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Glee: The Music: Volume 1 - Review

Glee OST: Volume 1

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

GLEE has fast become the phenomenon of 2010 – and deservedly so!

Buoyed by the strong word of mouth from the US, the new TV show from Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy has burst onto UK screens in spectacular form as well as taken over the UK charts.

A rousing High School comedy-drama that follows the fortunes of an ambitious teacher as he attempts to revive his school’s glee club, while facing opposition from the bullish cheerleading teacher, Glee is a breath of fresh air that brightens every Monday night’s viewing schedule (if you’re following on E4!).

Packed with fun performances from a largely unknown cast and memorable song and dance routines that ‘cover’ contemporary pop classics as well as show tunes from Broadway and the West End, it’s a riot of positivity that’s also clever enough to poke some necessary fun at the expense of reality TV and the wholesomeness of High School Musical.

Such is its success that series one even managed to break 30 Rock‘s strangehold on the Golden Globes (no mean feat!), scooping Best TV Show (Comedy/Musical).

In chart form, meanwhile, songs that have been released to download following each episode have broken their way into the charts – both Billboard and UK top 10.

The most pleasing aspect of Glee‘s success, however, is that it’s so richly deserved. For once, talent shines through!

Glee: The Music: Volume 1 is a brilliant collection of songs that work both as a fun reminder of the numerous show-stopping sequences that brighten each episode, and as a cracking collection of covers in their own right.

The highlights fly thick and fast… whether it’s the seminal cover of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, or Kanye West’s Gold Digger, to Queen’s Somebody To Love or Rihanna’s Take A Bow.

The show tunes, too, are also great, whether it’s Defying Gravity from Wicked or Maybe This Time from Cabaret – each spin that’s put on the tunes is inventive, fresh, energetic and, above all, sing-along.

The vocalists, too, are terrifically talented, whether it’s Matthew Morrison’s hip teacher (flexing his vocal prowess on Gold Digger), Amber Riley busting a soulful lament all over Bust Your Windows, or Corey Monteith finding his innermost feelings on Can’t Fight This Feeling.

Arguably the real find, however, is Lea Michele (the show’s Rachel), who is equally at ease with the big show tunes as she is with the pop stuff. She’s a real star and delivers each of her moments with breathtaking quality.

In short, Glee is enormous fun and genuinely worthy of its hip, cool, must-have status. Further volumes are on the way… and should be greedily devoured.

Download picks: Don’t Stop Believin’, Gold Digger, Bust Your Windows, Taking Chances, Somebody To Love, Sweet Caroline, Defying Gravity, Bust A Move


  1. Don’t Stop Believin’
  2. Can’t Fight the Feeling
  3. Gold Digger
  4. Take A Bow
  5. Bust Your Windows
  6. Taking Chances
  7. Alone
  8. Maybe This Time
  9. Somebody To Love
  10. Hate On Me
  11. No Air
  12. You Keep Me Hanging On
  13. Keep Holding On
  14. Bust A Move
  15. Sweet Caroline
  16. Dancing With Myself
  17. Defying Gravity

Glee: The Music: Volume 1 will be released on CD and download on Monday, February 15 on Epic Records. Watch Glee on E4 Monday and Thursday nights and on Channel 4 on Sunday.