Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Freak the Gleek out!

Several CDs featuring songs performed on the TV show Glee are available now. The first part of the season (aka The Road to Sectionals) ended in December and Glee: The Music Volumes 1 and 2 include songs from those episodes. The second half of season 1 is currently airing; the CD Glee: The Music: The Power of Madonna has already been released to go along with an episode that featured solely Madonna songs. Glee, set in a high school in Lima, Ohio, is about the outcast members of the glee club, the teacher (Will Schuester, played by Matthew Morrison) who motivates them, and a cheerleading coach (Sue Sylvester, played by Jane Lynch) who stops at nothing to mock them. Awesome trivia fact: co-creator Ian Brennan developed the idea for the show (which initially was supposed to be a movie) based on his high school years at Prospect High School in the show choir (located in Mount Prospect, IL). Which high school did American Idol finalist Lee DeWyze also attend? Prospect!

On the show the actors cover a variety of song types, from current songs ("Gold Digger," "Smile" by Lily Allen, "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson) and guilty pleasure songs ("Crush" by Jennifer Paige or "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, featured in a recent episode), to karaoke staples ("Alone" by Heart, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond) and Broadway songs ("Mr. Cellopane" from Chicago). My favorites are those that include the entire glee club, like "Don't Stop Believin'," "Gold Digger," and "Somebody to Love." I think on the big group numbers the singers and varied arrangements really breathe new life into the songs. I also love anything sung by Matthew Morrison, even his rapping on "Gold Digger" and "Bust a Move." A big stand-out is his performance of the mash-up of "Don't Stand So Close To Me" by the Police and "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.

Glee: The Music, Volume 1
Find it in the catalog!
17 songs; includes the Rhianna cover "Take a Bow," sung by Rachel (Lea Michelle), Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself," sung by Artie (Kevin McHale), Heart's "Alone" sung by April (Kristen Chenoweth) and Will, and "Defying Gravity," from Wicked, sung by Rachel and Kurt (Chris Colfer)

Highlights: Kanye West's "Gold Digger," Queen's "Somebody to Love" covered by the entire club, Finn (Corey Monteith) and Rachel leading the glee club on "Don't Stop Believin'"

Glee: The Music, Volume 2
Find it in the catalog!
17 songs; includes Finn singing "I'll Stand by You" by the Pretenders, Artie and Mercedes singing "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers, Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) signing Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors"

Highlights: "Don't Stand So Close To Me / Young Girl" performed by Will, "Crush" performed by Rachel
Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna
Find it in the catalog!
7 songs from the"Power of Madonna" episode which aired on April 20. My favorite is "4 Minutes," the Madonna-Justin Timberlake duet, which includes the McKinley marching band backing Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Kurt.

Other highlights include the guys singing "What It Feels Like For A Girl," Sue Sylvester's (Jane Lynch) "Vogue," and the group number "Like A Prayer."
Songs from the show are also available for download from iTunes. The Glee cast performs May 25 and 26 at the Rosemont Theatre!