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Glee: The Music, Volume 4

4.3 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Glee: The Music, Volume 4 features 18 brand new songs from season two, including songs from special guests Gwyneth Paltrow ("Forget You") and newcomer Darren Criss ("Teenage Dream"). The album includes such memorable Glee performances as "Billionaire", "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Empire State of Mind" as well as 4 songs from the much talked about "Britney/Brittany" episode, which was the most watched episode of FOX s hit TV show to date.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 30, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: November 30, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • ASIN: B0049IHY30
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,414 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sean Curley on November 30, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Glee's eighth CD release (three previous regular volumes, plus three episode-specific EPs and one Christmas album) arrives in stores, featuring a broad selection of songs from the first nine episodes of the show's second season. Some story-related spoilers are included in discussions of the songs, so be warned.

The first general note is that the selections for this CD have clearly prioritized the more contemporary covers done by the show, with the older songs and showtunes mostly marginalized; one affect of this is greatly limiting the presence of certain voices. Lea Michele, the show's female lead, is barely on this album, with only one featured solo song; most of her output falls into the classic/showtune category ("Papa, Can You Hear Me?", "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina", "What I Did For Love"). Chris Colfer, another of the show's main stars, isn't here much either. One would have to say that the big winners in terms of representation are Kevin McHale (probably the most versatile voice among the students) and Naya Rivera.

The eighteen songs included are:

1. "Empire State of Mind" (originally by Jay-Z and Alicia Keyes) - decent; the girls' handling of the chorus is superb, while the guys handling the rap portions are a lot more variable. Kevin McHale (Artie) is the most adept (and Cory Monteith/Finn surprisingly isn't bad), but Mark Salling's (Puck) section is dull.

2. "Billionaire" (originally by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars; get used to that latter name, because you'll be seeing it a lot) - performed by newcomer Chord Overstreet (Sam) alongside McHale; again, competent, if not exceptional.

3.
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Format: Audio CD
I am pretty disappointed about the omission of A LOT of songs on this album. I know it is not new for the producers of the show and albums to omit some of the most popular songs but it really sucks when they do. Obviously they do so because they can sell the mp3 singles in addition to selling the albums. But to not include "Umbrella/Singing in the Rain", "Papa, Can You Hear Me?", "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" or "What I Did For Love" is not nicely done. It is obvious that when writing this new season of the show the team behind Glee have for some reason (external or internal pressure, perhaps?) decided to try not to play favorites when giving out songs and putting together the albums. The fact that Lea Michele only has one solo on the album (and in my opinion not her best of the season so far) is tragic. I know the show is about how we're all special and that certain people shouldn't be favored over others but that is really a problem when the person you are trying not to favor is the best vocalist! I know a lot of people commented on the fact that their favorite characters were not given solos, etc., but this album is just much weaker than the others since the strongest vocalists are not featured.

The marketing scheme of making people buy mp3 singles for the other songs is, well ...marketing. Fine, I get that. But the fact that if you are not a US resident you can't buy the singles makes it really really annoying that they don't include all the songs or make another album. Personally, as I cannot buy the amazon mp3 and not all iTunes sell the singles, I would buy a second album with all the other songs. That way they could still make the extra money they are trying to get by omitting certain songs.

Oh, and on a final note, I find it strange that Overstreet who has two duets on the album is not included on the album cover. I'm just saying :o)
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Format: Audio CD
Sorry, but hands down, the absolute best Glee rendition so far this season other than Teenage Dream is the Umbrella/Singin in the Rain mashup, and considering the Gwenyth Paltrow episode was so hyped, there is NO excuse not to include that on here (especially since there's 15 minutes of space left on this disc). As a result, the absolute best song on this volume is teenage dream, which isn't even sung by the original cast of the show!

Reflecting on season 2 part 1 through this CD, it's sadly noticeable that much of this season's music has amounted to nothing more than karaoke versions of these songs. What happened to the magic? Empire State of Mind, Billionaire, the Britney Spears songs, One of Us, One Love (people get ready), Just the way you are, I've Had the Time of My Life--these songs are all essentially the cast singing sound-alike versions of the originals. The only noticeable difference is Artie singing Britney's "Stronger"--which, with male vocals, sounds more like a cover of an N'sync song.

After that, other than the fantastic Teenage Dream, only a few tracks stand out to me--loved the version of River Deep, Mountain High as performed on the show, so it's good to see it here. Kurt's take on I Want to Hold Your Hand is poignant, Gwenyth Paltrow makes at least one appearance on here with her awesome solo track from that episode, Marry You is pretty good, as is Valerie.

The big disaster here has to be the inclusion of Mr. Schu singing "Sway." There's simply nothing exciting about this, and it's actually rather irritating, even as presented on the show. Would have much rather had Umbrella/Singing in the Rain. Let's hope that they hear the voices of the fans and squeeze it onto season 2 part 2.
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