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Glee: The Power of Madonna EP - Review

Glee, The Power of Madonna

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE Glee bandwagon rolls on in emphatic fashion with the release of The Power of Madonna EP, to coincide with the show’s Madonna-themed episode.

Having secured the blessing of the pop queen herself, as well as being given free reign over her catalogue, the creators have gone for a surprisingly varied selection of hits old and new. They’ve even mashed up Borderline with Open Your Heart, to provide an early highlight. Indeed, it’s a belter of a duet delivered by Cory Monteith’s Finn and Lea Michele’s Rachel.

Perhaps the biggest highlight, however, is Jane Lynch/Sue Sylvester’s rendition of Vogue – a suitably sassy track for a sassy lady. The rap, in particular, is well delivered by Sue Sylvester, with amusing embellishments including “Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Sue Sylvester, dance on air…” and “Will Schuster, I hate you”!

For support, of course, Jane Lynch is backed by Amber Riley and Chris Colfer (Mercedes and Kurt) over the chorus. But it’s a robust cover version, and one that the pop queen herself would surely have been proud to contribute to.

Elsewhere, there’s an ensemble delivery for Like A Virgin that finds Matthew Morrison and Jayma Mays taking centre stage, along with Cory Monteith, Lea Michele and Naya Rivera at different points. The mind boggles as to how they’ll work it into the show!

The Justin Timberlake-Madonna collaboration Four Minutes is also given a thrilling workout, complete with marching band style drum loops, plenty of brass and a typically emphatic vocal from Amber Riley’s Mercedes.

One of the great pleasures of listening to the CD, however, is hearing just how they interpret these well known songs, as well as seeing who they’ve got to deliver them. And that’s where some of the biggest surprises lie.

Hence, What It Feels Like For A Girl gives the boys the spotlight… with Cory Monteith, Mark Salling, Kevin McHale, Chris Colfer and Matt Morrison all delivering their musings on what it might feel like from a girl’s point of view! It works surprisingly well. The ensemble chorus is also really inspired.

Similarly, Like A Prayer is delivered as a multi-part song featuring Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer and Amber Riley, complete with gospel elements. It’s a thrilling finale.

The biggest compliment to pay the Glee cast, however, is that no matter what you may ultimately think of the show, these songs still sound terrific in their own right (as delivered by them). Hence, The Power of Madonna is another must have element of the Glee success story. These guys (and girls) really know what they’re doing… and do it so darn well!

Download picks: Vogue, Four Minutes, What It Feels Like For A Girl, Like A Prayer

Track listing:

  1. Express Yourself
  2. Borderline/Open Your Heart
  3. Vogue
  4. Like A Virgin
  5. 4 Minutes
  6. What It Feels Like For A Girl
  7. Like A Prayer
  8. Burning Up – (bonus album track on iTunes only)