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Music Review: Music From Glee Episode 2 x 01 “Audition”

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Glee returned last Tuesday with five new songs for fans to Gleek out to.

“Empire State of Mind” (Jay Z, Alicia Keys) was lead by Kevin McHale (Artie), Cory Monteith (Finn) and Mark Salling (Puck), each of whom rapped during the verses. It felt awkward listening to these three trying their best attempt at covering Jay Z.

Alicia Keys originally sang her heart out on the track, but Glee’s vocal powerhouses, Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Lea Michele (Rachel) definitely do the song justice during the chorus and give the boys a run for their money.

I definitely see how this song ties in with the storyline of the Glee kids going to Nationals in New York this season, but it doesn’t make “Empire State of Mind” any less of an unexpected song choice.

The music of Lady Gaga also made its return to Glee during the first episode. Michele and newcomer, Charice (Sunshine Corazon) take on her popular hit, “Telephone.” The song definitely introduces the audience to Charice’s tremendous vocals. It is also nice to hear Michele show off her vocal versatility by performing one of today’s hits.

“Billionaire” (Bruno Mars/Travie McCoy) is a highlight from the new batch of songs. The song is performed by another Glee newcomer, Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans) and McHale. This song is a great choice for both singers. Overstreet’s voice fits this song like like a glove.

Charice also sings “Listen” (Beyonce) from the movie Dreamgirls for Summer’s audition into McKinley’s Glee Club. She definitely has the vocals to pull off this song, however for playing a character that is supposed to be a vocal threat to Michele’s character, it didn’t even compare to Michele’s solo in the episode.

It just wouldn’t be Glee without having Michele sing a song from Rachel Berry’s repertoire. Singing “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line, her voice sounded as amazing as ever. In the vocal showdown between Rachel and Sunshine during this first episode of season two, Rachel wins hands down.

I thought this first batch of songs from Glee’s second season highlighted the new characters well. Both of the new cast members showed tremendous potential with their vocals in making Glee just that much more exciting this season.

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

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a writer and editor from the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her long-running music blog, Wait...WHAT, at waitwhatmusic.net. Follow Kirsten Coachman on Twitter: @KirsCoachman
  • Gleek

    sorry but rachel’s voice is nothing compare to Charice’ Sunshine Corazon.

  • MeLoveGlee

    Bias review, no doubt about it! You just lost your credibility as a “writer”–get a real job!

  • marc

    Dah! you better study music, they both good but charice voice is too big which rachel lost in telephone.

  • marc

    Yes! you better change your job 🙂 your not honest in prints!

  • sami

    You have GOT to be kidding. Charice wiped the floor with her. Charice was ridiculous.

  • Gleedict

    Better have your ears check. Charice kills Listen and Lea.

  • Thanks for your feedback everyone. It’s not “bias,” it’s called having an opinion. And I didn’t say that Charice sounded bad on “Listen,” in fact she was really good. However, if you really listen to Lea’s “What I Did For Love,” she throws it down. I think they are both very talented singers, but based on the solo performances, I thought Lea had the stronger performance.

    But again, thank you for the feedback. All opinions are welcome.

  • dana kennedy

    Are u kidding us Kirsten? You cannot fool the audience nowadays….Listen is the best song sang that night as shown in majority of the polls….yes, better check your ears its clogged with very bias opinion.

  • Dana — I am not trying to fool the audience. My music reviews for Glee are based on the full length recordings, not the edited performances on the show. Please keep that in mind.

  • Krista0

    hmmm…. polls and itunes sales do show Listen by Charice besting widfl sung be Lea Michelle. So there. But I give you your moment, it is your opinion and I have one to the contrary, as well as most other people.

  • Anthony

    Hello!!! You are a writer, but DEFINITELY NOT a music critic! You have no idea what you’re talking about! This article is not creditable! You are worse than Ellen DeGeneres at judging the “Idol”. That’s right! You better quit as you don’t know what you’re talking about! No supporting arguments, just plain stupidity and bias!

  • Matt

    3 Reasons why this article is plain Wrong:
    1. Coachman graduated in CSU 4 years ago in Mass Communication, NOT music
    2. Coacman is 28 years old
    3. This article is not a Professional critic but rather an OPINION
    3. Coachman is a BLOGGER, not a WRITER
    3. Anyone can be a BLOGGER
    3. Everyone has OPINION
    3. Some people are TONE DEAF
    3. Fresno is in the middle of nowhere! All they hear there is cow moos!
    3. and last of all the 3 reasons, in my OPINION, Kirsten Coachman’s OPINION is plain wrong!

  • Mildred

    I’d like to add to Matt’s 3 reasons, Kirsten Coachman has written 71 articles all of which are BLAHs, i meant BLOGS, same difference!~

  • dana kennedy

    Kirsten said that her opinion was based on the full length recording…the more you should be ashamed of yourself because Listen full length recording is far superior from the rest of the widfl compilation.I agree with Matt, CSU Fresno degree really did not help u at all and reinforced the inferior education you got from the cal state system.

  • Run! The Gleeks are attacking!

  • andre

    LOL matt! that was friggen funny and spot on!!

    kirsten, next time.. best to just review rachel’s solo.. and gush about it heaps so it wouldnt look so bias! hahaha

    well, i had a look at glee forum poll.. which is apparently hardcore gleeks forum.. and guess what? your fav rachel is trailing…

    rachel vs sunshine

    rachel 359 44.76%
    sunshine 443 55.24%

    as for favorite song/performance

    WIDFL 280 35.62%
    Listen 318 40.46%

  • m8b

    Hey Guys, Easy on Kirsten. She has every right to express her own opinion and you’ve got to respect that. While I disagree with her conclusions as well (I’m a Charice fan) let’s keep it civil – no taunts and name calling please. If you support Charice, you are doing her a big disservice by acting like high school kids (or maybe you are? LoL). Paging Ms. Sue Sylvester!!!

  • Adrianne

    didnt you “listen” carefully?? sunshine’s audition was the best performance in the first episode!! =)

  • zingzing

    “This article is not a Professional critic but rather an OPINION.”

    what do you think criticism is? objective fact? come on. criticism IS opinion.

    and this was one of the more reasonable comments… between all the “the polls show you’re wrong” and the “you’re stupid”s, glee fans aren’t coming off as the most intelligent bunch.

  • oblique

    @Adrianne @Kirsten “heard” Sunshine/Charice sang, but SHE DID NOT “listen”. 🙂

  • Edbern

    Chill down guys! Kirsten’s opinion is as good as it gets. I am a Charice fan and I did not see anything wrong with Kirsten’s opinion. In fact she praises Charice’s rendition and her vocals. But we only differ in the conclusion which is not a big deal. Let it be….It’s in the EARS of the beholder..

  • diane

    yea get you ears check up may be they got clogged listening to rachel’s widfl i agree stop reviewing music try movies

  • well, well, well! And so goes the rivalry! That’s how Ryan Murphy wants it! And it’s playing well.

    Sunshine vs Rachelle.

    Both are extremely talented and with good followers/following that it’s hard to side anyone.

    The best thing to do is watch and enjoy the catfight.

  • marc

    🙂 lol all people got same reaction for this stupid review, pls. those people who acted as charice fans but favored to kirsten I think ur not a real chaster 🙂 common get real!!! Charice rule in audition!

  • Curse Ten

    I agree that this is just your opinion: “In the vocal showdown between Rachel and Sunshine during this first episode of season two, Rachel wins hands down.” Your conclusion is based on your feeling: “Michele is amazing as ever!”, “character that is supposed to be a vocal threat to Michele’s character, it didn’t even compare to Michele’s solo in the episode”, etc. Your title is music review. Is this what you call a review? Are you even qualified to review music? Is this the quality of writing you learned from your Mass Communications and Journalism degree? I pity California State University for producing such kind of graduate. If indeed your review is right then facts should agree with your conclusion. Unfortunately, in i-tunes alone Listen by Charice ranked within top 10 and ranked higher than What I Did for Love by Berry.

  • Adrian

    Guys, calm down! It’s not Charice vs. Lea Michele. It was Sunshine vs. Rachel — fictional characters on Glee.

    Charice toned down her performance here. Just go to YouTube for her usual roof-raising “Listen” renditions where she kills the song LIVE on stage! Maybe the director asked her to step it down a notch to keep the focus on the lead actress. Remember that Sunshine is only a supporting character, not the main star of the show.

    So let Rachel win. She needs it very, very badly. 😉

  • Kevin

    Everyone has a right to their own opinion but the writer certainly had an agenda to make Rachel look better even though Sunshine performed better. I usually respect other people’s opinion but the writer certainly did not look at it from a subjective point of view and looked for ways to downplay Sunshine’s performance in order to make Rachel look better.

  • Adrian

    Also, please respect the opinions of the blogger. Kirsten does not deserve this kind of treatment. Charice herself is a humble, gracious lady. Wish some of her avid fans would behave the same way. We all can agree to disagree properly, right?

  • glee

    why are you so scared in criticizing the blogger who definitely is not qualified to be a music reviewer??? can u imagine the wrong opinion this blogger is spreading in the net? it will do good to defend the artist more than the blogger in this case. so don’t be prude…..

  • JeremiahKD

    It is one thing to praise Rachel’s performance but negatively criticizing Charice’s spectacular performance made you a horrible critic. You need to switch to a different career, maybe a politician (lol).

  • Gleek

    Ms. Kirsten, I do not know where did u go to school but u need a lot of coaching. I suggest u need to go to a doctor and have an eye and ear surgery then go back to a real school and learn how to become a real writer.

  • pandays_wife

    Rachel and Sunshine are very talented singers but Sunshine’s Listen gave me goosebumps and chills. I agree with Glee director and creator that she will give Rachel a worthwhile competition indeed

  • Adrian


    I’m not afraid of voicing my own opinions and standing by them despite insinuations of me being “scared.” In fact, it’s a matter of personal integrity that I don’t behave like a buffoon.

    Sorry, but people like me don’t buckle under peer pressure. I can maintain composure and etiquette on the net. Furthermore, Glee is about expressing your individuality… so don’t be a bully, aiight?

    And what the hell is a “wrong” opinion?! Opinions are subjective and they don’t qualify as facts unless they come from a qualified professional in his scope of expertise. It’s not like the blogger is placed on a witness stand for extensive cross-examination. She’s entitled to her opinion just like the rest of us.

    Lastly, it is also my opinion that Charice doesn’t need this kind of rabid defense from her fans. It only alienates her would-be admirers when they see her fans being so obnoxious.

  • Anthony

    Nothing is wrong with expressing opinions…so my opinion is that Kirsten’s opinion is wrong, well, how’s that for an opinion?

  • Adrian


    Well… your opinion is wrong! Just kidding. :p

  • Ms Taklah

    I will make it brief and concise opinion for Kirsten blog page. I strongly disagree with your critic review and I strongly advised to watch the episode again??? Charice was a gazillion better than Rachel!!! Your opinion was obviously biased!!! and I suggest you need a career change it doesn’t pleased your co-bloggers…

  • m8b

    @Anthony An opinion on a supposed wrong opinion sounds good to me. So keep those opinions coming…LOL!

    Kirsten’s probably relishing all this attention…and if that was her objective then she has succeeded indeed!

  • Jessica86s

    boy Kristen, looks like you just stepped on a pile of poop didn’t you? LMAO

  • finchelFTW

    Well, Im’ a huge lea michele fan but to totally downplay charice’s audition song is just plain wrong. I wasnt even expecting charice to kill Listen. omg. i had chills just like when lea sang dont rain on my parade during sectionals. love it. anyway cant wait for the Britney epi. awwww.

  • arvs

    oh my! What ear did this author have to say that Rachel’s performance was better that Charice on Episode 1? ‘What I did for love’ had emotions but definitely lacked power and fared way way behind in most aspects. I was sorry bigtime for Rachel for she came nowhere near Sunshine’s rendition of Listen.

  • noysmaykr

    Sorry for the writer but, really, voice-wise, most people are hearing correctly: it’s Charice/Sunshine over Lea/Rachel.

  • noysmaykr

    Adrian is right when he said Charice toned down her performance here. Charice regularly delivers more than this one in Glee. She definitely has performed Listen better somewhere else. Check her out on youtube and, like in a restaurant menu, take your pick or try every song she sang. Yo’ll be glad you did.

  • Don

    You people that thought Rachel wins hands down you have to remember that Charice sang Listen live and Rachel solo was recorded.

  • Don

    What I mean Rachel lipsinc her words and Charice sang her song for the audition live.

  • BeckyM

    Kristen, haha, you make me laugh hard on that. well it’s alright, I love Lea’s talent though. but of course Charice FTW eh!

  • Gio

    why they allow this writer to be here! Don’t even have a taste in music,lolz.

  • Gio

    Adrian. I know Charice is humble, that’s why I’m disappointed on this content without even a basis attacking her performance, Are you even checking polls Krestein? If not. better post this blog(?) on your facebook, and make sure to share strictly only with your friends.

  • RickL

    I would understand if you made a comment on Charice’s hand movements but her voice? It’s like you’re saying that the Grammy Award winner producer David Foster is deaf together with Oprah, Bocelli, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, ETC.. and the rest of the world. Personally I don’t like Britney Spears because of her personal issues but I won’t deny she’s pretty and talented.

    Just check in Youtube the videos uploaded by the same user “pgsmru”

    Glee – Listen HD
    6 days ago 311,144 views

    Glee – What I Did for Love HD
    6 days ago 32,836 views

  • RickL

    But in fairness to you Kirsten, I love the fact that you are open to criticisms yourself and not block or disable the comments here.. Just keep that attitude and we’ll see you mature as a writer. At least you now know the value of an honest opinion, objective writing and critical judging. Make a survey and research first before write. I forgive you and still love you.. 😉

  • shir

    1. don’t underestimate charice’s fan base. it’s massive and growing at a fast pace. it’s one of the reasons im sure that she’s in the show apart from her obvious talent.
    2. i suggest not using words like “hands down” or “didn’t even compare” – not very objective words don’t u think. it seemed like you gave charice a praise and a pat and then run her down in the next paragraph.
    3. what does blogcritics stand for… just any opinion then? are reviews merely personal opinions now?

  • Adrian

    Sigh… guys, give it a break. I’ve heard worse things said about Charice, and I just roll my eyes and move on. The funny thing, though, is that none of them are singers. Could you imagine that? A pro singer downplaying Charice’s singing skills? That’d be career suicide!

    By the way, I’m sad to hear Charice won’t be back on Glee ’til January. 🙁

  • Alice

    I totally get where you’re coming from Kristen. I really enjoyed Sunshine’s performance but I was, on the whole, quite underwhelmed. Maybe if they’d chosen a less cliched song… I’m almost scared to write this here because her fans are apparently psychotic, but whatever. Rachel’s WIDFL, on the other hand, slayed me. It was… I had chills. I love A Chorus Line and that song and Lea Michele did it justice.

  • Adrian, you must be kidding me! really!? Charice won’t be on Glee ’til January? Man!

    Well, it wont’ matter. Her comeback will be bigger then just like what happened in Italy and Korea.

  • Jigsor

    Congratulations Kirsten!!! You finally got noticed (negatively and hated). It’s obvious you wrote this “bias review” to get noticed after all the facts already came out (from more professional and expert review critics) favoring Charice in the Season 2 Premier episode of Glee. Yes, I’ve checked your previous 70 reviews. And yes, I stopped bothering checking all of them since nobody paid attention to them. So you have to go the other way to get noticed. Bravo!!! You succeeded but sad to say, this might be the last.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Holy shit, for such a sunny show you people sure have crappy dispositions.

  • zac

    Leah beat Charice hands down? You crack me up. You must be smoking something.

  • Fogh

    I think the blogger/critic is entitled to her own opinoins.. Do I think its fair to jugde Lea vs Charice based on to sooo different songs, no. They sing two different genres and they are both amazing singers. To say Lea won hands down is a huge overstatement, but again she is entitled to her own opinion as long as she doesnt say everyone should think that, witch she doesnt. Loads and loads of critics has praised Charice for her performance. Be happy about that instead.

    Sincerly – a grown up Chaster

  • Anjello Luciano

    Guys just calm down. I know yall love charice and all but calling names and being immature doesnt help her. In fact, you are doing the exact opposite. This is her opinion and we should respect that. Charice cannot please everyone. Thats a fact. PS Kirsten thank you for being honest, though i would have to disagree on this! 😀 Charice bested Lea, in my opinion

  • Dana MacGovern

    This is stupid Blogger, you should do research and review it first befor eyou post anywhere. Kirsten Coachman opinion is very wrong.

  • shannon harris

    jeeez no offense but you guys are overreacting oh god. it is her OWN opinion so please stop the name calling and the stupid highschool attitude,will you? and pleeeease enough with the personal attacks childish,much? on a lighter note i agree with y’all, rachel’s widfl had me holding my breath but jesus that charisse kid is unbelievable. damnnnn the pipes of that girl is just chills inducing i want her voice for christmas so bad, havent gotten chills since like forever, im kinda liking her so far, just dont make her steal solos from my rachel im gonnna kill you RM!

  • Piyem

    When was the last time you had your ears checked? Charice definitely nailed down “Listen” & has a WIDER RANGE of voice over Lea’s. “What I Did For Love”, can be sung by anybody..that’s how ordinary & simple that song is. Anyway, I respect yourown opinoin.

  • B!

    Bitch please! Charice raped Rachel with her vocal prowess. Then she aborted it because she had no use for her .

  • Rvuk

    Say that again? Her rendition of Listen you think didn’t post a threat? Oh c’mon are you even serious? Have you ever checked both song chart rank on itunes since last week? Rachel’s What I did For love was way behind Sunshine’s Listen. That I believe is a serious threat.

  • Rvuk

    Maybe it’s about time you get another job!

  • Rvuk

    @alice calling us Charice fans psychotic? You must be sick lady? That’s totally unacceptable!

  • UBOB123

    This review is oppositae to the survey in which “Listen” by Charice top of the List 40% while “What I did for lOve” by Lea Mechele got the lowest vote of about 7%.

  • Jigsor

    AGAIN!!! Congratulations Kirsten!!! You finally got noticed (negatively and hated). It’s obvious you wrote this “bias review” to get noticed after all the facts already came out (from more professional, expert and reliable review critics) They all favored Charice in the Season 2 Premier episode of Glee. Yes, I’ve checked your previous 70 reviews. And Yes, I stopped bothering checking all of them since nobody paid attention to them. So you have to go the other way to get noticed. Bravo!!! You succeeded but sad to say, nobody believes you.

  • ?!

    How’s this for an opinion:
    Lea did an amazing job singing WIDFL and yet I didn’t even think of buying it.
    I bought listen because every time I hear it I get goosebumps. The way she delivered the song made me feel like I was soaring with her voice.

  • Robert

    If Lea Michelle even attempted to sing “Listen”, she would fall flat on her face…so Sunshine is DEFINITELY a vocal threat.

  • jon2x24ph

    Guys, I am a fan of Charice too, but go easy on the blogger. She just said what is on her mind. It is not a professional critique but just her own opinion. She might be bias (I know she is LOL) but she was just trying to express her love and devotion to Rachel 😛

  • peakarach

    This dude got it totally wrong. Charice Listen was so amazing and so was Telephone. Lea was good singer but got great. Charice on other hand was the most amazing singer in history. She can sing pop,rock,ballad,rap and everythings under the sun.