As an avid follower of Glee, or “gleek” as we’re popularly known, I was more than excited to get my hands on a copy of Glee’s most recent album, Glee: The Music, Volume 7. I must say, I was not disappointed.
Since the show began, I have always considered it a sort of musical education. Each week, I am introduced to at least one new song. In this album, I became familiar with four of them. Though the performances remain respectful to the original versions, each song is carefully embedded with Glee’s unique style, something that I feel is better experienced for oneself. But for you, lovely reader, I will try and elaborate.
In true Glee fashion, the album is sprinkled with an assortment of songs, ranging from musical numbers to today’s pop hits. The disc kicks off with the Broadway number “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” from the musical Hairspray, followed with West Side Story’s “Somewhere” and “Tonight.” The album does a great job of incorporating upbeat tracks such as “Run the World (Girls)” along with slow, melodic tunes likes “Fix You.” I guarantee that the various energy in each of the songs ensures that you will not get bored listening to this album.
It should also be noted that the vocals on the album are impeccable, especially those of Naya Rivera in the mashup “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You.” On this track, we are introduced to a more passionate and emotional side of her, which fits perfectly with the songs blended together. In addition, I have to mention Kevin McHale’s performance in “Man in the Mirror.” Now, admittedly, Michael Jackson is a tough act to beat. However, McHale’s performance in this number left me with goosebumps. Of course the addition of the rest of the cast on the other tracks is not to be dismissed, including Broadway legend Idina Menzel, who performs a duet with Lea Michele in “Somewhere” along with an equally impressive duet with Rivera in “Constant Craving.”
Of course, what would a review be without at least one negative comment? My only real criticism for this album would be that it did not include some of my favorite songs from the first half of the season. Personally, I would have replaced “Hot For Teacher” with either the “Hit Me With Your Best Shot/One Way or Another” mash-up or “Bein’ Green,” performed by newcomer Damian McGinty. But hey, at least there are plenty of other songs to enjoy.
I think that the best thing about Glee is its ability to re-energize popular songs from the past and present in creative ways. As I mentioned before, I consider Glee my musical education which not only gives me something new to listen to, but helps me appreciate the work of artists from years past. In this way, these songs are never forgotten, but reused and recycled, to be remembered by generations to come.
I believe there is something on this album for everyone. Whether you are a Glee fan, pop music fan, Michael Jackson fan or you simply love music, you will find something that touches you. And you might just be surprised to find you’ve learned a little bit along the way.