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Glee: The Music, Vol. 1
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Much to the delight of its many fans, the incredibly popular TV show Glee has established a pattern of releasing each episode's featured cover songs as downloadable singles. The first single, "Don't Stop Believin'" was an immediate sensation. After airing several episodes and amassing 15 singles, the show has released all of the tunes on one CD called GLEE: THE MUSIC, VOLUME 1. The compilation is as varied as the show's cast of characters, including covers of tunes by the Supremes, REO Speedwagon, Rihanna, Young MC, Kanye West, Queen, Billy Idol, Heart, Neil Diamond, and more. Aside from appearing on the same soundtrack, the only other thing these songs have in common is that they are largely free of mature language and content. Even the couple of tracks like West's "Gold Digger" that originally had explicit versions are performed in their clean editions.
Is it any good?
Several of the songs that have been tackled by the Glee cast are such heavy-hitting classics that their titles are instantly recognizable: "Don't Stop Believin'," "Sweet Caroline," "Bust a Move," and so on. Though attempting to cover classics like these can be disastrous, the Glee cast manages to pull it off for the most part. Highlights include the reggae-infused rendition of Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself," the super solid vocals on the "No Air" duet originally sung by Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks, and the electrifying chorus on Queen's "Somebody to Love," to name a few. That said, certain tunes like "Bust a Move" sound downright silly and aren't likely to appeal to kids (although nostalgic parents may get a kick out of them!)
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about song choice. What reasons might the TV show's producers have had to pick each of the songs that appear in the show?
What's better and worse about the Glee versions of these songs compared to their originals?
Do you think these songs will stand the test of time, or are they just relevant at the moment? What makes a song a classic?