“Glee,” the musical comedy-drama series, shows the day-to-day lives of high school students and features multiple covers of a songs every episode. These students are shown in their own unique situations that kept the drama hot and upbeat throughout the series.
The Glee Club, which is the focal setting of the show, has students express themselves through song. There are an average of five to six songs per episode, ranging in genres. From Journey to Michael Jackson and even Katy Perry, the covers of these songs helped continue the comedy-drama along.
After 738 songs throughout its 121 episodes, “Glee” covered many different musical genres for everyone to appreciate. The effort put into each of these covers made them as enjoyable, and sometimes even better than the original songs. With this in mind, I would argue that cast members Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and the others outperformed the originals.
The original artists of the songs featured in “Glee” are very good at what they do and are renowned for their talents, but I believe that a few covers in particular are exceptional. The song that sticks out the most to me is “Valerie,” originally sung by Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse. In the 100th episode of the series, Santana and Brittany performed this ballad, and it took my breath away. The amount of emotion, character and sass that was brought into the performance gave it a spot on my list.
Another noteworthy song is “Smooth Criminal,” originally sung by Michael Jackson. The version on “Glee” featured the group 2 CELLOS, a male-duo from Europe. This duo performed while Santana and Sebastian were battling to see who could perform better. They both sang with their inner diva and their heart. The 2 CELLOS performed with such enthusiasm and talent that this cover deserved to be recognized.
One last song I believe worth mentioning is the mashup of “Singing in the Rain,” from the musical Singing in the Rain, and “Umbrella,” by Rhianna and JAY-Z. This mix brings classic and modern love songs together. These songs apart are fantastic in the original form, but when performed as a mashup, they work extraordinarily well together. The vocal range of the actors during this song and the feelings they put into the words they sing proves that this mix is better together than apart.
When looking at the grand scheme of things, for a song to be known as exceptional in my eyes (and ears), it needs to cover a few criteria. It needs to show heart, character and make me wan to listen again. If I am watching a performance, I want to be moved to either tears or laughter because of how they performed with the song. If the song is serious, funny, sad or angry, it needs to show those emotions in the vocal range of the artist. Finally, if I do not want to skip it on Spotify, then in my mind that song has made it. Some of the original songs performed by The Glee Club were a bit flat. The Glee cast was able to express themselves through these songs, hitting these criteria and making them personal to both themselves and the audience watching and listening.