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Image for CD – Glee #3 – Showstoppers

CD – Glee #3 –Showstoppers

There’s this show on TV at the moment, you may have heard of it, or even caught an episode or two. It’s about a bunch of high school students who tend to burst into song several times per episode while suffering the injustices of the most deliciously offensive cheerleading coach ever to appear on screen…

What am I saying? The Glee phenomenon is well and truly upon us and in just one season has become a total cash cow for the producers. Aside from the show, we are now on the third full soundtrack, one EP (soon to be followed by another) and, to date, ninety singles. Not to mention the recent live stage show that’s been touring America.

The first half of season 1 mined a hugely diverse range of genres for the first two soundtracks, and the third volume, subtitled Showstoppers is no different. From the punk-rock of The All-American Rejects and the electro-pop of Lady Gaga, to the ‘80s power balladry of Bonnie Tyler and the alternative styles of Beck, and of course a sprinkling of show tunes, it’s all given the Glee treatment to varying degrees of success.

The title Showstoppers is a tad misleading. Of all three soundtracks this is probably the weakest collection of songs. That’s not to say it’s without its standouts though.

Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) absolutely nails Gives You Hell and Total Eclipse Of The Heart which should come as no surprise considering her track record of being able to sing pretty much anything on the show.

This time round however, the spotlight belongs to more than just Michele. Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester) is given her first soundtrack appearance, and while she is auto-tuned within an inch of her life, her duet with Olivia Newton-John on Physical is a true guilty pleasure. Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones) is allowed to get her diva on with Beautiful which is a shame as her duet in the show with Naya Rivera (Santana) on The Boy Is Mine is far superior and is sadly not included here.

Chris Colfer shines on Rose’s Turn from Gypsy, belting out the line “everything’s coming up Kurt, everything’s coming up Hummel” with gay abandon.

With these standouts it’s a shame that songs such as Loser, Safety Dance, Give Up The Funk and A House Is Not A Home fall a little flat and certainly don’t live up to the title of Showstoppers.

What does lift this album from the first two is the impressive roster of guest stars. As well as Olivia Newton-John we are treated to the reappearance of Kristin Chenoweth, as well as the addition of her Wicked co-star Idina Menzel (her duet with Michele on Poker Face is great). Neil Patrick Harris shows up on Dream On (whoever would have thought back in the day that Doogie Howser could sing?), and of course Jonathan Groff (Jesse St. James) crops up on a couple of numbers.

Considering the success of the show and its accompanying musical merchandise, it’s safe to say that there will be a few more soundtracks to come. While Showstoppers shows a slight decline from the first two, there is still more than enough for any proud Gleek to sink their teeth into. Personally, I say bring on the next one!

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