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caracas1914

Hear them sing! Songs and voices on Glee

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Lea's voice is just stunning. Every time I hear her sing I'm just amazed at how natural and beautiful her voice is.

I hope one good thing to come from all-NYC glee is new pairings and singing partners.

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I hope one good thing to come from all-NYC glee is new pairings and singing partners.

 

I second that, and not just when it comes to songs, but also characters interactions. 

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"No One is Alone" may be Lea's worst performance ever on Glee, for the simple reason that she's a mezzo on a song that calls for a true soprano, as in the original production:

Lea has to strain for the highest notes, which greatly weakens the usual richness of her tone. Isn't she still better than everyone else there? Sure, but that's a pretty low bar and the song depends primarily on her.

Edited by Higgs

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It seems to me that that's Glee's M.O.: requiring half the cast to sing out of their range. I swear, poor Darren Criss looks like he's about to burst something when he sings (live or miming). I think that pop culture is generally enamoured of big voices and this show especially has caught the disease of reducing good singing to high notes and belting.  

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I've been generally enjoying the songs since the move to NY full-time, but last night I realized that if they never go back to McKinley, we're unlikely to ever get another full-group, fully-staged auditorium number.  I'll miss those big anthems.

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Been watching some early Glee episodes and been remind why this show was so good. But the performance and vocal that stands head and shoulders above others for me is 'True Colours' Jenna's voice is just gorgeous on it. 

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I'm embarrassed for Shirley Maclaine on "Piece of My Heart".  Who the hell thought that was a good idea?   She deserves so much better.  What's next?  Have Liza come on to sing a Kurt Cobain song?  Ugh.  

Edited by vb68
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One thing I do miss about TWOP's recaplet of Glee is the person always listed the songs that were sung on the show along with their original recorders.  I don't always recognize the songs, but like them and would like to know who did the song originally.  Is there another place that lists them?

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Well there is a God, so far "Piece of Shit:" whoops I mean "Piece of my Heart" hasn't even cracked the top 1500 in the ITUNES singles as far as I iknow.

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Still confused why they used that song.

I think it was used both as a character piece and as a narrative device. It's way of establishing June as this brash in-your-face person, the classic figure of the ballsy NYC old broad who uses her influence and power to bully people into doing things her way (in this case donating money to the fundraiser). It also one more step in her process of enticing Blaine into her world, and he does seem tempted to cross over when he enthusiastically starts throwing the money in the air. I don't think it is a number I will listen to as a stand-alone audio-only piece, but for the use they made of it in the script and with the visuals I think it worked beautifully and I enjoyed it throroughly as such.

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God, that cover was *awful*

 

That doesn't even begin to describe it.   For once the public has spoken was right in that placement wise, it is the second worst selling Glee singe of the entire season.     It cracked the top 1400 for a split second and than slunk away.

Edited by caracas1914

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Got to say, I'm loving the music for Chris's episode "Old Dog, New Tricks." Chord has rarely sounded better than on "I Melt With You," and it works so well as a small group number. I *love* "Take Me Home Tonight" - I'm a sucker for tracks where our cast do their own singing; they sound so good together. Chris's numbers with June Squibb are beautiful too. One of the best episodes for music this season, IMO.

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Just listening to the songs for the finale and my top 3 are:

 

"All Of Me" - I still love Darren when he's used appropriately and he was here; the rough spots in his voice were compensated by the emotion of what he was singing. a lovely number. (Hope he rests his voice this summer)

 

"American Boy" - surprised and pleased that Chris was used as much as Darren on this slightly strange little song. I liked it.

 

"Pompeii" - another wonderfully inclusive group number utilising all the cast members. Catnip :)

 

Sorry to say that I've never liked Duran Duran, didn't bother to listen to the Blaine/June number after Darren and Shirley butchered the last one, and both Amber and Lea's numbers bored me. Lea 's polished perfection just doesn't work for every number; this one managed to sound just like 40 other sad kitty ballads she's done on the show.

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I bought the Season 4 Volume 1 CD (not sure why) and was just listening to it.  I was surprised I preferred Marley's part in "New York State of Mind" and didn't like Rachel's part.  I usually love Rachel's singing, but I was oddly annoyed at some of the oversinging on this album (on "Give Your Heart a Break" as well).  It's the type of singing that prevents me from listening to some Christina Aguilera albums.

 

How do they select the songs on the CD?  Some are really bad selections (who wants to hear Gangnam Style, especially the Glee version), but overall, I was pleasantly surprised that most of the performances/songs were decent.

Edited by Camera One

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I bought the Season 4 Volume 1 CD (not sure why) and was just listening to it.  I was surprised I preferred Marley's part in "New York State of Mind" and didn't like Rachel's part.  I usually love Rachel's singing, but I was oddly annoyed at some of the oversinging on this album (on "Give Your Heart a Break" as well).  It's the type of singing that prevents me from listening to some Christina Aguilera albums.

 

How do they select the songs on the CD?  Some are really bad selections (who wants to hear Gangnam Style, especially the Glee version), but overall, I was pleasantly surprised that most of the performances/songs were decent.

 

I often feel Lea Michele turns it up to 11 when it's not completely necessary, New York State of Mind I think is a clear example. And much as the character of Marley made me want to throw things at the TV I love Melissa Benoit's voice especially on this and Chasing Pavements. 

 

I read something a few weeks ago about how singers over singing and belting song when its not necessary, is a complaint in musical theatre generally, so it's not just Glee. 

Edited by jtrattray
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Funny this got brought up.  I just watched New Directions sectionals season 3 performance where they sang "ABC" and "Man in the Mirror."  I really enjoyed it and I think the main reason was that it wasn't a Rachel-centric performance (because she was suspended).  It really gave others a chance to shine.  ABC in particular gave Tina, Mike, and Kurt a chance to be in the spotlight.  I also really enjoyed it because it was one of the few performance sets ND did without a power ballad.

 

Regarding Lea/Rachel turning it up to 11 when it is unnecessary the one time I really noticed it was in "The Scientist."  I loved everyone's parts in that song except Rachel's.  To me it came across like she was singing a different version than everyone else because she belted it while the others were more understated in their performance.  

 

I think the blame for that is on the music producers and Ryan Murphy, though.  They view Lea as a "voice of a generation" and my feeling is to them that means having her belt a song out even when it doesn't necessarily match the tone of the scene.  

Edited by camussie
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I love the sectionals performance from season 3, I think it's my favourite competition performance from the whole series. ABC is fantastic, I love any chance Tina gets to shine, I think I actually squealed when I first saw it (yes I'm a grown up, honestly!) I love the rest of the boys on Man in the Mirror too. I like Control, I thought it was something a bit different too. 

 

One thing I liked about the McKinlay side of seasons 4 and 5 was the end numbers in the auditorium generally had the lead vocal being passed about, and I love that. It's not just Glee, I love it generally. 

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I forgot to mention Control.  I really enjoyed it because it featured Artie, who I have always thought was the best male singer in New Directions.  

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Probably one of my fave Glee singing episodes was "Duets", Season 2.

 

"River Deep, Mountain High" 
"Lucky" 
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" 
"Le Jazz Hot"
"Sing!"
"Happy Days Are Here Again / Get Happy"

I thought all six numbers were very good and highlighted the singers well (cleverly even Harry's vocal limitations in "Sing")

Edited by caracas1914

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"Homeward Bound" is one of my favorite songs. I thought it was performed well and I liked seeing 6 original cast members finding each other in the auditorium. Loved it.

"Mine", sung by Naya Rivera is amazing. I love that song.

Edited by Rockybeach

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"Homeward Bound" is one of my favorite songs. I thought it was performed well and I liked seeing 6 original cast members finding each other in the auditorium. Loved it.

 

It's an unusual combination of voices, and no-one dominates it. I'm also a big fan. 

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So i have decided what my least favorite cover ever is on Glee - "Merry Christmas, Darling."  Just no.  Lea has a stunning voice but it doesn't have the pureness of tone that Karen Carpenter's had.  To be fair I think it is almost impossible for anyone to have that.  To me it really is a song that should not be covered.  

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For what he was suppose to be: a jock who happened to love singing despite himself I thought Cory's singing voice fit the character very well. It was a bit rough and untrained at first (Season One) yet surprisingly I thought he was great for the male lead in a lot of the group numbers. "We are Young", "Somebody to love", " We are the champions" etc.

Edited by caracas1914
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He was definitely untrained in season 1 but he improved so much.  For example, I thought he was the stand-out in their nationals win with Finn's part in "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." Actually that run of three episodes - Nationals, Goodbye, and The Break-Up was Cory's best vocal work on the show.  I think he just shined in all of the numbers he sang.

 

I also always thought he was a compelling performer even if he wasn't a very good singer at first.  I have always said where Glee messed up was trying to sell Finn as ND's best male singer.  He wasn't.  To me that was clearly Artie.  What they should have done is say his voice is rough but he has a presence and an ability to "act the songs" that makes him one of their best performers.  

 

I also thought Cory's ability to act the songs - whether in performances like "Man in the Mirror" or just in the songs used around plots was impressive.  For example, when Finn was finding his "inner rock star" with "Hello, I Love You" suddenly Finn had a swagger we hadn't seen before. 

Edited by camussie
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I think Lea Michele has the best voice overall.  It's the most melodic and versatile overall.  It's really amazing.  I remember being blown away when I heard her sing "Don't Rain on my Parade", it's like the song was made for her voice.  The choreography was bouncy and light and she belted wonderfully.  Imo, her version was much better than Santana's.  Santana's version was made to go quicker to disguise that fact that she just can't sing like Rachel.  Chris Colfer also has a very smooth voice, I noticed how smooth it was in "Big Girls Don't Cry.  I'd say the best voices are probably Rachel, Kurt, and Mercedes.

 

"Ride With Me" in the first season was really cool too.  Just a bunch of choir kids having fun.  You can tell it's being sung live because it has a roughness to it that the other songs don't have.  

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I think Amber, Matt, Lea (though I have some nitpicks with her)and Kevin are the best technical singers. Kevin and Amber are probably the most versatile over all.

Matt has my absolute favorite voice, though. It's just so smooth and velvety.

Edited by Sara2009

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I have a soft spot for the purity of Jenna's voice as well.  Jenna and Chris had a few shared lines in "Pure Imagination" and " ABC"  and I thought they sounded fantastic together.  It always made me want a full length duet with them. 

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Always had a soft soft for the purity of Jenna's singing voice, so bell like.

I always forget about her for some reason. She's great, though.

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Always had a soft soft for the purity of Jenna's singing voice, so bell like.

I could listen to Jenna sing the phonebook. True Colours is still my favourite song from the entire series. I'm also love her and Harry's duet of L-O-V-E. 

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Always had a soft soft for the purity of Jenna's singing voice, so bell like.

I haven't watched Glee in a while but Jenna is probably one of the weakest singers when you compare her to Lea, Kevin, Darren, Amber, or Chris. Her voice isn't very strong or smooth.

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"Dog days are over" with Jenna/Amber as the leads back in 209 "Special Education" was one of my faves, might have been the only time they shared lead vocals.

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"Dog days are over" with Jenna/Amber as the leads back in 209 "Special Education" was one of my faves, might have been the only time they shared lead vocals.

 

There's 'Shake It Out' with both of them and Naya. That's another favourite of mine, I think they all sound lovely. It's one of the few times they don't have Amber 'wail on the last note' to quote Mercedes in The Power of Madonna.

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Jenna is technically stronger than Darren as are Naya and Matt. JMO

Just for fun, my ranking of pure technical ability would go like this:

1st tier: Amber, Matt,Lea, Kevin, Melissa, Alex,

2nd tier: Jenna, Chris, Jacob, Naya

3rd tier:Mark, Darren, Chord

4th tier: Blake, Heather, Harry, Dianna

The lists would be different if I were naming my favorites.

Edited by Sara2009
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Sarah I really can't fault your list. Don't judge me, I actually like Dianna's voice a lot on a songs that suit her limited power and range but I know technically she's relatively weak.

Where would you have placed Cory Monteith? Third tier or fourth I'm guessing. He's another person I loved his voice on certain songs.

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Sarah I really can't fault your list. Don't judge me, I actually like Dianna's voice a lot on a songs that suit her limited power and range but I know technically she's relatively weak.

Where would you have placed Cory Monteith? Third tier or fourth I'm guessing. He's another person I loved his voice on certain songs.

I quite like Dianna's voice too. Give her the right song and she sounds lovely. As I said, I was judging purely on technical ability.

Cory would probably be third tier, but he improved SO MUCH during his time on the show,

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I know I'm a minority on this but I loved Ambers "wailing".

 

I actually do occasionally, but they overused it. 

 

It's never mattered to me how technically good a singer is as long as they can hold a tune. It's about how they connect with the song and how they perform it. With Lea and Darren I'm not sure if it's because they have to perform so much more often than the rest and get so much dross, but I never feel a thing when they perform. They only exceptions to that were Lea doing 'Don't Rain on My Parade' and Darren doing 'Somewhere Only We Know'. I don't think I've ever had a emotional reaction when Chord performs, well except the occasional someone make him stop (Jumpin, Jumpin), though conversely his reactions when Amber sings 'I Will Always Love You' break my heart every time. 

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I tend to prefer the technically superior voices, but there are definitely exceptions to that.

It's also hard to 100% judge when I haven't seen them all live.

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I tend to prefer the technically superior voices, but there are definitely exceptions to that.

It's also hard to 100% judge when I haven't seen them all live.

 

Do you have a trained ear? Just wondering if that makes a difference. 

 

Btw, you missed Becca Tobin out of your rankings where would she go?

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I don't have a trained ear, but I've talked with people who do. I was in choir for 7 years, however, so I'm familiar with some of the basics. I'm no expert,though. Plus, even technique is somewhat subjective.

I'd put Becca in 4th tier, but I haven't heard much from her.

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