Glee + Grease? Yes, please!
Wait…WHAT? has a great playlist for you to dance it out to on this lovely 4th of July!
Last week’s episode of Glee, “Hold On To Sixteen,” featured seven tracks, which included the return of both Chord Overstreet (Sam) and The Glee Project’s Lindsay Pearce (Harmony).
Let’s be real. Overstreet’s returning song on Glee should have been Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.” Am I right? I’m kidding … kind of. Of all the songs for Overstreet to sing upon his return to the show, Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” was not an option that I was anticipating. But with Glee, as always, expect the unexpected. Unfortunately, this track really felt out of place amongst the rest of the episode’s songs.
I thought that Pearce did an amazing job on “Buenos Aires” from Evita. Man, this girl can sing. She exudes so much energy and personality when she sings, you can’t help to be drawn in. I know she was originally only allotted two episodes per The Glee Project, but from what we’ve gotten to hear from her this season, it would behoove them to figure out how to keep her character relevant. I can’t possibly be the only person that wants to hear Pearce on more than the two fantastic tracks she’s contributed to this season.
I must admit that this week’s Glee tracks are possibly the best collection of songs they’ve put together for a single episode in awhile. The running theme of the songs is “by ladies and for ladies,” as declared by Cory Monteith’s character Finn Hudson during this week’s episode.
You can’t have an episode called, “I Kissed a Girl,” without having one of the tracks this week be Katy Perry’s hit, “I Kissed a Girl.” I mean, I guess you could, but Glee loves them some Katy Perry music, so it was kind of inevitable. Taking the lead on this track is Naya Rivera (Santana) and Lea Michele (Rachel). Granted, Glee didn’t do anything particularly special with the arrangement, but the song is just as much fun to listen to as Perry’s original.
Rivera really gets to show off her vocal prowess alongside Idina Menzel (Shelby) on KD Lang’s “Constant Craving.” I feel like with each episode that Rivera gets pushed a little more to show how talented she is, and what better way to prove it than pairing her up with Menzel. Both individual vocal performances were impressive and when combined, the two singers sound just stunning.
Among my favorite moments in each season of Glee have been the episodes that highlight song mash-ups. This season’s mash-ups for the most part lived up to their predecessors and one particular track stood out as probably the best mash-up Glee has ever done.
In an episode chock full of medleys, Mark Salling’s (Puck) take on Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” was the only solo track. I don’t think Salling gets enough credit for his vocal versatility. He showed a more vulnerable side of his voice earlier this season on a Foreigner track and, this week, we got to hear more depth and fullness in his singing. I think this was one of the better vocal performances we’ve gotten from him, actually. Cory Monteith (Finn) could also be heard on the track, and his voice pairs nicely with Salling’s.
On to the mash-ups, Idina Menzel (Shelby) and Matthew Morrison (Will) sang a medley Lady Gaga’s “You And I” and the Eddie Rabbitt/Crystal Gayle duet “You And I.” On paper, one wouldn’t think this could work, but surprisingly it does. I’m not sure that I’m quite sold on the pairing of Menzel and Morrison as duet partners, however. That said, I liked that Menzel had the bulk of the mash-up, because she really redeemed herself from season one’s recording of Gaga’s “Poker Face,” of which I was never a huge fan. Overall, I found the double dose of “You And I” to be a success.
This week’s episode of Glee, “The First Time,” features the cast covering music from the acclaimed musical West Side Story and the return of the Warblers.
Lea Michele (Rachel) and Darren Criss (Blaine), who on the show are playing Maria and Tony in McKinley High’s production of West Side Story, are highlighted on tracks “Tonight” and “One Hand, One Heart.”
In general, I think that Lea Michele can handle whatever piece of music is thrown her way, so it should be no surprise that she reigns supreme on these two tracks. Over the past couple seasons, listeners have been made aware of just how truly talented she is, and with these songs she packs a one-two punch. And Criss is no slouch, either. His voice comes across strong and pure on both tracks. He demonstrates a lot of vocal control and sounds wonderful in contrast to Michele.
Naya Rivera (Santana), whose character also took part in the production as Anita, also pairs up with Michele this week for a duet. Both singers showcase their strong points during “A Boy Like That.” Michele’s voice ascended to operatic heights during the song, however, I’m going to give the edge to Rivera, who proves she can offer the show so much more than the occasional Amy Winehouse cover. She really captures the drama of that scene between Anita and Maria in her voice and it translates beautifully to the ears.
Rivera’s vocal performance on both “A Boy Like That” and “America” are truly standout moments for her this week. I would go out on a limb and say this is the best she has sounded throughout her entire time on the series. Rivera displays rich vocals that are full of personality and pizazz. These songs allow for the singer to show some range and depth to her voice, which is a joy to listen to.
Glee returns this week with its latest episode, “Pot O’ Gold.” The episode features five tracks, two of which are sung by one of the winners of The Glee Project, Damian McGinty, who is making his official debut on Glee as Rory Flanagan.
Naya Rivera (Santana) and Amber Riley (Mercedes) take on Christina Aguilera’s hit “Candyman” this week. It’s definitely a song that allows Rivera and Riley to showcase their vocals, being that they both have big voices with great range. I love this song because it’s so fun and bubbly, but when it comes down to it I would rather listen to Aguilera’s original. I don’t feel like either Glee singer brings anything new to it to distinguish it from the original. And let’s be real: no one can hit that last big note like Aguilera can.
Just when I had finally gotten Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” out of my head, Darren Criss (Blaine) manages to drill it back into my brain. Glee really doesn’t divert from the original track, but having a guy take on the lead vocal breathes new life into the song. Criss is an excellent choice to take the reins on this one, because not only does he have the most pop voice out of all the guys in the cast; he’s got a great track record of turning Perry’s songs into Glee hits. His cover of “Teenage Dream” went on to be Glee’s biggest-selling song last season. I can only imagine how long it will take for this latest track to become the show’s next big top seller. Continue reading Music Review >> Glee Cast – “Pot O’ Gold”