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Glee. Volume 4 includes songs performed by McKinley High glee club New Directions from the first part of season 2, with the exception of songs from the Rocky Horror and Christmas episodes. On this CD you'll find three Britney Spears covers from the "Britney/Brittany" episode: "Me Against The Music," "Stronger," and my favorite, "Toxic." Although I was quite excited for Glee to cover Britney, I thought their versions (and the performances in the episode itself) stuck too close to the originals. I thought that only "Stronger," featuring Kevin McHale on lead vocals, and "Toxic," which utilized the entire cast, did something fun with her songs. The cast also takes on three Bruno Mars songs: "Billionaire," "Marry You," and "Just the Way You Are." Both "Marry You and "Just the Way You Are" are taken from the episode entitled "Furt," where Kurt's father and Finn's mother get married. "Marry You" is one of my favorite Bruno Mars songs, and although I prefer his version, I love the way the song is performed by New Directions as the walk down the aisle at the beginning of the wedding ceremony. Corey Monteith's cover of "Just the Way You Are" had me crying as I watched his character, Finn, sing to his new brother, Kurt. After the past issues between the two characters and Kurt being the target of bullies at school, I thought the performance of "Just the Way You Are" was quite heartfelt and beautiful. I don't know, Glee is often deemed a comedy, but more often than not I'm breaking out the tissues as I watch each week.
But back to the music. More highlights off this CD:
- Chris Colfer's heartbreaking version of the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
- Gwyneth Paltrow covering Cee Lo Green's "Forget You"
- Darren Criss singing Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" -- I've already raved about this performance in my "Great performances in 2010 post".
- Lea Michele's cover of "The Only Exception" by Paramore -- which also was the only non-Britney Spears song covered in the "Britney/Brittany" episode.
- Joan Osbourne's "One of Us" performed by the entire cast in the "Grilled Cheesus" episode.
Missing: Jenna Ushkowitz and Amber Riley's awesome take on Florence + the Machine's "Dog Days Are Over;" Corey Monteith's cover of REM's "Losing My Religion" from the "Grilled Cheesus" episode.