Glee Cast | Format: Audio CD
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- Don't Stop Believin'
- Can't Fight This Feeling
- Gold Digger
- Take a Bow
- Bust Your Windows
- Taking Chances
- Maybe This Time
- Somebody to Love
- Hate On Me
- No Air
- You Keep Me Hangin' On
- Keep Holding On
- Bust a Move
- Sweet Caroline
- Dancing with Myself
- Defying Gravity
Relive your favorite Glee moments with original cast recordings. 17 tracks including "Don't Stop Believin", "Somebody to Love" and "Take a Bow."
This soundtrack is GREAT, not your typical covers album...
All in all, this CD confounds expectations with it's contradictory flair, as does the show...it should be THE uncoolest thing out there...a glee club performing songs by uncool people like Journey, REO Speedwagon, Broadway tunes, hiphop/R&B, and more...
But it's COOL!!!
The way the songs are rearranged and reimagined, the kids (and teacher, etc) can all really sing, the context is about underdogs, the writing is sharp as a knife, and you care about the characters...it's an unexpected, exciting, odd, and brilliant treat. The real surprise is how well the songs and performances hold up as a CD, outside of the show...and yes, get the Target edition for 3 great bonus tracks...I met the kids too, and they're all really nice, good kids...but the main 2 girls (Lea Michele who plays Rachel, and Dianna Agron who plays Quinn) are stunningly (as they say in the UK) "fit" in person. Here's the breakdown of the CD:
1- "Don't Stop Believin'" (Rachel & Finn, the Journey song from 1981, nice arrangement with the accappella opening...it works!!)
2- "Can't Fight This Feeling" (Finn, the REO Speedwagon #1 ballad from 1984, it's given a fresh acoustic guitar treatment and imperfect but tender reading that gives it new life)
3- "Gold Digger" (Will and featuring Mercedes, the Kanye West(?!) song that's sorta like the teacher trying to be "hip" and "up-to-date", but it actually works and is as good as the original...Amber Riley's booming Martha Wash-like vocals add flavour)
4- "Take A Bow" (Rachel, the Rihanna song which works in context of the show and this CD, and Lea sings it with real emotion...I like it better than the original!!)
5- "Bust Your Windows" (Mercedes, the Jazmine Sullivan song which works perfectly with Amber's booming soul vocals, which are on par with Jennifer Hudson & Martha Wash...I like it as much as the original)
6- "Taking Chances" (Rachel, the Platinum Weird song...you're like WHO?? PW was a fictional band with Eurythmic Dave Stewart, but the vocals were by Kara DioGuardi...yep, the American Idol judge...and those 2 wrote this song...their album was almost "released" in 1974 but got shelved, and that actually came out in 2006...they also did a "new" 2006 album, which DID get shelved but got packaged at the last minute with ONLY BestBuy's edition..."Taking Chances" is on that BestBuy CD only...this project was botched basically, and Kara & Dave gave this song to Celine Dion for her album of the same name from 2007/2008...Celine is now only known for this song, not Kara...the original KILLS, Celine's not as great and an identical arrangement...LEA's version here is BETTER than Celine's and as great as the PW version...similar arrangement too...I guess best not to change it at all.)
7- "Alone" (Will & April, the Steinberg/Kelly song that was a huge #1 hit cover for Heart in 1987...Heart's version is iconic, and it's never been a duet before, but it works...this blows all attempts on Idol...except for Alison Iraheta's career-making take...Kristen blows the roof off while Matt is ample support...the guitars are rawer here than on Heart's version...love it)
8- "Maybe This Time" (Rachel & April...the "Cabaret" song, in an iconic spot on "Glee", works excellently here...GREAT vocal dual by Kris & Lea and I love the jazzy arrangement)
9- "Somebody To Love" (Rachel, Finn, Mercedes & Artie...yep, the Queen song, and the cast's take is as great, or better, than George Michael's take...it comes mighty close, believe it or not, to Queen's original)
10- "Hate On Me" (Mercedes, the R&B/hiphop song, TI?!?, not sure, I don't follow mainstream hiphop/R&B really, but it's a decent track, better than the original, as I'd rather listen to this than seek out the original, and that's rare)
11- "No Air" (Rachel & Finn, a hit as a Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown duet, and it's as good as their version...JS/CB didn't write the song, so it was easy for Lea & Cory to match)
12- "You Keep Me Hangin On" (Quinn, the #1 hit Supremes classic, and Dianna pulls it off!!! The arrangement is close to the Supremes original, not Kim Wilde's 1987 #1 cover, but Dianna brings an innocence to her take, which meshes well with the lyrical defiance of the song...it works both in the cheerleader scene on the show and as a track on the CD...not easy...and I LOVE Lady Di's vocals...many think they're weak, but I disagree...I find her vocals charming)
13- "Keep Holding On" (Rachel & Finn, the Avril Lavigne power-ballad which works better on this CD and on the show than in Av's repertoire, I think)
14- "Bust A Move" (Will, see "Gold Digger", but his take on Young MC's memorable late 80s pop/rap classic works better than Kanye, as it showcases Matt's personality better, and the musical track is still just as fun, with the Glee-sters adding fun "you want It, you got it"...girls...and "Bust A Move!!"...guys...)
15- "Sweet Caroline" (Puck, the #1 Neil Diamond standard...on an unrelated note, this tribute to Caroline Kennedy and the Turtles' "Happy Together" are similar songs and the Glee-sters should do that song too...Mark does an AWESOMELY great take on this song, adding fresh energy to his great voice...he's like Neil Diamond mixed with Robbie Williams really...and I'm THRILLED the Glee-sters didn't add the annoying horn-line imitation "ba ba ba" on the chorus that they did on the show and fans of this song always do...but my one complaint is that this version is TOO SHORT!!!! It should have been 2 minutes longer...sorry, 1:58 is too short, it's inexcusable...I should loop it or something)
16- "Dancing With Myself" (Artie, the Billy Idol/Generation X new wave/punk classic, reimagined as a finger-snapping acoustic jazzy shuffler, and it really works...I at first found it annoying, but it was the biggest grower for me on the whole CD...go "Wheels"!!)
17- "Defying Gravity" (Kurt & Rachel, the song from "Wicked", sung originally solo by Long Islander Idina Menzel, and it IS a beautiful song, love it, and I was curious if Lea's vocals would be just as magical, and they are...predictably...if not more so, but the REAL surprise is Chris' BEAUTIFUL falsetto on this duet...like goosebump-worthy...he's worthy of complete adulation...I asked him at the signing when he will get his own song on the show, he said next week...this is the one, and people will be blown away, seriously...again, my one complaint is that the song's a bit too short...2:21, should have been a minute and a half longer)
TARGET BONUS TRACKS:
18- "I Wanna Sex You Up" (Will, the Color Me Badd song freom 1992...here is the ACAFELLAS version, and it's actually pretty cool on record...I never thought I'd love ANY take on this song, but this version's pretty sweet and cool...an achievement)
19- "I Could Have Danced All Night" (Emma, the one track sung by fave Jayma Mays, and she has an utterly sweet voice, not unlike Julie Andrews, and the song fits her like that wedding dress, but the track is, again, way too short...a minute and a half, are you kidding?? 1-2 more minutes please...I'm not into these too-short tracks)
20- "Leaving On A Jet Plane" (Will, the real surprise of the CD...this song hasn't been performed on the show yet, and I had no clue that Matt would be doing this utterly sweet take on this John Denver classic...the guy is better at doing these types of songs than silly rap numbers...being he arranged this himself, I wonder if he's also a songwriter and has put out records before...cuz he has talent...and if you listen to the lyrics, you wonder how it will play out in the show...if it's geared towards his sham of a wife or towards Emma...we shall see...but these 3 bonus tracks are reason enough to buy Target's edition)
The show "Glee" is brilliantly realized and original, this CD is so good and fun and stands apart from the show as a CD itself, which is quite rare, the singing is great, the arrangements are cool and creative, and it makes me anticipate more music and CDs to come...boxsets perhaps???
Maybe I am a "Gleek"!!!
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