20 March 2010

Glee: The Music, Volume 2

1. "Proud Mary"
2. "Endless Love"
3. "I'll Stand By You"
4. "Dont Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl"
5. "Crush"
6. "(You're) Having My Baby"
7. "Lean on Me"
8. "Don't Make Me Over"
9. "Imagine"
10. "True Colors"
11. "Jump"
12. "Smile" (Lily Allen)
13. "Smile" (Charlie Chaplin)
14. "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"
15. "Don't Rain On My Parade"
16. "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
17. "My Life Would Suck Without You"

Glee: The Music, Volume 2 contains songs from the last five episodes of the original thirteen episodes of Glee season one. The last four songs were performed during the Fall finale episode, "Sectionals".

Comparing Volume 1 to Volume 2, this one seems more mature than the first one. Again, wonderful selection of songs and like the first one, I find myself singing along constantly to these. We also get to hear more from the other cast members.

The CD opens up with Proud Mary. If the first CD did not convince you that Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones) can sing, this might. We also get to hear Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams) and for the first time, Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) with solo parts on this song. I loved this performance on TV, with the wheelchairs and platforms. This is such a fun song and a great way to introduce Volume 2. Toning it down is Endless Love performed by Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester) and Lea Michele (Rachel Berry). These two stage veterans put together and it's magic. I love this song a lot. I can't tell you how many times I've sung along to this on my way home. Let me just say that I am in love with Lea Michele's voice when she sings ballads.

One of my favorite songs is I'll Stand By You by The Pretenders. This is an American Idol staple, even covered by Carrie Underwood for Idol Gives Back. Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson) did an awesome job on this. This is the most emotional I've heard him sing. I am so in love with this version that I've got to say, I teared up a bit when I first heard the full version. In the episode, Don't Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl was hilarious. I'm not really in love with the studio recording. I think you need to watch this to get the full effect. I do like how these two song mashed up. Kudos to the musical director once again. To follow up "don't stand so close to me" (get it), is Crush. Originally done by Jennifer Paige, this is one of my favorite late 90s songs. After 11 years, I still know all the words. This one is performed by Lea Michele. As much as I like her voice in ballads and show tunes, her pop is not that good. Well, at least I think the song is wrong for her. I'm glad they recorded a full version of this. One the episode, this was on for like five seconds.

When Finn finally decided to tell Quinn's parents that (You're) Having My Baby, on-screen it was a bit awkward. I did like the sentiments but it was probably the most awkward part of the season. I really don't have anything to say about this song because I usually skip it to get to probably my favorite track on the album, Lean On Me. When I first heard this, I knew it had potential to be the next Somebody to Love. It's a classic song for glee clubs everywhere. Try taking a listen and I dare you not to sing along. Kevin McHale and Amber Riley leading this track once again is perfect! I really like Kevin's voice and I'm glad that he's given more solos this time around. On TV, Don't Make Me Over wasn't really sung. The backing track was played while Kurt was giving Rachel a makeover. With this, Miss Amber Riley proved she can sing soulful jazz. I like it.

My favorite moment of the whole season so far is Imagine. I must admit, I was crying like a baby when I watched that scene. There is something so powerful seeing a deaf choir "sing" this beautiful song in sign language. The Glee kids bring another layer to it by singing and signing along. It was a very touching moment. And no matter how many versions I hear of this song, it's always so beautiful.

All season, I've been waiting to hear Jenna Ushkowitz sing. I did; she did a part of Tonight from "West Side Story". But True Colors is her first Glee solo. I so was not expecting this and it did not disappoint. I love singing this song at karaoke. And the backing voices on this track are so simple and beautiful. Jump, originally done by Van Halen is another one of those unexpected songs they would cover. I love the original version of this song a lot. Like Don't Stand So Close to Me, you need to watch the whole thing to get the full effect of this song.

They did two "Smile" songs in this album. The first one is Lily Allen's Smile done by Lea Michele and Cory Monteith. I don't like this a lot so I usually skip this to get to the better one, at least in my opinion. Smile by Charlie Chaplain, another one of those classics that you can't mess up. And to all those who are bullied in their lives, do watch this episode, "Mattress". Especially during this song. :')

By now, I'm ready to rename this CD as Amber Riley featuring the Glee Cast. Although not my favorite version, Miss Riley's And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going is as powerful as they come. American Idol producers, what the hell were you guys thinking rejecting her?! Seriously! [To note: Heather Morris aka Brittany of Glee was also rejected by another Fox reality talent show: So You Think You Can Dance.] And since we are on the show tunes note, Lea Michele's glory moment - and to be honest, I've been waiting for her to do it - Don't Rain on My Parade. I've been dying for her to do a Streisand. And she did not disappoint! I even love this part of the season finale. I just love everything about it. Lea shines the brightest when she's doing show tunes.

(Before writing the next paragraphs, I've listened to Don't Rain on My Parade three times. That is how much I love that track.)

You Can't Always Get What You Want is their impromptu group performance for Sectionals. It wouldn't be my first choice if it were a competition in real life but it worked for them. And to close Volume 2, Kelly Clarkson's My Life Would Suck Without You. This is a wonderful Glee-fied version but the real treat here is the performance in the episode. At some point, they danced steps from their previous numbers. [Best part is the Emma/Will kiss but hey... LOL.]

So that's Glee: The Music, Volume 2. I am not liking the lack of Mark Salling (Noah Puckerman), Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel), and Dianna Agron (Quinn Fabray) solos. Like I said at the beginning of the post, this has deeper emotions than the first volume. It's more grown-up. Personally, I prefer the first one. Glee has a knack of picking awesome songs to do and I can't wait for Volume 3.


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