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Music Review: Glee: The Power of Madonna Cast Recording

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The talented cast of Glee continue to churn out great remakes of beloved songs that make even the casual viewer want to purchase the soundtrack. This time, Madonna’s songs are the ones that will be subjected to Gleekification during the episode entitled “The Power of Madonna,” set to air April 20 on FOX.

Glee follows the ups and downs of McKinley High’s Glee Club as they set to conquer the world one singing competition at a time. According to the FOX press release about the episode “The Power of Madonna,” Mr. Schuester is concerned about the girls in the Glee Club being disrespected by its male members. Hoping that the girls adopt Madonna’s strength and the boys see the errors of their misogynistic ways, he challenges the team to choose Madonna songs for their next assignment.

As always, the remakes breathe new life into already vibrant songs. This is the third installment of Glee music. The Power of Madonna is a mini-album in the number of songs it contains, but definitely not in its quality.

A trip straight back into the 1980s — with a small sidestep into the 21st century — the mini-album features remakes of seven of Madonna’s songs. Most of them are classics, such as “Express Yourself” and “Vogue.” One is a mash-up of “Borderline” and “Open your Heart,” and one is a more recent single, “4 Minutes.”

The most interesting track here is “What It Feels Like For a Girl.” The lyrics Madonna sang in 2001 still (unfortunately) ring true today, but they acquire a new poignancy as they are sung by the boys in Glee Club. It’s a little jarring at first, but having guys sing “But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading/'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading” in an era of both backpedaling with regard to women’s emancipation and increasing homophobia give reason for a good, long pause. Hopefully tomorrow’s episode is going to emphasize this message.

But the best performance of the album is definitely “Like a Prayer.” The talented voices of the Glee cast, backed by a full choir, masterfully carry the lyrics to greater heights.

Madonna, who was treated to an advance viewing of the episode, said, “I think Mr. Schuester is very cute, and I’m glad he’s doing such a good job empowering all the girls.”

“This episode is our love letter to Madonna, an artist who has inspired me all my life. The hardest part was having to choose which songs to include from her incredible catalogue, as there were so many we wanted to do,” said Glee executive producer and co-creator Ryan Murphy. “We send her our thanks for her generosity with her music.”

The Glee: The Power of Madonna mini-album will be in stores the same day FOX airs the episode of the same name, Tuesday, April 20 (the episode airs at 9/8 central).

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  • http://www.thesmogger.com Mike

    I don’t think there’s been a more anticipated episode of TV this season than tomorrow’s Madonna episode…with the finale of LOST aside, of course. Sue’s version of VOGUE and the song list is incredible – Here is the video released by Fox and all the streaming songs.

  • Lisa

    TheWrap has an interesting piece about the licensing side of Glee, which should have Madonna “Glee”-ful over her licensing revenues!