Why I dislike Glee Part 2: The Music

My last post was the first in what is most likely to be a three-part series to why I have come to dislike Glee. [Be sure to check out the first post; I covered a lot of ground.] I stated that if it weren’t for the music I would have left Glee a long time ago. That being said, I still do have problems with the music which will be addressed now! Since there is soooo much music I’ve decided to break it down by talking about the general good and bad songs of season one and two, with final comments, then touching base on the mashups and how other characters receive the music. [I’m saving guest stars for my next post, just an fyi.]

Season One

The good:

The most obviously recognizable song from not only season one, but I’m sure the entire series (however long it runs) is “Don’t Stop Believin“. And it is a very well done song– I love their cover of it. That aside, there was a lot of good music in season one. And I do mean A LOT. About 136 songs. Granted, not all of those were full out numbers, but enough bars were sung to include them in the final song count. I think there was a nice enough mixture of pop music, oldies (though there could have been more), rock, rap, etc. Looking at a list of all the songs performed, season one seems a bit more Broadway heavy than I realized, but I will never complain about that.

A few (there are too many to list) of my favorite performances from season one are: “I Wanna Sex You Up” (I LOVE the Acafellas), “Taking Chances”, “Push It”, “Maybe This Time”, “Jump”, “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, “Hello”, “Like a Prayer”, “Run Joey Run”, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Beth”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “To Sir with Love”.

The bad:

With the good comes the bad, and by bad I mean two words: kidz bop. When Glee music is off, it is really off. There is no middle ground. Either it rocks your socks off, or you feel like you are listening to a bunch of kids who think they are better than they actually are sing along to a badly covered song. Case in point: “My Life Would Suck Without You” from the finale of the first half of the season. I simply can’t listen to that song anymore!

Also, may I just say that while Amber (Mercedes) has an incredible voice, they just let her go on and on and on and on and fifteen minutes later you realize she is still screeching out the same four notes. I can never listen to most/if not all of her songs to the end because it just gets so noisy and my ears begin to bleed. Case in point: “Proud Mary”.

And in season one I know Madonna gave them her whole catalogue to use and yay! Wooohoo! But there was no point to the Madonna-themed episode, and I feel like the majority of the themed episodes are written simply to show off their newly acquired music rights. I like when there is a variety of songs in each episode because the themed episodes feel like they are written around the songs, hence the plot makes no actual sense. [Although, to be fair to yesterday’s post, when does it ever?]

Some of my least favorite performances are: “Hate on Me”, “My Life Would Suck Without You”, “You Keep Me Hanging On”, “Crazy in Love/Hair”, “Express Yourself”, and “One Less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home”.

Final comments:

Overall, I like the music in season one. As said before, there seems to be a nice balance across all genres and it really does carry the show along. If I were grading this I would say somewhere in the high B+ range.

Season Two [**Note– I have not seen the following episodes: Rumors, Sexy, and New York so I’m not including those songs into this post.]

The good:

I think the music in season two is much stronger than season one. Maybe it is the introduction of the Warblers? I’m not sure. I think they picked some great songs to cover, and a lot of the cast’s voices have become much more polished and refined. As before there was a nice blend of genres and while there were themed episodes, it didn’t bother me as much as the Madonna one did. [Well, the Rocky Horror one didn’t bother me as much. I still do not understand the Brittney Spears episode other than to show off Heather Morrison, but whatever.] I actually really, really enjoyed all of the Rocky Horror songs and listen to the soundtrack all of the time (just ask my sister).

I really enjoyed the introduction and constant music from the Warblers. They always did a fantastic job and always picked such good songs! As for New Direction’s songs– I liked the original songs well enough, but I like when they cover songs. I don’t know why, but I just feel like that is what being in show choir is all about. Then again, I’ve never been in a show choir so maybe someone who actually has can offer their opinion.

Some of the songs I like from season two are: “Empire State of Mind”, “Telephone”, “What I Did for Love”, “Toxic”, “River Deep- Mountain High”, All of the “Rocky Horror” songs, “Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag”, “Singin in the Rain/Umbrella”, “Valerie”, “When I Get You Alone”, “Silly Love Songs”, “Don’t You Want Me”, “Headband”, “Trouty Mouth”, “I Feel Pretty/Unpretty”, “Somewhere Only We Know”, and “Friday” (I can’t help that one).

The bad:

Season two’s music was bad in the sense that the majority of plot lines were so inappropriate that the songs just added to it. Take, for example, “Toxic”. Even though I liked the cover, there is no, and I mean NO reason 1) they should have sung that song at the assembly and 2) Will should have performed it with them. And again, as much as I loved the Rocky Horror songs, what on earth was Will thinking? (Oh yeah, he was thinking with his *other* head, all to make Emma jealous.) So while I think there was far fewer kidz bop songs than season one, the majority of the bad comes from the inappropriateness of song selection.

Songs I do not like from season are: “Le Jazz Hot”, “Sing!”, “Need You Now”, “I Know What Boys Like”, and “Candles”.

Final comments:

As you can see, there are far fewer songs I disliked from season two compared with season one. The music was stronger to me, the song selections were better, and the music really helped carry a non-existent plot.

Mashups:

Glee is not the first to do mashed versions of songs, but darn it all they know how to do them right. I think out of all the mashups they’ve done, I have disliked….two? However, I do think that if they would do them less often, they would be even more enjoyable. But I just like them so much! Sooooo basically keep on keepin on with the mashups.

Favorite mashups: “I Feel Pretty/Unpretty” (not only my fave mashup but probably one of my favorite Glee songs), “Thriller/Heads Will Roll”, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl”, “Any Way You Want It/Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'”, and “Singin in the Rain/Umbrella”.

Least favorite mashups: “One Less Bell to Answer/A House is not a Home”, and “Crazy in Love/Hair”.

Reception from McKinley High:

And here is my biggest problem with Glee music, which really goes back to plot. Because all of the problems in Glee go back to the FREAKING PLOT. [I digress…]

So they sang “Push It” in front of the entire school. And the other kids loved it. I mean, they just went crazy. And then they sang “Toxic” and there was a freaking “sex riot” and the kids just went crazy. And then they sang “Thriller/Heads Will Roll” and not only the kids, but the parents went crazy. YET EVERYONE STILL SEEMS TO HATE THE GLEE CLUB. I do not understand it!!!! I mean, I understand that they are the underdogs…………in season one. But I think it is high time for them to become something more than that. Going into the third season with everyone in the school still hating them? It just doesn’t make sense. They get fantastic reception from everyone when they are at assemblies and whatnot, but then they forget all of that and go back to hating them. If it was just the football team who continuously bullied them or mocked them then I would be okay with that. Well, not the actually bullying, but you know what I mean. I just find it so hard to believe that they are still hated by everyone in the school (with the exception of Jacob Ben Israel) even after the “cool kids” joined the club.

I don’t know….is it just me? Don’t you think SOMEONE else would like them by now?

Final thoughts:

Overall I enjoy the music. There is more good than bad which actually made this post harder to write than the first one. I can’t (and won’t) deny that I have a lot, if not most, of the music downloaded to my computer and I must admit that it is predominately what we play in the car when traveling to long distance places like NYC, or Florida. I will give Glee another chance for season three and come back for the music, though I read in an article (I don’t know where, so I can’t link it, sorry) that they were considering cutting down on how much music was used in each episode. If this helps develop an actual plot line- I’m okay with it. However, if it cuts down on music and the plot still sucks as badly as it does right now, then I will have no problem walking away.

Thoughts? Comments? Leave them below!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Why I dislike Glee Part 2: The Music

  1. For me, I felt like season 2 maximized their Kidz Bop-iness to ridiculous levels in Season 2. Empire State of Mind, Billionaire, everything from the Britney Spears episode, Lucky, Forget You, Marry You, Just the Way You Are, Somebody to Love (Bieber – just an awful song in general), Sing (MCR), Tik Tok, Turning Tables, Born This Way, Rolling in the Deep, and Dancing Queen all just sound like mediocre of really great songs (Rolling in the Deep; Fuck You), Kidz Bop versions of good songs (most of them), or songs not good enough to bother covering to begin with (Somebody to Love, Tik Tok, Born This Way).

    Comparatively, in Season 1, the only songs I didn’t like were My Life Would Suck Without You and Bad Romance.

    The rest of them were either songs I hadn’t heard in a long time or variations that actually tried to sound different than the song it was based on (Pokerface, Dancing with Myself). In Season 2, almost everything is a direct karaoke version of the song it’s based on with only a handful of exceptions which would be easier to swallow if there weren’t SO many from the past 5 years. Plus the songs have completely lost the balance between being plot relevant and being so blatantly relevant that it’s retarded. Like Finn doesn’t feel the Fireworks when he kisses so and so which means Rachel will sing “Firework”. Or the parents are getting married so they sing “Marry You”. Or they design a completely retarded plot that has no chance of progressing towards anything so they can sing a couple Bieber songs. Or maybe it’s COMPLETELY irrelevant to the plot and just says “We can have the rights to any song we want!” like when they did “Forget You” (which is a great song, in it’s unedited form) or Billionaire or Lucky.

    Maybe it’s just boxed itself into too much of a niche with potential to get boring easily. Maybe the second season isn’t actually worse and I’m just tired of the concept since NOTHING is happening with the plot, but the further I got into Season 2 the more I wished they had just won at the end of Season 1 and ended everything.

  2. improbablefiction

    Good points. I don’t really associate the songs with the plot anymore, because like you said- they can become too relevant. When I looked at the list of complete songs on wikipedia, I found myself thinking, “oh that was from THAT episode? I don’t even remember that episode, but I listen to that song all the time.” So I kind of treat them as separate things. Like I’ve said before, I didn’t see the finale (but I do know what happens) and the only thing I feel like doing is finding the songs on youtube. I actually did that for the song “For Good” and Kurt/Rachel RUINED it, so I didn’t download any of the other ones.

    I agree that the second season has used more songs that are on the radio/were on the radio quite recently. I think that is honestly to pull in ratings from iTunes. I would argue that the second season isn’t worse, but as you stated the concept is getting worse because nothing is happening with the plot.

    Also, I didn’t say it in the post but I’m tired of the GaGa songs. This may have more to do with the fact that I loath Lady GaGa but whatever.

  3. Lady Gaga sucks, but I did enjoy their variation of Pokerface.

    So if you still haven’t caught up on the last three episodes of the season, are you actually planning on watching Season 3 at all, and if so would you try to catch up by then? I’m sure you could just read an episode synopsis and be just as well off, I just get borderline OCD about never missing an episode of anything I watch once I’ve started watching it. I can’t skip around or even skip certain parts because of this inexplicable fear that I’ll miss some brilliant one-liner.

  4. improbablefiction

    Well I’ve read a synopsis on what happens for the finale; the other two episodes were further back, so if I do catch up on missed episodes, I’ll probably just watch the last one. And I most likely will do so, as my mom has been asking to watch it…I think we were out of town or something when it came on, but we have it on the dvr.

    I am the same way with shows (not wanting to miss any episodes) but I have no desire to see “Rumors” or “Sexy” which is quite weird I suppose. I will give season three a chance, and hopefully it will return to the first half of season one goodness.

  5. Rumors was actually quite good, but I really enjoy that album and thought it was one of their better theme episodes. I don’t remember Sexy enough to think it’s worth your time, but maybe I’m just forgetful.

    When should we expect Part 3?

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