Album Review: Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals by Glee Cast

Posted: June 10, 2010 in Album Reviews, The Music Reviews
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First and foremost, I love Glee (and Dianna Agron). Second, the season finale was the episode that really got me ’emotionally invested.’ I hated to see New Directions get last place. My spirits were absolutely crushed when the results were unveiled. It was like something I did not expect even though I do read spoilers. Lastly, this latest EP by the Glee Cast is good but it does have blemishes, mind that.

Material coming from the show has relied on the tried and tested formula: Ride on Lea Michele and Cory Monteith’s vocals and see what happens and this becomes obvious right from the kick off. Faithfully, one of three classic tracks from Journey that got the Glee treatment in the EP, puts the spotlight on the show’s two biggest stars, Michele and Monteith. The effectiveness of the formula gets diluted in the track. When something gets used too much, the result is not going to be pretty and that is the case here. I will not deny that both stars have awesome vocals but it is just too much. Glee, after all, is not Lea Michele’s Got Talent. Proper balance in terms of the exposure for the cast must be achieved.

Just when I thought that the EP will be a huge mess, here comes the messiah of all the tracks in the EP, wrapped delicately waiting to be unleashed. I am referring to the flawless mash-up of Any Way You Want It and Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’. Mash-ups have also been another calling card of the show. Some of them have been particularly impressive especially that mash-up of Usher’s Confessions and Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life while others just fell flat like that Don’t Stand So Close To Me/Young Girl mash-up. Fortunately, the latest mash-up falls into the former. The brilliance shines very brightly that I almost forgot this is a mash-up we’re talking about.

The Journey track that gave the show lots of promise returns anew with some changes in place. Don’t Stop Believing again makes an appearance and one of the changes is some additional vocals from Naya Rivera (Santana). Impressed, I am, after hearing her vocals in the Regionals version of the aforementioned track. She wowed me before in Like A Virgin and she delivers yet again. However, I have had second thoughts in declaring a better version when it comes to comparing this new version to that of the ‘Pilot Episode Version.’ The ‘Pilot Episode Version’ gave me the chills while the ‘Regionals Version’ left me thinking whether the changes should have been made in the first place. It must be said though that both versions are outstanding and it all depends on one’s cup of tea.

A Queen classic appears in the form of Bohemian Rhapsody. I loved the original and honestly, I think the cover is way too much karaoke. I had some expectations for this track since it was performed Vocal Adrenaline (the group who gave us a fantastic rendition of Rehab in the Pilot episode) but all these expectations just got flushed down the toilet after hearing the cover. Where is the coolness? It suddenly went AWOL. Redemption comes though with To Sir, With Love. Every notable member of the Glee Cast had their turns vocally for the track which turns out to be the track’s greatest asset. A Wizard of Oz classic turns out to be the EP’s closer. Over The Rainbow gets some acoustic treatment courtesy of Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester). It is not my cup of tea but hey, Morrison does sound good and has proven that he can sing material coming from the other genres and not just rely on hip-hop tracks.

As I have said, I love the show and most of its covers. The new EP gave a fresh perspective on material coming from classic and solidified acts such as Journey and Queen. The EP reaches its high point with the fantastic Journey mash-up and dips to its lowest point come the Queen cover for it just sounded too much like the original. This release is likable and if you are a fan of the TV series, this is a must-have. As for people who have not heard anything coming from this TV series, this record is a good one to start with. Overall, a great EP albeit not a perfect one.

Best Track: Any Way You Want It/Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’
Other Recommended Tracks: Don’t Stop Believing and To Sir, With Love
Genre: Pop
Date Released: June 8, 2010
Label: Columbia Records


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