The short version of Volume 3 loses some of the better songs
David Pearlman | Arlington, MA United States | 05/25/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the abridged version of the Glee Music soundtrack Volume 3, and contains 14 songs, versus the 20 songs on the "Deluxe" version. What you lose here are the following songs: The "Kurt" version of "A House is Not a Home", Kristin Chenoweth's "Home", Kurt's "Rose's Turn", the Beck and Kiss covers "Loser" and "Beth", respectively, and the ballad duet version of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face". Of these omissions, "Home" and "Poker Face" are major losses. The Kurt songs are good, but secondary, and the Beck and Kiss covers are redundant relative to the originals.
As with the previous CD volumes drawn from Glee, this one is a mixed bag. Some of the songs work great with the visuals, but are dull or irrelevant as a listening-only experience. The songs that work best are those that add something substantial to the well known hit version, either in terms of arrangement or vocal.
The best songs here are Hello, Goodbye (a nice vocal arrangement), Hello (a beautiful duet), the One less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home medley (terrifically sung by Broadway vet Kristin Chenoweth), and One (in a full cast arrangement that truly elevates this U2 song to another level).
The worst songs are Physical (a lousy techno-inspired voicebox heavy remake of the Olivia Newton John hit) and the pointless Safety Dance, which loses all the charm of the '80s hit.
The rest of the songs are fine, but mostly too close to the originals to be very interesting.
Again, as with previous volumes, auto-tuning runs rampant on many of these songs.
Outside of the 6 songs omitted relative to the "Deluxe" version, there are also seven songs that appeared in the show during the period covered by this CD that don't appear on CD at this time: Fire (Pointer Sisters), Highway to Hell (AC/DC), Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice), Jessie's Girl (Rick Springfield), Run Joey Run (David Geddes), The Boy is Mine (Brandy & Monica) and U Can't Touch This (MC Hammer). (Original artists shown in parentheses). Of these, the most interesting is Run Joey Run, a well sung cover of a hammy one-shot from the late '70s--this one should have been included on the CD. For most of the others the Glee rendition is not different enough from the original.
One last comment: For a show promoted as "family viewing", the subject material of certain songs from the show will present problems to some parents. However, the two songs in question do not appear on this short 14 song version, only on the "Deluxe" 20 song edition. Specifically, the lyrics to "Poker Face" are quite racy, and unlike the case for the highly produced Lady Gaga original, here there's no ignoring them. Some might also find Beck's "Loser" somewhat problematic. It is doubtful adults will be bothered, but since this show has a substantial younger audience, this is worthy of note...
On the whole, Glee fans will enjoy this CD, but I suspect almost everyone will wind up hitting the skip button to focus on their favorites.
Parents who are worried about adult content offending their kid's ears would be best served by sticking to this shorter 14 song edition, which omits the two songs with the most blatantly adult lyrics."