A few weeks ago I was a normal person who liked their entertainment to have an edge. I love raw Blues (Blind Willie Johnson, Howlin' Wolf) and hard Rock (Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen) and Johnny Cash (I don't like Country otherwise). I like music so raw that if it was steak (and if I wasn't a vegetarian) I'd eat it raw and bloody. I like tough TV. I like Skins and I like True Blood and I like Dexter. And when I heard there was tv series about High School students who sang in a glee club I wanted to throw up. I would make it my mission to exterminate such a vile and inspid and bland thing and eradicate its memory from the collective human consciousness. So of course I had to watch at least one episode to make sure it was as sickening as I expected.
And another, until I began to weep. It had snared me in its insidious clutches and my destroyed my credibility in my own eyes. I enjoyed the stories and the characters, but my exposure of their particular horrors shall wait until I've watched the DVD and all the extras. Twice.
I enjoyed the music -me who likes his music raw and bleeding. I loved the range of the strong voices, leads and harmonies. I loved the mix and the arrangements of the blend of pop songs and shown tunes and, yes, rock. I loved the choreography and colour and bounciness. And so I bought Glee: the Music CD vol 1. And Glee: the Music CD vol 2. (And pre-ordered Glee: Season 1 the DVD.) And, like the show itself, the music made me smile and it made me happy and I couldn't deny it any longer. I loved Glee.
Keep away lest this devious piece of skilled wonderfully enjoyable delightful entertainment ensnare you too and destroy all your credibility and illusions. Don't buy this CD!
Okay, I think we're alone now. There just us no-hopers left who have fallen victim to Glee's insidious spell. We're already ruined so I may as well get on with the review.
It occurred to me that it reminds me of a BBC1 Saturday evening show about three years ago in which amateur choirs competed against each other. The songs were, like Glee, very varied but more so. While there were solo vocals, the strength came from the harmonies. To my surprise I really enjoyed the show which, with hindsight, explains why I fell in love with Glee despite my normal predilection for edgier music.
As for this CD, if anything, I think it's slightly better than vol.1, only slightly though. It opens with a terrific version of Proud Mary. Other standouts include I'll Stand By You, Imagine, and True Colours which is just great; the rest of the songs are all fine too. As I said, the harmonies really make the CD, but Lea Michele and Cory Monteith are terrific singers whose playing off each other is particularly striking. This is simply lovely enjoyable stuff and if you liked the first CD then you'll like this just as much as it's more of the same.
My previous review was tongue in cheek but I'm being serious when I say that this isn't deep or profound music and is all the better for it. Sometimes we just need a little light among the shade. You may not always get what you want but sometime you get just what you need and Glee is it.