The holidays are here! With everyone and their Aunt Sissy putting out a music album in recognition, is it any wonder Glee follows suit? This latest selection from Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, gives fans a sneak peek of the tunes which are part of the Dec. 7th episode. Although the title might refer to Christmas, not every song has a religious overtone. In fact, only a couple truly do.
“Angels We Have Heard On High” uses the powerful pipes of Amber Riley, seen each week playing Mercedes, to get its message across. There is a full gospel choir heard in the background which lends its own potency for an enjoyable listen.
“O Holy Night” has a good soloist in Lea Michele, whose Broadway training helps to bring out a richness the words deserve. One question – isn’t Michele playing a character who is Jewish? Giving Rachel, the club diva, this assignment seems a little strange, especially if one pays careful attention to the lyrics. Let me be clear, this has nothing to do with Michele’s singing abilities. I just think the character is an odd choice to sing the song.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” puts Chris Colfer, aka Kurt, and Darren Criss, new this season as Blaine, together in a delightful match up. Colfer’s soprano and the baritone of Criss blend together seamlessly for a toe tapping experience.
On the other hand, the team up of Matthew Morrison and KD Lang for “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” is not the greatest in the world. Morrison works fine for the narration, but Lang is problematic in her vocals. When these two sing together, the issue is only slightly lessened. Jane Lynch might have made more sense. After all, part of the reason Lynch is so beloved as Sue Sylvester is her over the top nastiness as a character. It’s amusing for a strong comedian, which Lynch certainly is.
“Jingle Bells” is the glee club ensemble for the men. This is a rousing rendition, which is nice. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is given to the ladies. I’m a little surprised Heather Morris, aka Brittany, is not a part of the group. Considering Riley and Michele both have solos, one could have been left off this one and Morris put in.
“O Christmas Tree” is Morrison alone. The gentle tenor gives a soft poignancy at each and every word. As Will, Morrison tends not to sing very often. Most of the time, it’s the glee kids or guest stars. This tune reminds listeners the teacher in charge is played by another Broadway vet.
No matter who the listener is, something will be found on this CD to like. Although not all strikes a home run, there are plenty of other tunes for holiday enjoyment.