Glee’s Grant Gustin, who plays the warbling bad boy Sebastian Smythe, talked with E! earlier this week!
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.
This week’s music from Glee was quite the eclectic mix, but supplied the perfect soundtrack for the “Born This Way” episode.
Glee really brought it with the music this week. I truly enjoyed every track, but the absolute standout for me was the mash-up of West Side Story’s “I’m Pretty” with TLC’s “Unpretty,” which was sung by Lea Michele (Rachel) and Dianna Agron (Quinn).
I usually am not a huge fan of Agron’s vocals, but this mash-up really worked for her. “Unpretty” needs a soft and vulnerable vocal to make it work, and I thought she pulled it off well. I really enjoyed the contrast of her voice with Michele’s and the interchanging “I feel pretty” lines. Both ladies sound fantastic, and it was nice to hear a duet from them.
Cory Monteith (Finn) took on Sammy Davis Jr.’s “I’ve Gotta Be Me.” After listening to this track, I found this to be the best that Monteith has sounded vocally all season. It’s a very clean vocal from him, and his personality is infused throughout the song. I was taken aback a little bit when I saw this song on the track listing this week, but after seeing the episode last night, the song was a great choice for not only Monteith’s voice, but the overall theme of the “Born This Way” episode.
One of my very favorite songs, “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane was sang by Darren Criss (Blaine) and the Dalton Academy Warblers. Seriously, what can’t this dude sing? Criss has a way of emotionally connecting to every song that he sings. With “Somewhere Only We Know,” the listening audience gets to hear a very vulnerable and sincere vocal performance from him. I definitely think Glee did this song justice. And of course, shout out to the Tufts University Beezlebubs for the great backing vocals.
Chris Colfer (Kurt) returns to the solo spotlight with “As If We Never Said Goodbye” from Broadway’s Sunset Boulevard. Colfer’s vocals on this track are just stunning. The track is truly just absolute ear candy. I am hoping since Colfer’s character has now returned to the New Directions that we will be treated to a couple more solos before the season’s end.
When I found out that Glee was planning on using Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” for this episode, I thought the song was just too new to utilize for the show. But, what do I know anyway, since this song fit this week’s episode like a glove. With Colfer, Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) on lead vocals, Gaga’s “Born This Way” was hit with a dose of attitude and sass – Glee-style. I am all for uptempo group numbers, and “Born This Way” delivers in a big way.
I think this week’s bundle of Glee music may just be the best of the season, if not a close second after the music from the episode “Never Been Kissed.” Hats off to Glee’s music producers and music supervisors; the song choices and overall production were very much on point this week.
The music from “Born This Way” is available now on iTunes.
Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.
Originally posted on Blogcritics.