Despite how divisive critics –- and fans -– are over Fox’s hit musical, “Glee,” the show’s magic remains, for better or worse, in its ability to churn out foot-stomping renditions of songs from yesteryear, and put its mark on current top 40 singles.
But after hundreds of covers and a handful of soundtracks (volume five is out next month), the kids have finally decided to tackle … original music.
After dominating charts with covers of “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Teenage Dream,” it's time to try doing it on their own.
“Loser Like Me,” an energetic ensemble track co-written by pop hitmaker Max Martin, and “Get It Right,” a sweeping ballad, will appear on “Glee: The Music, Vol. 5,” available March 8, and air on the March 15 episode of the show.
Employing Martin is a given. The man knows how to craft peppy pop magic. If the track isn’t nearly as sticky as other Martin gems (Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me,” Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” and Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” to name a few), it is a noble attempt. But there isn’t an easy hook to catch, and the song less successfully showcases the range of voices of the show’s stars.
“Get It Right,” featuring Lea Michele, is a piano driven ballad, exactly what you'd imagine as the perfect showcase for Michele’s soaring vocals.
Last summer during the Television Critics Assn. press tour, show creator Ryan Murphy said he planned for the kids to take on their own lyrics in the second half of the show, though he wasn’t sure how yet.
“I think it has to be organic,” he said. “It wouldn’t work [before] if they just broke out and started singing their own songs. You wouldn’t get it. I think it has to be an assignment.”
“Glee: The Music, Vol. 5” will feature the cast’s take on Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” the mash-up of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll.”
To date almost 24 million "Glee" songs have been digitally downloaded, with nearly 9 million albums sold worldwide. "Glee" scored three consecutive No. 1 releases with “Glee: The Music, Vol. 3 Showstoppers,” “Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna” and “Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals.”
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy