‘Glee’ Music Preview >> “Teenage Dream”

Take a look at Glee newcomer Darren Criss during his first big number for the upcoming episode, “Never Been Kissed.”

Criss takes on Katy Perry’s current hit, “Teenage Dream.”

Sounds great! I can’t wait to see what his character brings to the show!


Music Review >> Music From ‘Glee,’ Episode 2 x 04 “Duets”

The music recordings for Glee’s episode “Duets” is probably the best batch of music from the season so far. The vocals from the cast members are fantastic.

Kicking off this week’s bundle of music is Lea Michele (Rachel) and Cory Monteith (Finn) singing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee. These two always sound fantastic together, especially on the more upbeat songs. You get a sense from the recordings that they were having fun singing. Monteith is definitely coming into his own as a singer, and Michele’s voice compliments his voice very much.

Chris Colfer (Kurt) sings “Le Jazz Hot” from Victor Victoria. This is hands down the best Colfer has ever sounded while on the show. The last note during this song is phenomenal.

Newcomer Chord Overstreet (Sam) and Dianna Agron (Quinn) sing the popular Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat track, “Lucky.” This is a really sweet duet between the two, their voices sound well together. Agron is pretty limited vocally compared to the other female Glee cast mates, but pop songs like this she pulls off quite nicely. Overstreet is definitely poised to give the rest of the Glee guys a run for their money, as he has one of the strongest male voices on the show.

The best duet from this week came from Michele and Colfer, who sing “Happy Days Are Here/Get Happy” by Barbara Streisand and Judy Garland. Glee pretty much struck gold, when they decided to pair these two up for a duet. They both have excellent vocal control, that allowed for a vulnerable, yet stunning duet.

As much as it was wonderful that we got to here from Harry Shum Jr. (Mike) on his a Chorus Line duet “Sing!” with Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), it was definitely the weakest duet of this week’s recording. Shum isn’t even singing, he’s rapping, which is fine, because it allowed for Ushkowitz to shine that much more in their duet.

Naya Rivera (Santana) and Amber Riley (Mercedes) paired up for Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High.” Rivera really is no match for Riley’s vocal, she’s easily overpowered. Riley really just brings it, and once again contributes a fantastic vocal to the week’s recordings.

Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Originally posted on BlogCritics.

Review >> Music From ‘Glee,’ Episode 2×03 “Grilled Cheesus”

In this week’s bundle of Glee music from “Grilled Cheesus,” the audience gets to hear the first solos of the season from Glee’s most beloved characters who are not Rachel Berry.

Mark Salling (Puck) has his first big solo of the season with “Only The Good Die Young” by Billy Joel.

It’s great to hear from Salling so early in the season. However, the Glee vocal coaches should work with him on his vocal vibrato while holding longer notes and try to smooth them out.

Amber Riley (Mercedes) sounds absolutely beautiful singing Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You.” If any of the Glee cast can pull off Whitney, it’s Amber.

Her vocal runs at times felt unnecessary, but overall it’s a very strong vocal from Riley. This song is so much better than anything she sang during season one.

Lea Michele (Rachel) contributes this this week’s recordings with “Papa, Can You Hear Me” from Yentl.

What really can be said about Michele’s voice that hasn’t already been said? This is an absolute stellar recording. Michele has a voice to be reckoned with.

Chris Colfer (Kurt) sings “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles in this week’s recordings.

I absolutely love how Glee chose to rearrange this song. It had such a dramatic feel that really captured the emotions that Colfer’s character was feeling.

Colfer has a really great vocal. I really hope he is featured more this season.

R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” was a great song choice for Cory Monteith (Finn). However, what was not great was having him record it as an attempt to sound like Michael Stipe. Monteith has a great voice, there was no need for the sound-a-like vocal phrasing.

I loved that Amber Riley had two solos this week, but there was so much auto-tune used in her rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” I couldn’t tell if it was Riley or Naya Rivera (Santana) singing the song at first.

The big group number of the week was a rendition of Joan Osbourne’s “One Of Us.”

Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Monteith, Michele and Colfer are the featured vocals on this track. I was really surprised that Salling was not featured on this track, because the song would have fit his voice perfectly.

The cast of Glee sound great altogether. It seems like every week their group numbers are getting better and better.

Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Originally posted at BlogCritics.

Music Review >> Music From ‘Glee,’ Episode 2×02 “Britney/Brittany”

The highly anticipated Britney Spears episode of Glee aired this past week. The cast took on five of the singer’s popular hits, as well as a current hit from the band Paramore.

For the first time on Glee, we got to hear Heather Morris (Brittany) sing. She’s actually pretty good. Who knew?

Morris’s vocals were featured on three of the five Britney songs in this past week’s episode: “I’m A Slave 4 U,” “Me Against The Music,” and “Toxic.”

On “I’m A Slave 4 U,” Morris injected sultriness into her vocal, which gave it the just the right tone and attitude for the song. Her version is just as sexy-sounding as Britney’s original recording.

One of the highlights from this week’s recorded tracks was “Me Against The Music,” a duet between Morris and Naya Rivera (Santana). The ladies have terrific vocal chemistry, making this one of the most enjoyable tracks of the week to listen to.

“Toxic” was definitely one of the strongest tracks from this week’s episode. The song featured Morris, Lea Michele (Rachel) and Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester) on lead vocals.

I like the subtle changes to the song, especially how in the first verse the vocals build up to this absolute stunning chorus. Vocally, I believe this was the best track of the week. Morris and Michele sound fantastic singing together, and it’s nice to hear Morrison on a track with the Glee Club kids. His vocal really added a smooth quality to the track.

Elsewhere, Kevin McHale (Artie) tackled the Britney track “Stronger” with no problem. McHale’s voice is a great fit for the song due to Britney’s original recording of it in her mid to lower register. The song also ties in well with McHale’s character’s current storyline.

“Baby One More Time,” which was performed by Michele, is the weakest of the tracks out this week. The song is an awkward listen because her voice really isn’t suited for this type of pop song. I would sooner listen to the original Britney track.

Michele really redeems herself with her second solo track (and the only non-Britney track) in this week’s recordings with Paramore’s “The Only Exception.”

Her voice sounds fantastic on this ballad. She shows vocal vulnerability, which allows the audience to connect emotionally with the song, as well as her character.

Even though this song went along well with Michele’s character’s storyline in the episode, I do think another Britney track could have been used in its place to round out the tribute episode.

That said, I think the cast of Glee did a great job with their musical tribute to Britney Spears. They really captured the essence of each song and gave some of her hits a second life to be enjoyed all over again.

Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Originally posted at BlogCritics.

Music Review >> Music From ‘Glee,’ Episode 2×01 “Audition”

Glee returned last Tuesday with five new songs for fans to Gleek out to.

“Empire State of Mind” (Jay Z, Alicia Keys) was lead by Kevin McHale (Artie), Cory Monteith (Finn) and Mark Salling (Puck), each of whom rapped during the verses. It felt awkward listening to these three trying their best attempt at covering Jay Z.

Alicia Keys originally sang her heart out on the track, but Glee’s vocal powerhouses, Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Lea Michele (Rachel) definitely do the song justice during the chorus and give the boys a run for their money.

I definitely see how this song ties in with the storyline of the Glee kids going to Nationals in New York this season, but it doesn’t make “Empire State of Mind” any less of an unexpected song choice.

The music of Lady Gaga also made its return to Glee during the first episode. Michele and newcomer, Charice (Sunshine Corazon) take on her popular hit, “Telephone.” The song definitely introduces the audience to Charice’s tremendous vocals. It is also nice to hear Michele show off her vocal versatility by performing one of today’s hits.

“Billionaire” (Bruno Mars/Travie McCoy) is a highlight from the new batch of songs. The song is performed by another Glee newcomer, Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans) and McHale. This song is a great choice for both singers. Overstreet’s voice fits this song like like a glove.

Charice also sings “Listen” (Beyonce) from the movie Dreamgirls for Summer’s audition into McKinley’s Glee Club. She definitely has the vocals to pull off this song, however for playing a character that is supposed to be a vocal threat to Michele’s character, it didn’t even compare to Michele’s solo in the episode.

It just wouldn’t be Glee without having Michele sing a song from Rachel Berry’s repertoire. Singing “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line, her voice sounded as amazing as ever. In the vocal showdown between Rachel and Sunshine during this first episode of season two, Rachel wins hands down.

I thought this first batch of songs from Glee’s second season highlighted the new characters well. Both of the new cast members showed tremendous potential with their vocals in making Glee just that much more exciting this season.

Glee airs Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Originally posted at BlogCritics.