Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Glee Cast, Lea Michele, Idina Menzel|
Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers (Deluxe)
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers features 20 brand new songs from the hit TV show. The deluxe version features fan favorites like "Gives You Hell," "Beautiful," "Total Eclipse of the Heart," and "Bad Romance," plus 6... more »
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Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers features 20 brand new songs from the hit TV show. The deluxe version features fan favorites like "Gives You Hell," "Beautiful," "Total Eclipse of the Heart," and "Bad Romance," plus 6 exclusive deluxe edition tracks like "House is Not a Home," "Home," "Rose's Turn," "Beth," "Loser," and "Poker Face."
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Review of 'Volume 3, Showstoppers'
Antoine D. Reid | Durham, NC United States | 05/18/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The third volume of music from 'Glee' features some of the best numbers from the first season of the show. While the first two volumes' music ranged from just 'all right' to 'good', I feel there are definitely stronger, better performances on this deluxe edition of the third volume. As with the other releases from 'Glee', there are still some missing numbers but in all, the 19 tracks included in the deluxe edition are pretty good and there are only a few tracks that I'd skip or would have left off.
The Good: What I like about this volume is that there are tracks and performances included from more of the cast. The first two releases felt like nothing more than a promotional vehicle for Lea Michele and her Rachel character. With this release, there are definitely tracks that show off more of the cast. You have Amber Riley's stand-out moment this year (both in song and in terms of acting) with her cover of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful"; Mark Salling taking on "Lady Is A Tramp"; Chris Colfer with "A House Is Not a Home" and "Rose's Turn". You also have some of the second half of the season's guest stars' performances including Kristin Chenoweth's awesome take on "Home" from 'The Wiz'; Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester) and Olivia Newton-John's re-interpretation of "Physical"; Idina Menzel with 'I Dreamed A Dream'. There are also some great cast/group numbers including the Glee-take on Lady GaGa's "Bad Romance", U2's "One" and Bonnie Taylor's '80s hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart". My overall complaint with the past two volumes is that there wasn't enough variety and too many numbers seemed to feature Lea Michele while the other cast membership were reduced to back-up. This volume represents a shift in the series' second volume (or second part of the first season) by having more of the cast step-up with numbers. With new voices, sounds and styles, I have to say this is by far the superior of the volumes of music released so-far from the show. Some may also complain that this release is missing the songs from the big Madonna episode but all of those songs were released already on CD so I figure the producers chose not to repeat themselves by adding any of those tracks (even if they would qualify as 'showstoppers').
In all, a pretty solid release with minor flaws. I'm glad there was a deluxe version released with more tracks rather than having just one standard edition as with the past two volumes with only a handful tracks. I felt a lot of these tracks were better produced and performed than the first two volumes of music that felt a bit too close to karaoke (but good karaoke). If you're a fan of the show and haven't been purchasing the tracks each week as they've been released digitally, this is definitely for you.
The Bad: This being a deluxe edition of volume 3, I was hoping there would be fewer numbers left off. However, it seems the powers-that-be still chose to overlook some of the better performances in an effort to either mix it up or save on royalties (who knows). Some numbers I wish had made it onto the actual CD were "Fire" performed by Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Morrison, "Ice Ice Baby" or "U Can't Touch This" (only one of these 'bad' numbers seemed necessary but neither are included), "The Boy Is Mine" and "Jessie's Girls". Considering this is coming out before the show even wraps the season, I'm sure there will be other minor numbers that come with the last few episodes that get released digitally but don't make it onto this release. Another complaint I have is the timing of the release. Would it have been hard to hold off a week or two in releasing this? The best part of 'Glee' is in fact the music and never knowing until the day of the show what numbers and songs are going to end up on the show. Yet, here we are 'spoiled' by having 8 tracks that have yet to appear on the show on this release, including (for the most part) what order they'll appear in the season. If the last two tracks end up being the big numbers in the final episode, that's going to take away a bit from the surprise or enjoyment of the finale because we'd have been exposed to the music for more than a few weeks. Sure, 'Glee' is as much about the performance than it is the songs but in some cases, one ends up being better than the other.
Listen To These: "Loser", "One Less Bell To Answer/A House Is Not a Home", "Physical", "Total Eclipse of the Heart", "Safety Dance", "Bad Romance""
A mixed bag, with about half essential
David Pearlman | Arlington, MA United States | 05/25/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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), Home (another Chenowith number, and possibly the definitive recorded rendition), One (in a full cast arrangement that truly elevates this U2 song to another level), and Poker Face (stripped down to a piano ballad and sung as duet).
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 Kiss cover, Beth, is surprisingly bad, owing to poor phrasing relative to the original.
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.
There are seven songs that appeared in the show during the period covered by this CD that don't appear on the CD itself: 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 will present problems to some parents. 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...These two songs with questionable lyrical content do not appear on the 14 song (non "Deluxe") version of the soundtrack, and some parents may wish to consider that version as an alternative.
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. Some parents will probably wind up skipping a couple of the songs based on lyrical content, or they can opt to buy the shorter version of this soundtrack that does not contain the objectionable songs."
More fantastic Glee music for fans
Kate McMurry | United States | 06/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge fan of Glee, but before I listened to this CD, I worried that the songs wouldn't be as much fun separated from powerful live performances. Not so. They stand terrifically on their own. However, the CD doesn't include much information about the songs the Glee cast covers. Curiosity led me to search out as much as I could about them, and here is what I learned for anyone who is interested:
Track 1: Hello, Goodbye. A duet by Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) and Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson) with the Glee cast. This is a Beatles song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released in 1967 on the album "Magical Mystery Tour." I love this song, and Lea and Cory did an excellent rendition.
Track 2: Gives You Hell. A Lea/Rachel solo with the Glee cast. This is a Top 10 song from the All-American Rejects, written by Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler, from the 2008 album "When the World Comes Down." This style isn't Lea's strength, but she does a very good job with it.
Track 3: Hello. A duet by Lea/Rachel and Jonathan Groff (Jesse St. James) with the Glee cast. This song is part of Lionel Richie's 1984 multi-platinum album "Can't Slow Down." Jonathan, a Broadway star like Lea, has a gorgeous baritone voice and the blend of his voice with Lea's is breathtaking.
Track 4: A House Is Not A Home. A duet by Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel) and Cory/Finn, with an impressive display of Kurt's amazing falsetto. Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote this song, and Dionne Warwick first recorded it in 1964.
Track 5: One Less Bell To Answer/A House Is Not A Home. A duet by the incredibly talented Kristin Chenoweth (April Rhodes) and the wonderful Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester). Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote "One Less Bell to Answer" in 1967 for Keely Smith. In 1970 The 5th Dimension included it in their debut album, Portrait, and it was a major hit. Kristin offers, as always, a spectacular performance. Her voice literally gives me chills.
Track 6: Beautiful. A solo by Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones) with the Glee cast. Amber normally belts out her songs, but she performs this song about loving oneself with a gentle touch that is both a surprising change and very moving. Beautiful was written and produced by Linda Perry and recorded by Christina Aguilera for her second studio album "Stripped" in 2002. She won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2004 for this song, and it was ranked 52 on Rolling Stone's top 100 songs of the decade. That's a lot to take on, but Amber is more than up to the task.
Track 7: Home. A solo by Kristin Chenoweth. This song is the closing number from the 1975, Tony-winning musical, "The Wiz," and as a Broadway star, Chenoweth treats us with another stellar musical experience. In a Glee season of top performances, I think this has to be among the top three.
Track 8: Physical. Olivia Newton-John, with humorous assistance by Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester). On the episode "Bad Reputation," Olivia, together with Jane, performs in a hilarious remake of her world-famous video of the biggest hit song of her career from 1981. Seen visually, it's a total romp, and this is a very cute track.
Track 9: Total Eclipse Of The Heart. Lea/Rachel and Jonathan/Jesse perform an intense duet of Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler's huge hit from 1983, "Total Eclipse of the Heart." The song was written and produced by Jim Steinman for her fifth studio album, "Faster Than the Speed of Night," and sold six million copies worldwide.
Track 10: The Lady Is A Tramp. Amber/Mercedes and Puck (Mark Salling) in a fabulous, jazzy duet. This is a show tune from the 1937 Broadway musical "Babes in Arms" by Rodgers and Hart. Multiple stars have recorded it, including Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, and Sammy Davis Jr.
Track 11: One. A duet with Lea/Rachel and Corey/Finn. (One source claims the male singer is Zack Weinstein, the actor who plays quadriplegic Sean Fretthold in the episode this is from, "Laryngitis," but, if so, his voice is identical to Finn's.) "One" is from the 1991 album "Achtung Baby" by the Irish rock band U2, lyrics by lead singer Bono. Not only one of U2's greatest hits, it's considered one of the greatest songs of all time. It's been covered by Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Mary J. Blige, R.E.M., Gregorian, Warren Haynes, Shinedown, and Pearl Jam.
Track 12. Rose's Turn. Solo by Chris/Kurt. This is a marvelous, gender-bending switch on a song usually sung by a middle-aged woman in the hit Broadway musical, "Gypsy," from 1959. Chris does a super job with it.
Track 13. Dream On. Neil Patrick Harris (Bryan Ryan, a school board member who was a glee-club rival of Will's when they were in high school) pairs up with Matthew/Will for a dueling delivery of Aerosmith's 1973 hit. Harris's baritone blends well with Matthew's tenor in this high-energy number.
Track 14. Safety Dance. Solo by Artie (Kevin McHale). This is an early 80's Top 10 hit from the Canadian New Wave group, Men Without Hats. It's bouncy and sheer fun, and Kevin's wonderful voice is a pleasure to hear.
Track 15. I Dreamed A Dream. Broadway star Idina Menzel (Shelby Corcoran, coach of rival glee club, Vocal Adrenaline) sings a duet with Lea/Rachel. This is a very challenging song from the 1980 musical, "Les Misérables" but both Lea/Rachel and Menzel are completely up for the job. Like Chenoweth, Menzel has a truly superlative voice.
Track 16. Loser. A duet by Cory/Finn and Mark/Puck. This is a really interesting, quirky performance with a combination of rap and singing. Loser is a 1994 hit by alternative rocker Beck.