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Music Review: Glee Cast – “New York”

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Included in the last batch of Glee tracks which could be heard in last week’s season two finale “New York” were four new original songs, Matthew Morrison’s latest single, and one of the best duets from the entire season. GLEE: The glee club visits New York City for Regionals in the "New York" season finale episode of GLEE airing Tuesday, May 24 (9:00-10 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Pictured from L-R: Ashley Fink; Dianna Agron; Lea Michele; Heather Morrison; Kevin McHale; Jenna Ushkowitz; Amber Riley, Naya Rivera) ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOX

It wouldn’t truly be Glee without one final mash-up of the season. The mash-up of Madonna’s “I Love New York” with On The Town’s “New York, New York” is interesting. Glee definitely sped up the tempo from the original Madonna song, which gave it more of a pop feel and kind of took away the song’s edge. I did like Cory Monteith (Finn) and Naya Rivera (Santana) on lead vocals together. It’s nice to mix up the Lea Michele/Monteith leads every so often. I like that Glee kind of put in the effort this season to let Rivera shine a little more.

I couldn’t help but crack up a little at Mark Salling (Puck), Chord Overstreet (Sam), and Kevin McHale’s (Artie) “Bella Notte,” which is from Disney’s Lady and The Tramp. It’s one of those songs that you don’t expect to hear on Glee, but it’s still just oh-so charming. The song is sung well by all three guys. I like that it’s not overtly cheesy, and would fit nicely alongside other tracks on your Glee playlist.

Matt Morrison (Will) took a turn in the spotlight with “Still Got Tonight,” which was co-written by American Idol season eight winner, Kris Allen. The song is Morrison’s current single off his recently released debut album. Crossover promotion at it’s finest! I really like this song. I think it’s a great mid-tempo pop track that I hope does well for Morrison.

Glee unleashed four new original tracks, including the hilarious “My Cup” sung by Heather Morris. Even though this track is just for laughs, it’s actually quite catchy. I found myself listening to it on repeat. It’s just one of those songs that makes you smile.

“As Long As You’re There” was the original song written for Charice (Sunshine) to sing with Vocal Adrenaline at Nationals. I’m usually not a big ballad person, but I really like this song. Charice’s voice and the song go hand in hand. She excels with these types of songs, so it’s nice to hear her end the season literally on a high note.

It wouldn’t be the season finale of Glee without a poignant duet from Lea Michele (Rachel) and Cory Monteith. “Pretending” is yet another original song for Glee’s New Directions. It’s actually not bad at all. I know I’ve stated this repeatedly this season, but I do very much like their voice combination. I think Michele very much brings the best out of Monteith’s voice when they are paired together.

The final original song is “Light Up the World,” which was co-written by Max Martin. I love how upbeat this song is. More so, I love that this was their big GLEE: Brittany (Heather Morrison, C) and Santana (Naya Rivera, R) perform at Regionals in the "New York" season finale episode of GLEE airing Tuesday, May 24 (9:00-10:00PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adam Rose/FOX show stopping song and other main players like Naya Rivera, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), who are not highlighted as frequently as other cast members, got to shine on lead vocals. Upon first listen, I didn’t think I would like this song as much as I do, but the chorus has been stuck in my head for the last week.

For me, the standout track from the “New York” episode was the duet between Lea Michele and Chris Colfer (Kurt), who sang “For Good” from Wicked. I love the pairing of Michele and Colfer more than any other combo that Glee has come up with in the past. There is something special that happens when these two combine their musical talents. This is one of the best duets of the entire Glee season.

I have to applaud the show for taking the risk of using original songs. I was very skeptical of this when the show announced they would be including originals, because a good pop song is a rare find on the music charts these days. However, the original songs, even the ones done in a comedic sense, have been pretty spectacular. Props to you, Glee!

The music from the second season of Glee is currently available on iTunes.

Photo credit: Craig Blankenhorn, Adam Rose/FOX

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed a variety of people from across the entertainment spectrum, including singer-songwriter/Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, Andrew Dost from the Grammy Award-winning band fun., singer-songwriter Christina Perri, and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance.