Glee - Season One Vol.1 (The Music) - Various Artists

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Glee - Season One Vol.1 (The Music) - Various Artists

1 CD(s) - TV - Label: Epic - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 15/02/2010 - 886975409020

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Review of "Glee - Season One Vol.1 (The Music) - Various Artists"

published 14/05/2010 | DixieChick10
Member since : 14/08/2007
Reviews : 300
Members who trust : 161
About me :
Site seems to be as crap as always. Looks like I won't be back this summer or ever. After a year away, I can truly say, I really don't care now. :P
Pro Amazing covers, Lea Michele and Amber Riley have outstanding vocals. The rest are brilliant as wel
Cons Some songs missing from the show. 2 of the worst songs on the show were chosen
very helpful
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money

"Take A Bow Glee Cast"

Glee Cast

Glee Cast

After a long break from writing I'm back. I don't have much time to write much anymore, but this review has come from writing during my lunch breaks at work for the past 2 weeks. There will be reviews on the other volumes to come.

I first heard about Glee back in I believe September 2009, a good friend of mine in America sent me an mp3 of a new version of Don’t Stop Believin’. I had the original on my Itunes already, so I didn’t know what to expect. She explained to me that it was sung by the characters on this new show called Glee, which was taking America by storm and I had to listen to it. I did, and absolutely loved it but when I read that it might not be coming to the UK I didn’t really think much of it afterwards.

Then in January 2010, I heard the cover version of Don’t Stop Believing that I had been listening to on my IPod for the last few months. Glee was coming to E4 and Channel 4, and I knew I had to watch it. When I told my mate that it was coming to the UK she sent me some links to some songs on YouTube and after spending time listening to them, I knew I was going to be hooked.

Since that time, I have spent a good amount of money and time buying the music of Glee. I got quite a lot of ITunes vouchers for Christmas as I’m apparently ‘very hard to buy for’ and everyone knows how much I love music, so I’ve been using them to feed by Glee habit.

The first album is the one I am reviewing today. At the moment, Glee are nearing the end of their first series and so far have 3 albums released and one more on the way at the end of May. It could be quite an expensive habit to keep buying the albums, so I’ve begun to limit myself to a few songs a time.

The Songs

The first song on the album is ‘Don’t Stop Beeleving’ which is sung mainly by Cory Monteith and Lea Michele. It has been completely overplayed now, so I’m sure most of you have heard it. This song is sung mainly by the protagonists of the show Finn and Rachel in the first episode. It’s the first time we properly heard these two sing together and considering this is a great rock song, it’s great how their ‘stage’ voices work together. The song is helped along by the harmonies of the rest of the cast of Glee. Lea Michele’s voice is just stunning, you will hear this a lot from me in this review, but the power she has with her vocals is just out of this world. She commands your attention and I’ve never really heard an artist tell a story before just from listening to their voice, every song she sings you hear and in some cases see the emotion she is feeling. This song like the original is meant to be listened to loud and proud, it requires some great speakers, and it really lifts your spirits if you are in a bad mood.

The next track on the album is ‘Can’t Fight This feeling Anymore’, which is sung completely by Cory Monteith. I hate to admit this but I’m not a fan of Finn, and his voice. I think it’s got a lot better as the show has gone on, but in songs like this, it’s cringe worthy in my opinion. One of the worst covers that Glee has produced, it just doesn’t work and I think it would have worked a lot better if they had allowed one of the other males to sing it instead.

After the monstrosity of the previous song, the next song starts with the amazing vocals of Amber Riley (Mercedes). This cover is ‘Golddigger’ and is mainly Matthew Morrison (Mr Shue) rapping. Okay, it’s not bad, but it just doesn’t seem natural at all and when I saw this on TV it did look like your dad attempting to dance and rap, so it was a cringe worthy. That being said, I weirdly prefer this version to the original, I have no idea why, but I would rather listen to this, I think the shining part of this song, is Mercedes vocals in the background, it works brilliant. A weird song, it will make you cringe to begin with, but if you listen carefully it’s actually quite a talented cover. Matthew Morrison shouldn’t really rap or dance for that matter however.

One of my favourite songs on this whole album is this next track, which is ‘Take a Bow’ which is sung completely by Lea Michele (Rachel), this track is just completely awesome. I wasn’t sure who sung the original so looked it up and found it was Whineanna (Rihanna), and oh my god, has Lea Michele made this song so much better than the original. Like I said before in the review, her vocals are so emotive and powerful, this song is perfect for her, and it doesn’t hold her back at any point. A gorgeous powerful, emotional version of a song I wouldn’t have originally looked twice at. Brilliant.

Sung by the brilliant Amber Riley (Mercedes), who next to Rachel has one of the most powerful voices in the show, is the brilliant cover of ‘Bust Your Windows’. For me this is her showing off her vocals to the max and when I first heard it I was really impressed. I wasn’t really listening before this song; her vocals command people’s attention like Lea’s do. This song is completely full of attitude and it’s a joy to listen and sing along to. I have just listened to the original and I think Amber Riley really added so much more emotion, power, anger and soul into the song. It’s really how the song was meant to be sung in my opinion, its revitalised what is really quite a boring song originally.

The next track is ‘Taking Chances’, sung by Lea Michele. When I was looking for who did this song originally I was really shocked to find out it was Celion Dion. I don’t mean no disrespect, but for me, this song felt too modern to be a Celion Dion song, and I was quite shocked that it wasn’t a contemporary artists song. I have just listened to the original and again Glee have done it again, this song is a lot stronger than the original, it is sped up as well which makes the song a lot more listenable than the original. I do think this song was made for Lea Michele as it allows her to let loose and it shows her vocal range completely. It starts off very slow, but as the song progresses you get a nice uptempo song. One to listen to, very strong and works brilliantly with Lea Michele’s vocals.

When I heard that Kristen Chenoweth was on the show I knew that it was going to be a ride, and that all of her songs were going to be amazing. I wasn’t wrong, as she shows with her amazing performance of the Heart song ‘Alone’. Originally sung by Heart, her vocals are ones that not everyone is going to be able to appreciate, they have a weird tone to them but for me with this song they work brilliantly. She has one of the biggest vocal ranges in music in my opinion, and she gets to show it off brilliantly in this song. To help her along in the chorus and with a verse of his own, Matthew Morrison lends his lovely vocals. He’s not one of the strongest vocalists on the show, but he does have a lovely voice, which works brilliantly in songs like this. An awesome cover, but nowhere near as good as the original and other covers I’ve heard of it.

Kristen Chenoweth and Lea Michele lend their vocals to this big show number called ‘Maybe This Time’. The one thing I have noticed with Glee and when they introduce Chenoweth to the show is that they completely change the music, you don’t get the same sort of songs but it works all the same. For me, I do believe they’ve edited this from the original show a bit too much, I liked the idea of the ‘diva off’ sort of thing they were doing, and I don’t think Michele gets enough time in this song. Yes Chenoweth does prove her vocals are a better match for this sort of song, but as you hear at the end, both vocalists have a magnificent range and both of them can carry a huge song like this. I would have liked more of Michele at the beginning however.

One of my favourite Queen songs is Somebody to Love and every time I listen to this song, I am faced with listening to Finn (Cory Monteith) singing in a high register the beginning of the song and every time it makes me cringe like mad. The rest of the song does make up for it however, it is one of the strongest covers as it’s the whole group lending their vocals. The strongest bit for me about Glee is the magnificent harmonies the rest of the group provide, it adds a lot more depth to the songs and for me it always makes them a lot more listenable. For the first time on the album we hear Kevin McHale (Artie) who for me is the strongest male vocalist on the show, he has such a unique voice, and one I think should be used a lot more in the show. It has such a nice tone to it and it works brilliantly within this song. A brilliant upbeat and soulful version of this classic, a lot of people won’t like it because it’s not ‘Queen’, but Glee have added their own stamp and it really does work.

With the next track ‘Hate On Me’ we get another power house vocal from the wonderful Amber Riley, like her previous song it does have an angry tone to it and boy is it a lot better than the original. Her vocals are so much more powerful, and she demands your attention where as the original for me just didn’t work brilliantly. One of the strongest vocals in the whole show, and I just love this song, the lyrics are brilliant, and again Amber Riley has taken a song that not everyone knows, made it contemporary and made it a lot more listenable.

Chris Brown is one of my biggest pet hates, he just annoys me so much, so when he released ‘No Air’ I wasn’t impressed, I appreciated Jordin Sparks vocals but that was about this. This cover I’m afraid pales in comparison to the original in my opinion. I don’t think Lea Michele’s voice works as well on this song as Sparks’ voice did and Cory Monteith gives a wet and wimpish vocal on this song, it has nothing to it in my opinion, and I hate to say it but I prefer Chris Browns vocals in this case. It was a good try, but for me, it didn’t work as well as I would have liked.

For the first time on the album, Dianna Agron lends her vocals to this Supreme classic ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’. It is definitely one to skip as her vocals are really below average in my opinion, she really doesn’t have much to her voice at all and I’m shocked they’ve let her have a solo quite often in the show as it’s gone on. It’s not a painful voice, it’s just not good. I think the worst bit about this song, is they have given the weakest female singer a Supremes song to sing, it was going to be a train wreck from the beginning.

Originally sung by Avril Lavigne, ‘Keep Holding On’ was blown out of the water by Lea Michele. Considering Lavigne in my eyes has never really been a strong singer, it was bound to happen. This song is utterly beautiful though, I’ve never heard it before and it really is just gorgeous. It works brilliantly as a duet between Rachel and Finn and the harmonies of the rest of the Glee cast works brilliantly. It’s got a really uplifting feel to it, it’s not as upbeat as some of their songs, but I do think it is one of their strongest and on this album especially it’s one of my favourites. Finn’s vocals are not the best as always, but it works with this song and it’s the best I’ve heard from him since Don’t Stop Belivin’.

Matthew Morrison again finds himself rapping on this ‘Bust a Move’ cover, but just like Gold Digger, this version is strangely better than the original, even though he is a weak rapper. I was very impressed that he can rap like this however and in the show this track works brilliantly and it brings a smile to your face. The harmonies from the rest of the cast are brilliant and work really well with Morrison’s vocals. It’s not the best on the album, but it’s made what is really a poor song, up to date and relevant.

For the first time we get the gorgeous vocals of Mark Salling, who is the only hottie on the show. He sings a cover of the Neil Diamond song ‘Sweet Caroline’, whom like I’m sure most people my age have never heard of before. After looking at the original, Salling’s version is a lot better and I’m shocked he doesn’t get any more solos in the show. He is a lot better of a singer than Cory Monteith is and he has made this ‘old’ song quite modern and really beautiful to listen to. When I had it on in the car for the first time singing along to it my mum was shocked I was singing along to a Neil Diamond song.

For the first time we get a solo from the best vocalist on the show, Kevin McHale who plays Artie. He sings His voice is the most unique male voice I’ve heard in a long time, it’s not really in any genre and with this song it works brilliantly well. His vocals are very strong, he’s got this swarveness in his voice which is a joy to listen to, it’s not the best song, and it doesn’t get enough attention, and I really do think he should get a lot more solos as he is 10 x better than Cory Monteith.

Taken from the brilliant stage show Wicked, the album is ended with ‘Defying Gravity’. This time we get ourselves a Diva off, from Kurt, the gay lad who wants to prove that his voice is able to hold his own singing a song like this which requires very high notes. Kurt is against Rachel, the protagonist in the show. I loved this song before, but I think the ‘diva off’ between these two works brilliantly well. Kurt is an amazing singer, he does have a soprano voice and if you’ve never seen the show, it’ll be very hard for you to distinguish which one is the male vocalist. A gorgeous version of a great song, and a lovely end to this brilliant album.

Final Opinion

For me after listening to the other albums from the first series, I do believe that this is the best one yet. It’s a great mixture of modern songs mixed in with older songs which have been revamped by this brilliant show. If you are looking to listen to any of the songs, please take a look at Don’t Stop Belevin’ and then one of the following songs, Taking Chances, Take A Bow, Keep Holding On. There are only one or two bad songs on the album, I really don’t know why they kept Dianna Agron’s version of You Keep Me Hanging On, on this album, when they didn’t put the brilliant mash up’s of Halo/Walking On Sunshine and It’s My Life/Confessions onto the album.

The one problem I have found is you don’t get every song from each show on these albums, I would have expected that if your paying all of this money out, you get all of them. Of course they probably had to make some tough decisions to get a certain amount of songs onto the album. If you download MP3’s from sites like Amazon or ITunes however, you can get yourself every song on all of the albums.

Glee will be loved by a lot of people, but then everyone else will very likely not know about it or detest it. It is a show that pulls out a reaction of you, and you quickly know what decision you are going to make. The music is amazing, they have some fantastic singers on this show, and what makes it even better, is the fact that they bring in guest stars, from Kristin Chenoweth on this album to Madonna and Olivia Newton John on other albums.

These albums are always a joy to listen to, and when you find yourself a little bit stressed or if you are doing a bit of housework, they are perfect background noise to cheer you up. You get some amazing vocals, great cover versions and just a joy filled album.

The only thing I could want more, is for Glee to come up with their own original song. I know the show is all about the covers, but I hope as the show goes on, it gets to the point where they might make their own song.

If you like the show, then I’m sure you will love the album.



Amazon: £8.83
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Amazon: £7.49 or 89p each
ITunes: £7.99 or 99p each

Hope this helps.

(C) Kirsty 2010

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Comments on this review

  • Seresecros published 31/05/2010
    Your writing's been improving whilst I was away! I... watch Glee, because I like a good musical, but I do find that the covers can never match the original. For me, Lea Michelle has a complete inability to capture any emotion apart from despairation, so all her ballads sound the same. And Amber Riley to me seems so concerned with doing vocal gymnastics that she never connects properly with her songs. I DID ENJOY READING YOUR REVIEW THOUGH! Even though I don't think we agree on anything apart from Finn having a thin, reedy singing voice.
  • wantaratgirl published 30/05/2010
    Great review! This is definitely the best album. :¬) Ratty xx
  • Hishyeness published 21/05/2010
    Outstanding work, A thoroughly engaging and enjoyable read. 8^)
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Product Information : Glee - Season One Vol.1 (The Music) - Various Artists

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - TV - Label: Epic - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 15/02/2010 - 886975409020

Product Details

EAN: 886975409020


Listed on Ciao since: 11/04/2010