Last week Glee returned with four new tracks to try and make us forget that the show had been on hiatus for a month. The new tracks also marked the return of guest star, Charice.
Charice (Sunshine Corazon) took on the Eric Carmen power ballad, “All By Myself.” At the beginning of the season I was wasn’t initially blown away by any means by Charice’s voice, but after listening to the full studio track of “All By Myself,” I now understand why this girl is kind of a big deal.
Charice’s vocals on this track are absolutely flawless. Her voice really embraces the feelings of loneliness and desperation in the lyrics. Seriously, the girl’s voice gave me chills. If there’s one song from “A Night of Neglect” that is a must-download, it is definitely “All By Myself.”
Gwyneth Paltrow (Holly Holiday) also lent her voice to the music from Glee last week, and took on Adele’s “Turning Tables.” I think we can all agree that this wasn’t an ideal song choice for Paltrow. Adele’s latest album 21 is probably the best thing to come out of the music world so far this year. Having said that, I knew at some point Glee would try to tackle one of her songs.
I think Paltrow gave the song a good old-fashioned try, but came up short because she simply doesn’t have the chops to pull it off. I thought her voice sounded really good in the verses and as it slowly ascended to the chorus. It was her singing in the chorus itself that made the song kind of unbearable to listen to. Paltrow’s falsetto is not one of her strongest vocal features, and I wish that the Glee music producers had adjusted the key in the song to one more complimentary to her voice and less grating on my ears.
I was thrilled to see a track sung by Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) in last week’s bundle of Glee music. Ushkowitz took on Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers.” It is seriously such a shame that Ushkowitz’s voice is not utilized more on this show. She has a fantastic tone to her voice that really is the balance between Lea Michele’s (Rachel) stellar vocals and Dianna Agron’s (Quinn) somewhat lackluster vocals.
I really thought that “I Follow Rivers” really fit Ushkowitz’s voice nicely. I am not familiar with Lykke Li’s catalogue of music, so I can’t really make any kind of comparison, but my ears were in favor of what they heard while I was listening to the track.
The last track to come out of last week’s episode of Glee was Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way,” which was sung by Amber Riley (Mercedes). This was my other favorite track of the week. I really thought Riley sounded just fabulous on this song. It’s a little dialed-back at parts, which I liked. We all know that Riley is capable of hitting some big notes, but it’s nice to hear her have a really nice vocal without as many embellishments upstaging her talent.
The songs from Glee’s “A Night of Neglect” were an interesting mix. After being on hiatus for so long, I guess I expected a song that would really stand out from the pack, and the closest they came to delivering that was with Charice’s “All By Myself.”
Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.