Music Video >> 2CELLOS – “They Don’t Care About Us” (Michael Jackson)

Music Review >> Glee Cast – “Michael”

First things first, I realize Glee took on Michael Jackson songs and that not everyone in the world is thrilled about it, but I look at it like this: It’s a tribute episode. The show utilized its talented cast and gave a handful of MJ’s classics a go. It’s completely ballsy on the show’s part, but I respect it.

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Video >> Glee Cast – “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”

Check out a full performance video from Glee’s tribute to Michael Jackson!

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Music Review >> Glee Cast – “Hold On To Sixteen”

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.

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Music Review >> Patrick Stump – ‘Soul Punk’

Last month, Patrick Stump (formerly of pop-punk band Fall Out Boy) debuted Soul Punk, his first full-length solo endeavor. This record taps into a much funkier side of Stump than what fans are accustomed to hearing from the singer.

In an interview with Alternative Press, Stump was candid about the music he made with Fall Out Boy and other collaborators. “At no point in any of this has it been my thing,” he stated. “I’ve never had my thing. I wanted to do my thing, and I wanted to do it my way… I wanted to set the tone for the future. [Soul Punk is] kind of like a calling card.”

Take one listen to Soul Punk’s opening track, “Explode,” and you will at once realize that this is not the Stump we all knew from Fall Out Boy. Rather, he’s emerged here as a pop/R&B/hip-hop dynamo to reignite appreciation for the art of music.

Really putting a stamp on his identity as an artist, Stump wrote and produced the entire record. He also played every instrument, including drums, bass, guitar, analog synth, piano, percussion, trumpet, saxophone, and mandolin — just to name a few.

Channeling his musical influences throughout the record — among them Prince, David Bowie and, obviously, Michael Jackson — Stump successfully manages to cross multiple genres. There’s hip-hop, R&B, and a little bit of rock thrown in that creates a record that the singer described as “hopefully smart pop” to Virgin.com’s Red Room.

“I wrote a lot of songs that on the surface sound like they’re very vapid and, you know, silly songs,” he explained. “But then I subverted in them a lot of meanings and a lot of things. It’s a very political record, but I disguised them as drinking songs or sexy R&B songs.”

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Music Review >> Glee Cast – “Silly Love Songs”

Glee is getting lovey-dovey this week with the song selections from their Valentines’ Day-themed episode, “Silly Love Songs.”

For the second episode in a row Kevin McHale (Artie) takes a Michael Jackson hit. In his episode, he’s singing “P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing).” Out of all the males, I think McHale was definitely the right choice to sing this song. His voice has the right tone and flavor to pull this song off. I think it was important for him and the show to not have a carbon-copy vocal, but still manage to keep the essence of the song intact, and I think they succeeded on both levels.

This week Mark Salling (Puck) is singing Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls.” I know this song fits in with Puck’s storyline for the episode, but I feel like the song was in the wrong key for him. At times it sounded like he was straining to hit the higher notes. Because of this, I have to wonder if the backing vocals are purposely drowning his voice out. It seems depending on the song selection for him, Salling’s vocal performances continue to be very hit or miss this season.

We’re treated to two songs from Dalton Academy’s Warblers during the episode. Per usual, the vocal stylings of Darren Criss (Blaine) are featured on both tracks. First up 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.
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Music Review >> Glee Cast – “The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle”

Glee returns this Sunday for a special episode that’s airing right after Super Bowl XLV. This new episode contains four brand new tracks from the Glee Cast.

Lea Michele (Rachel) and Mark Salling (Puck) duet on the popular Lady Antebellum song, “Need You Now.” I have always wanted to hear these two sing a duet together, so it is such a treat to have it happen. The two singers were given a great track to sing, that fits pretty perfectly with their ongoing storyline.

I really liked that Michele and Salling didn’t try to do carbon copies of the original vocals for this track. Michele has a beautiful voice for ballads. I feel like sometimes she does struggle with the more contemporary tracks, but “Need You Now” fits her voice like a glove. Salling really adapts his voice well for this track, and really shows a softer side of his vocals that the audience doesn’t hear too often from him. Singing together on the chorus, both singers sound fantastic. The singers’ vocals compliment each other, and have personally left me wanting another duet from them.

I think Cory Monteith sounds good on lead vocals on the Glee version of The Zombies’ “She’s Not There.” The tone of his voice was really nice. However, during the chorus with all the guys from New Directions singing together, I felt like I was being yelled at. That doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to sing-a-long when I feel that I am being yelled at.

In the upcoming 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.
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