Criss and Colfer.
Track 10 – “Raise Your Glass”
Criss took the lead again on Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.” I’m not a huge fan of the original song, but I really like the Glee version. Criss’ vocals were glossed over a bit again on this track, which is simply not necessary. And did anyone else notice that the Beezlebubs’ backing vocals sound like they were singing, “jenga, jenga, jenga, jenga, je-chicka-jenga?” If not, now you will. You’re welcome.
Track 11 – “Somewhere Only We Know”
I think Darren Criss sounds fantastic on everything he’s recorded for Glee this season, and this track is no exception. He really is able to utilize his voice to connect emotionally with the audience, and I think that’s part of why people just adore him.
Track 12 – “What Kind of Fool”
I’ve never been a huge Barbra Streisand fan, she’s phenomenal, don’t get me wrong, but after hearing the Warblers’ rendition of “What Kind of Fool,” aside from “Teenage Dream,” this may possibly be my favorite track that Darren Criss and the Beezlebubs have recorded for Glee. But at this point, I’m sure Darren could sing the phone book and I’d ask for an encore.
Track 13 – “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”
I think this track is hilarious. It’s so straight out of left field, which is what makes it lulzy & wonderful all rolled into one. I like that Darren sings it kind of in his lower register, for me, it’s a welcomed change from the rest of the tracks. I do hope Ryan Murphy figures out a way to utilize this track for an actual episode. I mean, can you imagine?
The moral of this song-by-song review is that Glee: The Music presents The Warblers is good times. Hats off to Darren Criss, Chris Colfer, and Tufts University’s Beezlebubs!
For more information of Glee: The Music presents The Warblers, check out Glee’s official music site.