Posts Tagged ‘Glee Cast’

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.

(more…)

Advertisements

The Queen of Pop has been fittingly given the first tribute episode in the hit TV series Glee. Madonna’s songs have been synonymous to excellence and pop perfection. Her songs are always filled with substance and with the Glee cast covering her singles for the EP, the end product should be something desirable.

Desirable, it really is. The EP may only last for seven tracks but the Glee cast do give justice to Madonna’s material. Glee and Madonna ends up as a well-done ‘marriage’ in my book. There really are loads of positives in this release albeit a short one.

One of them is that other cast members finally get the chance to show off their vocal chops. Jane Lynch, also known as Sue Sylvester, makes her debut with Vogue, one of the EP’s quality tracks. Lynch finally shows that Glee is more than a Lea Michele show. Another cast member who has her vocal debut is Naya Rivera who portrays Santana. Who would have thought that she actually has a great voice? Jayma Mays and Rivera actually make their respective vocal debuts in Like A Virgin, a track that somehow plays it safe but has its shining moment when Rivera’s vocals get some part of the limelight.

The boys in the cast, minus Matthew Morrison, team up to perform a heartwarming rendition of What It Feels Like For A Girl. Skepticism may be the initial reaction but it all ends well as the track is something well-polished and simply put, it ends up as one of the EP’s few recommended tracks. Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Chris Colfer (Kurt) join forces for 4 Minutes. The arrangement was cleverly thought of with the usage of the horns. It is reminiscent of those cheering squads who perform during the halftime of basketball games. Perfectly done, I can say the track was.

Sadly, the EP still releases an aura that tells it is still the Lea Michele show. Michele sings lead vocals for four of the seven tracks in the EP. It is not really a bad thing initially but it gets too stale for people’s tastes eventually. Of all the Michele-related tracks, it is the album closer, Like A Prayer, that stands out from the rest of the pack. The gospel vibe that the track had absolutely did wonders.

Every track in the EP can stand on its own but of course, there are those that stand out big time. 4 MinutesWhat It Feels Like For A Girl, and Vogue do stand out for it showed that other people aside from Michele can step up and deliver when it mattered the most.

Ultimately, everything ends well for the EP. The song selection is great and Cory Monteith did not even rely on the dreaded auto-tuning technology to sound great in the release. Desirable, the record really is. I bet Madonna is smiling after hearing the record. I really do.

Best Track: What It Feels Like For A Girl
Other Recommended Tracks: 4 MinutesVogue, and Like A Prayer
Genre: Pop
Date Released: April 20, 2010
Label: Columbia Records

After finishing with the #6 spot last week, Usher’sOMG finally conquers the Hot 100 Charts this week. Former #1 Nothin’ On You by B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars slides down to the #2 spot as a result. The newest track to crack the Top 10 of the Hot 100 is Young Forever by Jay-Z feat. Mr. Hudson.

As for the biggest gainers this week, Glee tracks are absolutely on a tear with One Less Bell To Answer / A House Is Not A Home leapfrogging into the #53 position. The Glee Cast’s cover of Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful debuts at the #61 spot. Also, the show’s cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Fire enters at the #64 position. The new single by the Black Eyed Peas, Rock That Body, debuts at #62. Shakira also has a new entry in the charts withGypsy debuting at #65.

B.o.B’s debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, debuts at the top spot in the Billboard 200 charts followed by Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now. Last week’s top album, Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna, slides down to the #10 position this week. Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0 is now the #4 album.

Among the debuting albums this week, Bullet For My Valentine’s new effort Fever enters as the #3 entry. Melissa Etheridge’s Fearless Love enters holding the #7 position with Nickelodeon star Miranda Cosgrove following closely with her new album Sparks Fly holding the #8 spot.

Here is the Top 10 of the Hot 100:

1. OMG by Usher
2. Nothin’ On You by B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars
3. Rude Boy by Rihanna
4. Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz feat. Ludacris
5. Need You Now by Lady Antebellum
6. Hey, Soul Sister by Train
7. Airplanes by B.o.B feat. Eminem and Hayley Williams
8. Your Love’s A Drug by Ke$ha
9. In My Head by Jason Derulo
10. Young Forever by Jay-Z and Mr. Hudson

Meanwhile, here is the Top 10 of the Billboard 200:

1. The Adventures of Bobby Ray by B.o.B
2. Need You Now by Lady Antebellum
3. Fever by Bullet For My Valentine
4. My World 2.0 by Justin Bieber
5. Iron Man 2 Soundtrack by AC/DC
6. Raymond V Raymond by Usher
7. Fearless Love by Melissa Etheridge
8. Sparks Fly by Miranda Cosgrove
9. NOW 33 by Various Artists
10. Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna by Glee Cast

To read the Hot 100, go to this link: Hot 100
To read the Billboard 200, go to this link: Billboard 200

Diana Vickers has fallen off the top spot in the charts this week. Does that mean though that Usher gets the top spot? The answer is a no since Usher has failed in getting the #1 positions in both the Single and Album charts in this week’s UK Charts. With grime outfit Roll Deep’s Good Times earning the top spot in the Singles charts this week, Usher’s OMG is a non-mover this week as it remains at #2 in the charts.

Glee’s cover of Madonna’s Like A Prayer is this week’s second highest new entry with the single holding the #16 spot. As for the other new entries in the charts this week, Marina & The Diamonds’ new single re-release I Am Not A Robot enters at #26,Need You Now by country trio Lady Antebellum enters at #28, Alicia Keys’ Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart gets the #31 spot, X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke’s All Night Long goes into the #34 position, Train’s Hey, Soul Sister nabs the #36 spot, Jason DeRulo’s new single Ridin’ Solo enters holding the #38 position, and American Idol alum Adam Lambert’s For Your Entertainment gets #39.

As for the album charts, Usher’s newest album Raymond V. Raymond settles for the #2 position despite leading the midweeks. Plan B holds the reign in the album charts this week with The Defamation of Strickland Banks. Last week’s #1 AC/DC slides down to the 3rd spot with Glee’s The Power of Madonna EP getting the 4th position.

To know more about the charts, click this link: HERE

As for the segment name, Mr Brightside’s Undisclosed Desires combines two songs from two bands that I really love: The Killer’s Mr. Brightside and Muse’s Undisclosed Desires. The segment will not only feature the charts from both the US and the UK but also some playlists that I have made. Stay tuned!

With the American hit comedy series consistently churning out great covers of songs from the past and the not-so-distant past, Columbia Records is all set to release the third volume of songs that the show covered in the second half of its first season. The album will have a Deluxe Edition which contains 20 tracks. As for the Standard Edition, 14 tracks are included.

Track Listing (Deluxe Edition):

1. Hello Goodbye (Originally by The Beatles)
2. Gives You Hell (Originally by The All-American Rejects)
3. Hello (feat. Jonathan Groff) (Originally by Lionel Richie)
4. A House Is Not A Home (Originally by Dionne Warwick)
5. One Less Bell To Answer/A House Is Not A Home (feat. Kristin Chenoweth) (Originally by Barbra Streisand)
6. Beautiful (Originally by Christina Aguilera)
7. Home (feat. Kristin Chenoweth) (Originally by Stephanie Mills)
8. Physical (feat. Olivia Newton-John) (Originally by Olivia Newton-John)
9. Total Eclipse of the Heart (feat. Jonathan Groff) (Originally by Bonnie Tyler)
10. The Lady Is A Tramp (Originally by the Cast of Babes In Arms)
11. One
12. Rose’s Turn (Originally by Ethel Merman)
13. Dream On (feat. Neil Patrick Harris) (Originally by Aerosmith)
14. The Safety Dance (Originally by Men Without Hats)
15. I Dreamed A Dream (feat. Idina Menzel) (Originally heard in Les Miserables)
16. Loser (Originally by Beck)
17. Give Up The Funk (Originally by Parliament)
18. Beth (Originally by Kiss)
19. Poker Face (feat. Idina Menzel) (Originally by Lady GaGa)
20. Bad Romance (Originally by Lady GaGa)

Hopefully, the third volume delivers. I have not been impressed by the cast’s cover of Hello Goodbye to be honest. It is good though to see Kristin Chenoweth back. Her vocals are mad, I tell you. The series has been consistently great in giving justice to the original in their covers. So far, no song has been massacred or butchered by the series. Hopefully, the trend continues in Volume 3.

Release Date: May 18, 2010

With two albums on the iTunes Top 100, Glee is an unstoppable hit making machine. Currently on its mid-season hiatus and returning on April 2010 (a long time, I know), the TV series is working on giving their fans more music and drama. Meanwhile, their most recent release, Glee: The Music Volume 2, is doing quite well in the charts as our Glee stars once again deliver great sounds that the audiences love.
The second volume picks up where the first one left off, starting with songs from the show’s 9th episode Wheels. It opens with a fun-tastic rendition of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic Proud Mary. Since it first became a hit, the song has had its taste of many cool and unique covers and this one by Glee is certainly among the best of the lot. Starting out in the original blues rock fashion, it crescendos into an energetic joyride of a song. Another intensely fun track is their cover of Van Halen’s Jump. Lea Michele (Rachel) channels her inner rockstar and reaches for the high notes with ease, backed up by Cory Monteith (Finn) and his 80′s rockstar spirit.
One obvious backdrop of doing covers is that they almost always get compared to the original, especially if the original arrangement is unchanged. Or in this case, recreated precisely. Such is the problem with tracks like Endless LoveCrush and both Smile songs. Lea Michele and Matt Morrison (Will)’s voices we know are gorgeous, but the musical arrangements sound so much like the original it sounds like they’re doing karaoke. Yes, I went there. So goes with the Lily Allen cover, whose intro I can never tell apart from the original (shame on me).
The slightest tweaking can do wonders to a song. This happens in the cast’s chilling renditions of the much-covered Imagine and the equally touching dance-song-turned-acoustic version of Dancing To Myself. The Billy Idol cover was particularly impressive because it manages to transform a forceful anthem into a wistful ballad with the strums of an acoustic guitar and Kevin McHale (Artie)’s delicate singing.
Glee has been notorious for its mashups and they keep on coming with brilliant combinations of The Police’s Don’t Stand So Close To Me with Gary Puckett and the Union Gap’s Young Girl and Beyonce’s Crazy in Love with… wait for it… Hair, from the Broadway musical of the same name. With the Glee cast on the wheel, two is always better than one.
Group songs almost always turn out to be amazing for the Glee cast, who gives the show choir treatment to already musically extravagant songs like Kelly Clarkson’s My Life Would Suck Without You and The Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Upon hearing the latter, I immediately loved it because I noticed something quite remarkable; there was little to no Auto-Tune. I’m sure a lot of you who heard the track noticed that Cory sounds much better here than in the other tracks. Speaking of Cory Monteith, fans of him will be delighted by the abundance of Finn solos with I’ll Stand By You and You’re Having My Baby. The actor-turned-singer does not at all disappoint in these emotionally-driven songs, but the post-production still bugs me. Come on, these people can sing well enough, they don’t need the Auto-Tune.
Power singer Amber Riley (Mercedes) also gets her fair share of solos with the ultimate balladeer’s theme song And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going, which she belts out with brilliant precision. Included in the album is Don’t Make Me Over, a song we don’t get to see on the show but, upon hearing the track, I wished we did.
A winning piece for both the fictional show choir and the singing stars of Glee is Don’t Rain On My Parade, a big band song from the Broadway show Funny Girl. From a role originated by singing legend Barbra Streisand, Lea Michele’s voice comes to soaring new heights with this song, which is powerful from beginning to end.
Overall, Glee: The Music Volume 2 is excellent as always. The excellent Glee cast manages to Glee-fy any song given to them, bringing classics and pop songs together and making them more accessible to the audiences. Here’s hoping more success to the show and with it being on its first season, there is a lot of room for improvement.
Label: Columbia Records
Date Released: December 4, 2009
Track List:
1. Proud Mary
2. Endless Love (feat. Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison)
3. I’ll Stand By You
4. Don’t Stand So Close To Me/Young Girl
5. Crush
6. (You’re) Having My Baby
7. Lean On Me
8. Don’t Make Me Over
9. Imagine
10. True Colors
11. Jump
12. Smile (feat. Lea Michele, Cory Monteith) – Lily Allen
13. Smile (Charlie Chaplin)
14. And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going
15. Don’t Rain On My Parade (feat. Lea Michele)
16. You Can’t Always Get What You Want (feat. Lea Michele)
17. My Life Would Suck Without You (feat. Lea Michele)


This post (this footer included) was contributed by Gem Carpio (VitaminGem)
Gem is 16 years old and currently a BS ECE freshman in University of the Philippines – Diliman. She enjoys music more than anything and if engineering doesn’t work out for her, she’d really like to be a performer. Her favorite song is Yellow and her favorite color is orange. She enjoys listening to fun songs from fun artists  like Mika, Lady GaGa, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, Lily Allen, Kate Nash, and The Beatles. She also really likes Broadway musicals and ball games that involve knocking things over.
Her blog can be found in this link: CLICKITY CLICK

As we get closer to the Top 10 of the countdown, I would like to remind you that Part IV marks the time where the songs are now ranked accordingly. By this, I mean that the songs are now in order unlike in Parts I – III where I just put the songs without much thought. Comments will really be appreciated. These comments are helpful in my desire to improve my blogging skills. Thank you so much!
#40 Death of Auto-Tune – Jay-Z
From: The Blueprint 3
Jay-Z enters with his first song in this countdown through Death of Auto-Tune. Sampling Steam’s Na Na Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, the song shines through Jay-Z message against the abuse of the Auto-Tune technology. I do think that this is the first Jay-Z song that I really liked. His verses have really evolved and this song clearly shows that.
#39 Panic Switch – Silversun Pickups
From: Swoon
The first song by an independent artist to become #1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart in 11 years, Panic Switch features a very heavy intro. Brian Aubert’s screaming still sounds great. The guitars in this sound really just sound perfect. And I know that this song is familiar to those who play the video game Rock Band.
#38 My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson
From: All I Ever Wanted
One of the best examples of a Pop-Rock song comes at number 38 with My Life Would Suck Without You. Kelly Clarkson goes back to playing edgy songs with this one. It absolutely is a very great record without the fruitiness that has been somewhat commonplace for Pop songs nowadays.
#37 Don’t Stop Believing – Glee Cast
From: Glee: The Music, Volume 1
Never in the world would I include Arnel Pineda’s Don’t Stop Believing in this countdown. NEVER. I just found his stint with Journey to be disappointing. Anyway, I think that this is the song that really pushed Glee into its success. Awesome cover and the arrangement as well is simply brilliant.
#36 Sweet Dreams – Beyonce
From: I Am . . . Sasha Fierce
One of the three songs that I loved in Mrs. Jay-Z’s newest album is Sweet Dreams. A very strong bassline really worked to perfection. Beyonce’s vocals are magic. It raises then lowers perfectly. Sweet Dreams is really one great pop record. The music video is also a visual treat.
#35 You And I – Medina
From: Velkommen til Medina (Danish for Welcome to Medina)
When I saw this single being played on Channel V, I instantly got hooked. A very danceable song and the constant repetitions of the phrase “You and I” makes it very interesting. Certainly, the song will be a great addition to all your playlists though it did not receive lots of mainstream exposure that it certainly deserves.
#34 3 – Britney Spears
From: The Singles Collection
Another Max Martin-produced track for Britney Spears has done immense wonders. The lyrics may be filled with innuendos but it is a surefire dance hit. If Britney continues to do more uptempo songs like this, I would be very happy to listen. She really sounds better in this type of songs in my opinion.
#33 Make Her Say – Kid Cudi feat. Kanye West and Common
From: Man On The Moon: The End of Day
Kid Cudi just continues to be spectacular. Alongisde Day ‘n’ NiteMake Her Say is one of the few impressive songs in Cudi’s Man On The Moon album. Sampling Lady GaGa’s acoustic version of Poker Face included in The Cherrytree Sessions EPMake Her Say just proves that there are still respectable hiphop songs left for people to listen to. It’s all about digging deep into those songs people.
#32 You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
From: Fearless
What a year it has been for Ms. Swift. After that controversial moment with Kanye West, Swift continued to win various awards, most notably those FIVE awards that she got from the American Music Awards. You Belong With Me is not your typical country song. It actually sounds more pop until you notice the sound that those guitars make which can only be heard in country songs. Still, those people who don’t love the Country genre should try this one.
#31 For Your Entertainment – Adam Lambert
From: For Your Entertainment
The runner-up to Kris Allen in American Idol, Adam Lambert (who was my favorite alongside Ms. Iraheta), finally came out with his debut album, For Your Entertainment this year. The debut single, For Your Entertainment, is one of the two tracks that I am currently liking big time so far. It sounds groovy and the hook is just mesmerizing. Despite that performance he had during the American Music Awards, I will still be a fan of Mr. Lambert.

Part III of my Year-End Countdown is the last part wherein the songs are NOT RANKED ACCORDINGLY. Again, I apologize for putting One Time by Justin Bieber a rank higher than Miley Cyrus’ Party In The U.S.A. Still, I would like to reiterate that songs from #75-41 are NOT RANKED ACCORDINGLY. Comments will be appreciated wholeheartedly. The real fun starts on song #40. Just stay tuned for that.
#50 Her Diamonds – Rob Thomas
From: Cradlesong
The Matchbox Twenty frontman has released his second solo album Cradlesong with Her Diamonds being the first single released for it. Thomas actually sounds great as a solo artist. Her Diamonds sounds as great as Thomas’ previous singles Lonely No More and This Is How A Heart Breaks. The song which tells about Thomas’ wife’s battle with an auto-immune disease got in this countdown all because of the chorus. Absolutely stunning in my opinion.
#49 Black Heart Inertia – Incubus
From: Monuments and Melodies
Incubus manages to enter the countdown with Black Heart Inertia, the first of two new singles out of the band’s compilation album Monuments and Melodies. The song can be described as guitar-heavy and boy, Brandon Boyd’s vocals have remained great throughout the years.
#48 Life In Technicolor II – Coldplay
From: Prospekt’s March
The Grammy-nominated Life In Technicolor II enters the countdown at number 48. For those who do not know, the instrumental version (Life In Technicolor) appeared in the album Viva La Vida, one of the best albums of all time in my opinion. Anyway, I think thatLife In Technicolor II is one heckuva rock single. The usage of the santoor in the intro is absolutely gold. Great work yet again from Coldplay in my opinion.
#47 21 Guns – Green Day
From: 21st Century Breakdown
One, twenty one guns! Lay down your arms, give up the fight.” Once I heard this line, I knew this Green Day has just hit the target. Essentially, 21 Guns is one song from 21st Century Breakdown that I really like. The song is downright anthemic which makes it particularly strong.
#46 Waking Up In Vegas – Katy Perry
From: One of the Boys
This song just helped the Pop genre gain back some respect in my opinion. Alongside Lady GaGa, Katy Perry has helped the Pop genre big time this year and this song is one proof.Waking Up In Vegas remains as Perry’s most energetic song and for some reason, the song reminds me of the line “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
#45 I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
From: The E.N.D.
The overplayed I Gotta Feeling makes it at number 45. The David Guetta-produced track is actually sick. With an infectious beat accompanying its fun lyrics, I Gotta Feelingeventually ended up as one of music’s best party songs this year. The over-usage of the dreaded Auto-tune is a huge downside though.
#44 Somebody To Love – Glee Cast
From: Glee: The Music, Volume 1
The Queen classic got the Glee treatment in its 5th episode entitled The Rhodes Not Taken. In my opinion, the Glee cover of the Queen classic is terrific and simply inspiring. Lea Michele continues to shine thanks to the TV series. However, I just can’t help but notice that the Auto-Tune is being abused on Cory Monteith. Come on, let the guy sing!
#43 Don’t Trust Me – 3OH!3
From: Want
3OH!3 entered the mainstream scene with Don’t Trust Me, their second studio album.Don’t Trust Me shines greatly through its chorus – very catchy and can induce the Last Song Syndrome (LSS) as well. The lyrics may turn off some people but I think the lyrics are actually good.
#42 New Perspective – Panic! At The Disco
From: Jennifer’s Body: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
After the departures of Ryan Ross and Jon Walker, Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith were the only members left of the band Panic! At The Disco. I actually thought that P!ATD was over. Suddenly, I heard news that this single was released. Way to go to prove me wrong! The single really sounds great and it may just prove enough that Urie and Smith can really do their thing even if it is just the two of them left.
#41 She Wolf – Shakira
From: She Wolf
The Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira returned with a bang this year with She Wolf. On first listen, I did not really like the single but after a listen, I just appreciated it. The track sounds very disco and sexy at the same time and the chorus is actually brilliant

Glee is an American musical-comedy drama television series aired by Fox, the company that brought us the massive show American Idol. Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, the show has garnered an average of 9.619 million viewers. Murphy has stated that he intends to create a balance of show tunes and pop tunes. In this review, we will be focusing on one of the latest pop tunes that the show has covered: Keep Holding On.

The single is dominated vocally by Lea Michele, who reprises the role of Rachel Berry in the show, and Cory Monteith, who reprises the role of Finn Hudson in the show. The duo did their best in making the cover sound great and in the eyes of this writer, they succeeded.

Vocally, Michele and Hudson did a good job in blending their voices for the duet. The backing vocals done by the rest of the Glee cast add a certain degree of richness to the song. The symphonic feeling added by the backing vocals is a huge plus to the Glee cover.

The arrangement is absolutely great. Backing vocals were great. The combo of Monteith and Michele did wonders. A great Avril Lavigne song has turned into a great show tune courtesy of the Glee cast. One may feel that he is listening to some theatrical song once he hears the great arrangement done for the cover.

However, the song does run into some problems. Monteith’s voice sounds like it has been “auto tuned” too much. A suggestion of this writer would be to stop the abuse of the “auto tune.” Monteith has the talent to sing. Stop using the “auto tune.” It only hurts Monteith’s rep. When someone has the talent, why do something that can hinder the talent from flowing continuously? As one adage said, “Why fix something that ain’t broke?”

Highlights of the song would be the great blending of Michele and Monteith’s voices. Add a stunning job done by the backing vocalists and you have a great cover knocking in your doorsteps. However, the abuse of “auto tune” on Monteith must be stopped immediately. Still, the cover is great but it does not match the greatness of the cast’s rendition of “Somebody To Love.”

Genre: Pop
Year Released: 2009
Label: Columbia Records