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Music Review: Glee Cast – “Prom Queen”

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The latest tracks from Glee’s most recent episode “Prom Queen” are quite the eclectic mix. They are also some of the best-produced tracks of the season.

Last week’s tracks included the return of Jonathan Groff (Jesse St. James), who alongside Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) sang Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” as a duet. After the second listen, I realized that Glee had chosen the John Legend arrangement of the song, which in context of the episode works. And it goes without saying that both Groff and Michele sound phenomenal singing together.

For me, though, this track was kind of a letdown. I had imagined Glee playing up the drama in the song by adding more of a rock vibe to its arrangement. I was really taken aback when I first heard the track, because it’s nothing like I’d imagined. I never thought that Glee would do such a blatant cover of a cover; that just shows a lack of creativity.

Kevin McHale (Artie) brings the soft and subtle vibe with Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.” I love how the song starts out a capella. From the first note, the song makes you take notice, because there’s nothing else to distract from McHale’s voice.

When some light, acoustic guitar strumming and drumming kick in during the second verse, it’s just the perfect accent to the song. McHale’s voice isn’t overpowered at all. I definitely think Glee showed some creativity with the arrangement on this one.

You know, prior to listening to this week’s tracks, I had never bothered to listen to Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” because I had read the lyrics, and that was enough for me. So having no clue about what the original song sounds like, I think the Glee version isn’t half bad. Actually, I woke up last Friday morning with it stuck in my head. Fun, fun, fun!

The voices of Mark Salling (Puck), McHale, and Chord Overstreet (Sam) blend quite nicely together. They could be the Glee version of the ’90’s boyband LFO. (Not to be totally off-topic, but how fun would a boyband-themed Glee episode be?)

Lea Michele’s second song in this week’s batch of tracks was Christina Perri’s current hit, “Jar of Hearts.” I love this song, and Michele has the perfect voice to pull it off. I actually prefer Michele’s take on the song over the original. She has the ability to make you stop what you’re doing and pay attention while she’s singing. “Jar of Hearts” is definitely one of my two personal favorites from this week.

GLEE: Blaine (guest star, Darren Criss) performs in the "Prom Queen" episode of GLEE airing Tuesday, May 10 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Adam Rose/FOX My other personal favorite from this week was Darren Criss (Blaine) singing the Black Kids’ “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You.” I found that Glee mostly stuck to the song’s original arrangement, but made the opening chords pop a little more. Criss sounds fantastic. He’s singing in a slightly lower key than what we usually hear from him, and he really works it out. I am hoping that this track makes the Glee Live! tour that’s getting ready to kick off, because it’s such a fun and catchy song. If you’re going to download anything from the “Prom Queen” episode, head to iTunes and download this one first.

The final track comes from Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Naya Rivera (Santana), who duet on the ABBA classic, “Dancing Queen.” I really thought this song was out of place. Even in context of the episode, I had to raise my eyebrow at it being used. Both ladies sound just fine, but I would have picked a different song to include this week.

Overall, I thought the tracks from the “Prom Queen” episode were pretty good. The Glee cast sounded great across the board. Still, I’m disappointed about the lack of creativity shown on the Lea Michele/Jonathan Groff duet of “Rolling in the Deep.”

The tracks from Glee’s “Prom Queen” episode are currently available on iTunes.

Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Photo credit: Adam Rose/FOX

About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer/Blogger 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, fun.'s Andrew Dost, singer-songwriter Christina Perri, American Idol winners (David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze & Scotty McCreery) and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance. Connect with Kirsten on Twitter & Facebook.