As a new Gleek (thank you to fellow BC writer Chelsea and to my littlest sister Bukem), I still find some things rather confusing. One of the main things that has been bugging me is the fact that the storyline in Glee is treated rather superficially. Hey, I watch Fringe guys – and that show is all about layering and complexity. Glee, well, Glee is definitely not Fringe, and not for obvious reasons.
But I digress.
It has come to my attention that what was wrong was my approach to the show. While it’s interesting to see where the story is going and that you do develop an attachment to each of the characters, it’s really for the songs that one tunes in.
And boy, do the songs keep boggling my mind.
From being at home inside your own body to questioning what turns a house into a home, this week’s episode could not be named anything else but “Home”. Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Morrison’s rendition of “Fire” was of course awesome (how could it not?) but it’s their rendition of the “One Less Bell to Answer” and “A House if not a Home” medley that is noteworthy. Beautiful lyrics combined with Kristin Chenoweth’s voice made me want to cozy it up on the sofa between my parents (remember when you used to do that as a kid?). Not to state the obvious, but Kristin Chenoweth’s singing is incredible. I know, it’s like saying the sky is blue, but it seemed wrong to review the songs from this episode without a mention of her name.
Chris Colfer’s rendition of “A House is not a Home” was also beautiful, and further enhanced by his acting skills. I also loved the multiple layers involved in this song; at first, it was about his character’s crush on fellow Glee club member Finn, but soon also became about his own sense of isolation from his father. In another twist, it became about Finn’s grief over losing his father at a very young age: “Now and then I call your name/And suddenly your face appears”. If I were sitting on the above mentioned couch between my parents while watching, I would have given my own Dad a huge hug.
Being a huge Michael Jackson fan, my heart did a triple somersault when the first notes to The Wiz’ “Home” started playing. Adding Kristen Chenoweth’s voice to the mix… I think it’s obvious that this performance is going to rank pretty high in all of Glee’s season 1’s songs.
But despite that, “Home” is not my favourite performance of this episode. I already loved both Christina Aguilera and Amber Riley, and so her singing “Beautiful” inevitably and instantly became my favourite song from this episode. I already thought the song itself shares a powerful message, but it became even more powerful in the context of the story (Mercedes is told by Sue to lose ten pounds in a week and becomes, for the first time, incredibly uncomfortable in her own skin. How can the message of “You are beautiful no matter what they say /Words can't bring you down” not hit a deeper chord than either the song itself or Mercedes’ story alone did?
You can download your favourite Glee songs from this episode and more on iTunes.