In the latest Glee music bundle from the May 11 episode entitled, "Laryngitis," the audience was treated to five songs that were all, for the most part, in tune with the assignment that Matthew Morrison's character, Mr. Schuster had assigned the Glee Club.
The assignment was to "choose a song that expresses your identity," but in some cases it felt like the songs that were used this week expressed a current issue within the character's personal lives.
Cory Monteith's character Finn Hudson sang "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield. Finn has been smitten this season with Lea Michele's character, Rachel Berry, who is currently dating Jonathan Groff's character, Jesse St. James. Works out nicely having a character named, "Jesse."
Monteith does a pretty decent job of covering the song. I really have enjoyed Monteith's solos during this second part of the season. I find he is able to showcase his talent more when he is not singing alongside Michele's powerhouse vocal. I find Monteith's cover of the song to be pretty enjoyable. He has a rough around the edges, natural singing talent that works hand in hand with his character.
In my opinion, the best vocal of the episode came from Mark Salling, whose character, Noah "Puck" Puckerman sang Sammy Davis, Jr.'s "Lady Is A Tramp." In context of the show, Puck was trying to gain popularity by dating Amber Riley's character, Mercedes Jones. Salling hasn't had a lot of solos this season, which is unfortunate, because he has a terrific voice. Riley does join in on the song towards the end and actually blends well with Salling. I would have preferred Salling to sing the entire song on his own, but in context of the episode, it worked. In a way, it was along the lines of the Glee Club assignment, Puck seems to like honoring his Jewish heritage, which is very much apart of his identity.
For me, one of the best things about this episode, is that we finally got to hear more singing from characters who have not been featured on a lead vocal, such as Santana Lopez, who is played by Naya Rivera. In the episode, Santana and Mercedes take on the Brandy and Monica hit, "The Boy Is Mine." Rivera has a very strong vocal on this track and can definitely keep up with Riley. I loved that this song worked into the episode storyline with Puck. I hope the show continues to utilize Rivera's talent, she sounds fantastic.
Chris Colfer's character, Kurt Hummel took on "Rose's Turn," originally performed by Ethel Merman in Gypsy. In two words: Absolutely fantastic! His phrasing in the song was great and it sounded like he had a great time performing the song. This was the only track in this episode that I thought was true to the Glee Club's assignment for the episode. "Rose's Turn" captured who Kurt Hummel is, while also tying into his storyline within the episode. Colfer's voice sounds great, it was nice to have a solo from him, I feel like his talent has not been tapped into as much as it should be.
The big song for the Glee Club rehearsal was the U2 classic, "One." Cory Monteith, Lea Michele and Amber Riley all have major parts within the song. I think it would have been better left with just Michele singing the song. Monteith's voice was not the best fit, and he sounded like he was straining his voice. I also don't find it necessary for Riley to always come in and hit big notes towards the end of their big numbers. Why have her do something that Michele can easily do? If they wanted the back and forth between Michele and a male lead for the song, I would have gone with Mark Salling. His voice would have fit the song much better than Monteith's.
Overall, I really enjoyed this batch of songs for "Laryngitis." I thought all of songs fit the episode very well, and were covered nicely by the Glee cast. I hope the show continues to feature members of the cast that are not consistently highlighted, it really helps diversify their compilation albums.
For more information about the music performed on Glee, check out Glee's music website.