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Glee The Music: Journey To Regionals - Glee Cast

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Genre: Pop / Artist: Glee Cast / EP / Audio CD released 2010-06-14 at Epic

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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      01.12.2011 17:59

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      An essential for Glee fans

      This album was the final album of the first series and it cost me £4.98 from a popular online music retailer. The great thing about this album is that it showcases the vocals of a good majority of the case as opposed to just focusing on Rachel and Finn as usual. The album features a brand new version of Don't Stop Believin'. This version features the latest cast members to join the show, i.e Santana and Brittany, and it sounds even better than the original. The vocals of the entire cast shine and it gives a modern feel to the Journey hit.

      The vocals, as usual, are spot on throughout the album and it's nice to hear Matthew Morrision feature on a Glee album for a change. The album is short in length but it is supposed to be an EP and not a full length release, that's why it isn't expensive. The album flows well and is easy to listen to. It has a feel good aspect to it and their version of Bohemian Rhapsody is very well produced (and very well executed). Bohemian is sung by the rival singers but it still has the fantastic Glee feel to it.

      This is a great pop album and I always enjoy listening to it. Okay, it's only six songs long, but it's QUALITY not QUANTITY that matters and this album is sure enough QUALITY.

      Buy it if you haven't already.

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      22.06.2010 11:43
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      Fantastic! xxx

      Glee The Music: Journey To Regionals
      Total Running Time: 22.6 minutes
      Number of Tracks: 6
      Album Producers: Adam Anders and Ryan Murphy
      Released: 2010

      If you are a total Gleek like me, you won't need explaining what this CD features. However, if you have only ever heard of the show, or watched a couple of episodes, some background information may be useful to you...

      ~*General Information*~

      Glee is an American musical drama, set in Ohio. It centres around a Glee club at the fictional McKinley High School, and the dramas between the members and the teachers at the school. It also follows them on their journey through competitions against other schools.
      The first series has just finished in the UK, on channels E4 and 4. I would expect a DVD to come out soon with the full series, and part one of the series has already been released on DVD - Road To Sectionals.
      For more information, why not check out my Glee review (hint, hint!)

      ~*Glee The Music*~

      Nobody could have predicted the massive impact Glee could have had in countries - the UK being no exception. Glee released many of the songs featured on the programme as singles available online, and as a result the music charts worldwide were filled with Glee! Glee also released CD Volumes - where the best tracks were compiled into albums. So far three volumes have been released, with two miniature CD's - The Power Of Madonna and this album, Journey To Regionals.
      All the songs on Glee are covers of pre released; a mix of chart hits and songs from musicals. The shows creator, Ryan Murphy, wanted there to be a perfect balance, and something that everyone could relate to in every episode. Because of this, he wanted a little bit of rap, some R'n'B, a splash of pop, some soft rock and of course, songs from the shows.
      Journey To Regionals
      The songs on this album are all from the finale episode of season one, Journey To Regionals (also the album name). In this episode the Glee club, New Directions, compete at 'regionals' - a regional competition for school Glee clubs. Their competitors are their arch rivals Vocal Adrenaline, and, frankly, no-hopers Oral Intensity.
      The title of the album is a play on words - as it is following their, well, journey to the regional competition, but New Directions also decide to tribute Journey, the famous 80's rock band. This came about after Glee totally reinvented their most successful hit - Don't Stop Believin'. It stormed the charts and also introduced the original version to the younger generation. So, half of the songs on this album are Journey songs, hence the name.

      ~*Purchasing The Album*~

      I bought this album on a visit to Harrogate, in HMV, for £4.99. I must say, I felt really, well, 'old-fashioned' and strange purchasing a CD, as I haven't done in years; I normally buy my music from iTunes or Amazon MP3 Downloads. But it caught my eye in the store and the fact that it was probably more expensive online (not sure if there's an offer on but I know iTunes normally prices songs for 99p each) and also the fact that it would actually be quite nice to have a physical copy of the CD, for back up, to lend to friends and to play on my CD player all contributed to my descision to buy it. Also, the album artwork is absolutely lovely - really attractive in typical Glee style!

      ~*Album Leaflet*~

      The album cover features the members of New Directions in their Regionals outfits - pretty gold dresses with black trimming for the girls and black shirts and trousers with a gold tie for the guys. It's a lovely photo of them all and really sums up Glee - I just love it! It makes a nice change from the rest of their album covers - which is usually a block colour with small headshots of the cast in the number of which volume it is (I have just realised how sad I am for memorising that!) or their singles - which is again just a block colour, with Glee written on it, only someone's hand in a 'L' shape for the 'l'.
      The leaflet is pretty basic - just one fold stating the track list, who's vocals are featured (both the name of the actor/actress and their Glee alter ego!) and then small images of the cast which are really, really sweet!

      ~*The Songs*~

      This is, of course, the most important part of the review - if the songs are rubbish then there really is no point in the album, however nice the pictures may be!

      ~*1) Faithfully*~

      Original Artist - Journey
      Covered By - Lea Michelle (Rachel) and Cory Monieth (Finn)
      Sung - At Regionals, as their first song

      For all those who thought that Don't Stop Believin' was amazing, but a one off, and that the Glee cast possibly wouldn't be able to carry off another Journey song as well as that - you're about to be proven wrong! In my opinion this is one of the most beautiful Glee songs I have ever heard. It's slow and sweet, and sung with a whole lot of emotion.
      Whilst acting, the chemistry between Finn and Rachel is sizzling, and they definitely bring that to their duets. Shortly before Regionals, Finn and Rachel reconciled and just before they go on stage to sing this song, Finn tells Rachel that he loves her. In my opinion, this makes the song even more poignant, but I think that even if you didn't see the song being played out and just listened to on the CD, you would be able to feel the emotion and sincerity behind the song.

      Cory Monieth (Finn) sings the lead male vocal, and his voice is good, but by no means the best singer in the world. Although this goes with the character he plays, hearing him sing on tracks can sometimes be a little unpredictable. However, in this particular song he kicks it up a notch and he does sound very sweet.
      Lea Michelle (Rachel) sings the lead female vocal, and without a doubt owns the song. Being a Broadway star, she has the experience and most definitely the voice. She manages to evoke the most emotion into her voice and Finn - for the Glee fans reading this I'm going to refer to them by their character names - provides a good 'base' for her vocals to soar on top of.
      The main instrument is a piano, and paired with beautiful lyrics and gorgeous vocals, this song is one of my favourite Glee songs. As the music crescendo's partway through, the rest of the Glee cast join in with backing vocals (singing 'oh-oh-ooh-oh' over and over) and Rachel hits the big notes. It's actually a joy to listen to, whether you're a fan of Glee or not, and as with Don't Stop Believin', I think it's the fact that they have made it so different from the original that makes it so fantastic.

      Overall Rating~10/10


      ~*2) Any Way You Want It/ Lovin Touchin Squeezin*~

      Original Artist - Journey
      Covered By - Lea Michelle (Rachel) and Cory Monieth (Finn), Mark Salling (Puck), Naya Rivera (Santana), Amber Riley (Mercedes), Kevin McHale (Artie), Chris Colfer (Kurt), Jenna Ushkowirz (Tina) - in other words, members of New Directions
      Sung - At Regionals, as their second song
      Just like in the episode, this song follows Faithfully on the track list, and is a really refreshing change.

      Glee first did 'mash-ups' in an earlier episode - where the girls covered Halo/Walking On Sunshine and the boys It's My Life/Confessions. These songs worked so well together and sort of 'melted' together to create a whole new song; fitting together seamlessly. A mash up of two Journey songs could have been tricky to pull off, but the cast of Glee definitely make it work!
      Rachel and Finn are still very much the lead vocalists, but you can definitely hear the other cast members more clearly in this - other characters such as Puck are given short solos, and in the chorus's you can hear them singing. I think it makes a lovely change because we have to remember that there are far more than just two talented vocalists in Glee (something that will become even clearer in the next track!).

      The track is lively, exuberant and really catchy! The males sing the most part of the Any Way You Want It half, and the girls sing most of the Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'. It just makes you want to sing along and be happy when you hear it - the soaring vocals and the cheerful lyrics are really great. It shows just how versatile Glee is - it can go from a classic slow, sad song to a song like this.
      There's a great guitar solo partway through and that is the main instrument used in this piece - the electric guitar. Also used are drums. The vocals are layered on top of each other, which creates a lovely effect.

      Again, because it is so different from the original it's really interesting to listen to and its not just some standard cover - it has a bit of a difference, both with the way it's sung and the mash up! I think Glee have definitely done Journey proud!

      Overall Rating~9.5/10


      ~*3) Don't Stop Believin' (Regionals Version)*~

      Original Artist - Journey
      Covered By - Lea Michelle (Rachel) and Cory Monieth (Finn), Mark Salling (Puck), Naya Rivera (Santana), Amber Riley (Mercedes), Kevin McHale (Artie), Chris Colfer (Kurt), Jenna Ushkowirz (Tina) - in other words, members of New Directions
      Sung - At Regionals, as final competition song

      I'm sure you have all heard Glee's first cover of this - after all, it did peak at #2 in the charts over here in the UK! It was dubbed a 'Glee classic' and is now seen as its signature song. You couldn't really have a season finale of Glee without featuring this - it was sung on their first episode back when the Glee club only consisted of five members, and they were very inexperienced. Despite all that it still sounded amazing! But I suppose covering it again for the final wouldn't work as there are now more members and they have undoubtedly improved massively. So they had the brilliant idea of re-doing it, but including more cast members and giving many of them solos and shared lead vocals.
      You can hear the difference between the original Glee cover and this one - the tempo is slightly faster and Finn and Rachel's voices are definitely more polished and pronounced. Puck and Santana get a verse to sing together, and it's really lovely - many fans have said that Santana, who you don't really get to hear sing that much on the show - totally steals it. Personally, being a fan of Rachel's voice, I wouldn't go that far, but she does sing very well. After the first chorus and instrumental, Kurt sings a solo part and he sounds brilliant, with Finn backing. Then Tina and Artie duet together and Mercedes sings. Finn and Rachel then join in and for the final chorus; the whole cast sing again with Mercedes pulling off some amazing, powerful notes. It sounds absolutely fantastic and is a real show of all the talent in this Glee club!

      Of course, if you don't watch Glee then that paragraph will have meant very little to you, so I'll go over it in terms more of the music than the character's singing.
      ! I think what makes it so good is that it is so different from the original; they have really made it their own and it is just so fantastic - real toe-tapping, sing-a-long stuff! If you play the original alongside this version you can really see how they have changed it so it suits them, a show-choir, and teenagers of this day and age, in the Noughties/Tensies (or whatever we are calling it now!).
      Don't Stop Believin' has been a phenomenal anthem for kids everywhere for many years, and I think that thanks to Glee it will be one for many more - they have revived it and re-entered it into the charts, and peoples minds!

      "Bah-bada-bah-bada-bah-bada-bah-bada-bahhhhh" (No, not some sheep with a terrible cough, but my attempt at putting the opening vocals of the track into words!)
      See, even from the opening bars this track is different. I mean, listen to the original and you get a pounding piano. This version - you get the genius idea of using human voices instead. The background voices ("bah-bada-bah..you get the idea) carry on throughout the length of the song. I find it simply fantastic to listen to the background music, as the voices layer beautifully and it creates lovely texture, and, accompanied by the instruments that join in a little way into the song, provides a great base for Finn and Rachel, and all the other people, to sing on top of.

      Finn starts the song, and in this particular track it doesn't matter that he doesn't have the strongest of voices. In fact, I've got to say that this song is actually really works for him, but without Rachel he wouldn't have the big enough voice to carry it all the way through. Rachel's voice does tend to overpower his throughout the song, but as she undisputedly has the stronger, and better, vocals, this works well. Their voices "soar" through the music and sound beautiful together. They make the song lively, entertaining and fun! The other singers actually do an amazing job and it sounds absolutely amazing - way better than Glee's first attempt at this song!
      Overall Rating~11/10!


      ~*4) Bohemian Rhapsody*~

      Original Artist - Queen
      Covered By - Jonathon Groff (Jesse) and the rest of Vocal Adrenaline
      Sung - At Regionals, as Vocal Adrenaline's entry.

      This song, one of the greatest of all time, was always going to be tricky to pull off. This by no means measures up to the original, but then again, how could it? As covers of this go, though, it's pretty damn good!
      This song is sung with Jesse on the lead vocals. Jesse is a very unlikeable person on the show, meaning if you are a fan of the show you are probably going to dislike it in terms of the fact it's sung by a rival Glee club. But if you are just listening to it normally, you can't deny its a good attempt.
      Jonathon Groff is a Broadway star, like Lea, and they have even starred in a show together. His vocals are very good, and the rest of the Glee club that support him provide fantastic backing vocals and such.

      A number of things make this arguably the weakest track on the album - for one thing, it's not sung by the New Directions Glee club, so fans could lose interest in this song, for another, this is, as I've mentioned, an impossibly hard song to cover, and as you all probably know, it is a very long song - Glee's cover is 5 minutes 57 seconds.
      These weaknesses are by no means saying that it's a poor attempt, or a bad cover - its actually pretty amazing and nice to listen to, it's just compared to the other songs it is possibly not as good.

      ~*5) To Sir, With Love*~

      Original Artist - LuLu
      Covered By - Lea Michelle (Rachel) and Cory Monieth (Finn), Mark Salling (Puck), Naya Rivera (Santana), Amber Riley (Mercedes), Kevin McHale (Artie), Chris Colfer (Kurt), Jenna Ushkowirz (Tina) - in other words, members of New Directions
      Sung - Back at school, when they have been told that Glee club is over.

      New Directions have just been told that as they didn't win Regionals, Glee club is cancelled, and so the club sing this song, dedicated to their teacher, Will Schuster.
      What I love about this song is that it features so many different people again, you can hear Rachel the clearest in the chorus, but many other people get solos and you can hear loads of the member's voices!

      The original was released in 1967 - as the theme tune to the film, also titled 'To Sir, With Love'. On the episode of Glee everyone is very emotional and teary as they sing this, and I think this carries through into the music. Everyone's vocals are spot on and beautiful, as always, and it's a really sweet, cute song for the Glee club to sing.
      I think it's lovely that Mercedes, who is normally just noticed for her powerful voice, showed a more subtle and sweet sounding vocal - which was absolutely beautiful!

      It is most definitely a 'tear-jerker' tune, as a website said. It isn't my favourite track, mainly because I'm a bit of a Journey track, but it's very beautiful and very, very well sung!

      Overall Rating~9/10

      ~*6) Over The Rainbow*~

      Original Artist - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
      Covered By - Matthew Morrison (Will Shuster) and backing vocals from Mark Salling (Puck)
      Sung - To the Glee club, as the final song.

      This is a really, really lovely, chilled out tune which I think has a really summery feel to it. I listen to this over and over on my iPod as it's just so calm and really easy listening.
      It is sung as the last song on the episode, in the practise room by the Glee teacher Mr Schuster, with him also playing the guitar. He calls on Puck to help him out with more guitar playing and backing vocals. Just so it's clear, this isn't the Judy Garland version, it's the acoustic and very different Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version.

      Matthew Morrison has appeared on Broadway and is a very established singer. In my opinion sometimes the song he sings on the programme can be a little cringey and not that amazing, but this really suits his voice and it's actually a really beautiful cover.
      It shows off his voice to the best of his ability and shows his appreciation for the kids. However, even if you are not a fan of Glee, I defy you not to enjoy this track for what it is - a lovely piece of music with great vocals!

      Overall Rating~10/10

      ~*Overall Opinion*~
      An amazing EP, and the best £5 I've spent in a long time! Definitely one for the Glee fans, but even if you are not a fan, I'd still recommend you give it a listen; I'm sure you'll find at least one song you like! In my opinion, a must buy - and I hope you lot enjoy it as much as I do!

      xxxxxx

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      • More +
        21.06.2010 18:25
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        I love Glee, but there are just too many albums. I won't be buying any next year... maybe

        This should be my last Glee review for quite a while now; it's been just under 4 months since it first aired in the UK, with 22 episodes so far, and a massive 5 albums, the show has really taken the world by storm. From what I can gather in 22 episodes they have managed to cover nearly 130 songs, and I have just over half of them on my IPod, they have not only took the world by storm, but the money they must be getting considering they have released 5 albums, at around £5+ each, they really have a niche at the moment and I think this show will be on for many years to come.

        The album that I'm reviewing today is the final album of the first series, and like the Madonna one I reviewed a few weeks ago, it's a special one, just aimed at one particular episode, in this case the final. It unlike other albums only has 6 songs on it, and because of that the price is put down a little bit but not too much.

        Track One: Faithfully

        Like always with Glee reviews, for the songs that I really like, I usually take a look at the originals on YouTube so I can do some comparisons between them, like always when it comes to duets between Finn and his co-star Rachel played by Lea Michele, they really have pulled of a gorgeous duet. I was shocked to hear that this track was originally created by the band Journey, as I always assumed that they produced big, up-tempo rock tracks, where as this track is a lot slower and is not what I had expected from Journey.

        Despite the fact that the Glee cover is good, it has nothing on the original, which in my opinion is one of the best Journey songs released now that I've listened to a good collection of them. I think the lead singers of Journey's vocals work a lot better with this sort of song, and I think Montieth, despite covering it well, is more suited to pop, rather than 'rock'. Despite the original being well above par compared to this cover, I do think that Montieth with Lea Michelle have created possibly their best duet together with this track. It really worked brilliantly in the show itself as it was quite a romantic moment, and their vocals didn't work against each other like I believe they did in songs like No Air to name one. It's definetly one to listen to and one to check out if you want to hear Glee at their best, as well as that please check out the original, in my opinion it's absolutley stunning.

        Track Two: Any Way You Want It/Lovin' Touchin' & Squeezing

        The next track on the album is another mash up from the cast of Glee, in the final they are paying tribute to the band that brought them all together, Journey, so here they have mixed together 'Any Way You Want It' with 'Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin', it's not the best I've ever heard from the group, but I think in the set list that they performed on stage, this performance was fantastic, due to the fact that it's so upbeat, and it will definitely put a smile on your face, the vocals on the track are amazing, especially Finn's vocals which really stand out for me, as they are really quite strong, I'm not sure if his voice has matured or if the people that make them sound good have been doing a bit more tweaking than normal.

        Track Three: Don't Stop Belevin'

        I was a bit annoyed when I saw that the group was doing yet another version of Don't Stop Belevin', and then having the nerve to put it on the album so I'd download it again, but I have to say I was really impressed with this version. If you had no idea who the cast were, and you listened to this version and the version from the pilot, then you wouldn't hear much different, but like Mr Schue says in the show, the first version was a 9, and this version is a definite 10. Finn & Rachel take the lead vocals, but the fact that other cast members like Santana and Puck get to show their vocals and make it a definite 10. It's a lot better than the original version and a lot more powerful in my opinion.

        Track Four- Bohemian Rhapsody

        The next track on the album is not performed by New Directions, aka the normal cast we are used to, this time they have given a whole track to Jesse St James played by Jonathan Groff who is on the rival team Vocal Adrenaline, and I was so happy we got to hear a proper performance from him, throughout the show we've heard the odd performance, but this shows off his vocals to the best of his ability. It is a Queen number, so it was NEVER going to be an amazing cover, as no one can get even close to Freddie Mercury, but the production value on stage, and the vocals from Groff are fantastic and it was a joy to watch in the show, as they made what could have been a rather boring performance at around 6 minutes long, very funny and it was all done very smartly.

        Track Five: To Sir With Love

        Here the normal group are back to singing, and this time they are thanking their teacher Mr Schue for all of the work he has done, and how much he has actually done for the lot of them. Here they take on what I believe is a Lulu song, and they all get a chance to lend their voices to this beautiful track, I thought in the show it was a very emotional moment and the choice of track was just perfect for that moment in the show, I think they really all got to show why they are all stars in this show, they have stripped all of the theatricality down, and have all just shown why Gleeks love them. A beautiful performance and really beautiful to listen to on the CD.

        Track Six: Over the Rainbow

        The final performance is performed by the teacher Mr Schue played by Matthew Morrison with a little bit of help from Puck played by Mark Salling. Here they take on Over The Rainbow, originally this version was I believe preformed by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, when I saw that they were going to sing 'Over the Rainbow' I could see Rachel doing the Judy Garland performance, and I was rather impressed that they decided to go down a different route and perform this beautiful performance. I love Israels' version of the song, but I think the combination of Morrison and Salling works fantastically in the show, and I think this performance is one I will remember, just beautiful and a great end to a great series.

        On ITunes I paid £4.49 for this album, it is a bit excessive, especially considering that I paid £7.99 for Volume 3, which featured 20 songs, but I think this album is beautiful. I would not recommend buying it in proper CD form from somewhere like Amazon or something as you are paying in the range of £6 for the CD, and for me, I think that is really excessive, especially considering I really couldn't see the point in buying this CD to put in my car when it only last for 22.4 minutes, compared to the others albums which run for about an hour each.

        Despite the fact that it is a bit of a rip off that they are releasing yet another album, this one is a joy to listen to, the music is perfect and really shows off the voices of the entire cast brilliantly. I would have loved a performance from the likes of Idina Menzel and Josh Groban who happens to make two appearances in series 1 and doesn't sing at all which I think is a great shame as his voice is beautiful. The album itself features a great mixture of classics, upbeat songs and proper ballads which show off the vocals of the very talented cast. For me the highlight has to be Morrison and Salling performing Over the Rainbow and the great performance of To Sir with Love which is beautiful to listen to.

        Another great album from Glee, however as you can probably see I've rated it just 4 stars and the reason for this is because it's all getting a bit too much now. If you add up all of the prices for the 5 albums off ITunes, it comes to £33.45 which is a lot of money considering they have only had one season of the show so far. I know they've got to make money, but next year I can see myself bypassing the albums and just buying the singles which interest me, as it really could get very expensive.

        Thank you for reading this review, and if you are yet to see Glee, I'm afraid Season 1 has finished here in the UK now, but I can see Channel 4 and E4 doing another 'Friends' and showing it over and over. Keep your eyes peeled if it seems interesting to you.

        Hope this helps and please remember with all my music reviews, it's aimed at everyone, most specifically the people who don't want to buy the whole album but would like to try out a few tracks here and there.

        (C) Kirsty 2010

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      • Product Details

        Disc #1 Tracklisting
        1 Faithfully
        2 Anyway You Want It/Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
        3 Don't Stop Believing
        4 Bohemian Rhapsody
        5 To Sir With Love
        6 Over The Rainbow