Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Latest ‘Glee’ soundtrack brings that and more to listeners

By Kate MacDonald

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Some would think that the music from the television powerhouse known as “Glee” is getting a little old. The show, not yet at the end of its second season, released its fifth official soundtrack on March 8, its seventh release overall (excluding special editions). Seems a little monotonous, right? “Glee” nonbelievers would be completely wrong.

With every new musical release, “Glee” brings something new to the table. “Glee: The Music, Volume 5” is no different, and it might be the best soundtrack yet to the hit show.

“Glee: The Music, Volume 5” not only features 14 popular songs covered by the cast of the show, but also presents two well-written original songs, the first time this has been attempted by the program.

The soundtrack is kicked off by one of the best songs on the disc. Track one is filled by a mashup of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll,” two songs that wouldn’t traditionally go well together, but definitely work in this version. Kevin McHale’s vocals work really well in the famous MJ song.

It seems like McHale has the perfect voice to cover classic Michael Jackson hits. While no one can do it like the King of Pop, McHale, easily one of the best male vocalists in the cast, does him justice. He also tries out “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” which, again, fits his range well.

“Thriller/Heads Will Roll” is the only song on “Glee: The Music, Volume 5” that doesn’t sound almost exactly like the original. The remaining tracks are arranged like their predecessors, so much so that the respective actor singing on the track begins to sound like the original singer of the song.

A great example of this would be Lea Michele (as the obnoxious Rachel Berry) crooning Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Her strong vocals are quite impressive. The same could be said for Cory Monteith’s (as Finn Hudson) oldies tune “She’s Not There.” Monteith isn’t known for his strong vocals, and finds his only solo in this song, but it’s a success.

There has been a lot of buzz about Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow’s presence on “Glee.” She proved her worth as an actor on the show and as a singer on the soundtrack as she’s featured on three songs: Joan Jett’s suggestive rock tune “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah),” Prince’s “Kiss” with Matthew Morrison and Fleetwood Mac’s epic hit “Landslide,” arranged like The Dixie Chicks’ country cover.

On each of the three tracks, Paltrow does not disappoint. “Landslide” is probably the best of the ventures, and her voice blends well with the background singers/cast members Naya Rivera and Heather Morris.

The “Glee” kids also make Justin Bieber hits somewhat cool. A new addition to the players, Chord Overstreet, takes on The Biebs’ preteen hits “Baby” and “Somebody to Love,” helped by McHale and Mark Salling on the latter track. “Baby” is the really impressive song and might just be better than the original.

Each of the 16 songs has been released as singles on the Internet, and the two original songs have done particularly well. “Get it Right,” an emotional power ballad, was written specifically for Michele, so it’s safe to say her voice fits the song and works extremely well in it. The tune has been received well and is currently 16th on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, while other original “Loser Like Me” is number six.

Actors first and singers second, the cast of “Glee” has certainly succeeded in both fields. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200. Currently, “Glee: The Music, Volume 5” is ranked as the fourth best album in the U.S., though this dip may only be temporary. It’s clear that the cast of “Glee” is definitely still on the rise.

Kate MacDonald can be reached at [email protected]

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