Light Up the World - (with Glee, featuring Cory Monteith/Kevin McHale/Lea Michele/Jenna Ushkowitz/Heather Morris/Naya Rivera)
Personnel: Onitsha Shaw, David Loucks, Ravaughn Brown, Jane Lynch, Drew Ryan Scott, Charice, Tim Davis , Kamari Copeland, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Jonathan Groff, Storm Lee, Dianna Agron, Amber Riley, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Jenna Ushkowitz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Heather Morris, Alex Anders, Jayma Mays, Chord Overstreet, Mark Salling, Naya Rivera, Kala Balch, Darren Criss, Kristin Chenoweth, Nikki Anders, Jeanette Olsson, Windy Wagner, Matthew Morrison, Shoshana Bean, Adam Anders (vocals); Martin Persson (programming).
Audio Mixer: Peer Astrom.
Recording information: Chalice Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Emblem Studios, Calabasas, CA; Henson Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Arrangers: Peer Astrom; Adam Anders.
Finally, a Glee album that avoids the usual pitfalls -- the overtrained Broadway vets turning pop tunes into stiff Italian arias, Matthew Morrison's repeated attempts at rapping -- and starts to move beyond karaoke territory. Volume 6 still contains a handful of duds, but it also plays up the show's creative side. "Rolling in the Deep" is stripped of its Motown arrangement and turned into a minimalist a cappella duet, with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele trading verses over a gospel choir. "I Feel Pretty/Unpretty" combines Leonard Berstein with TLC, turning two seemingly incompatible songs into one of the show's prettiest tributes to self-acceptance. "Dreams" sticks closer to its source material, but Kristin Chenoweth turns in a surprisingly spot-on Stevie Nicks impression, and Matthew Morrison's backup harmonies are the stuff of cool restraint. The second half of the album doesn't fare as well as the first -- in a post Mamma Mia world, do we really need another lackluster version of "Dancing Queen?" -- and some of the tracks could've been swapped out for better songs that didn't make the cut, like Fleetwood Mac's "I Don't Wanna Know" (scathingly sung by Cory Monteith and Dianna Agron) and -- believe it or not -- Rebecca Black's internet hit "Friday" (performed during the prom episode to surprisingly tuneful effect). Like most Glee soundtracks, this one has its homeruns and its strike-outs, but Volume 6 plays a better game than some of its predecessors. ~ Andrew Leahey
Yet another quality compilation of music from the hit TV series. This volume includes songs from only the 17-22 episodes of season 5, the exception of Turning Tables, Gwyneth Paltrow's final performance of the season, which is from season. One slight shock is that that album does not include Matthew Morrison's (plays Will Schuester) original song from the season finale, access to this track will require you to purchase his recently released self titled album.
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