Glee: The Music, Vol. 1

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
Glee: The Music, Vol. 1 Music Poster Image
TV show is edgy, but the soundtrack is OK for tweens.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The messages are both universal and innocent, consisting mostly of the ups and downs involved in romantic relationships. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Overall, the Glee characters are collectively positive role models: they try to do right by others, but when they're inevitably imperfect, they absorb lessons learned and attempt to do better the next time. Though the same can't exactly be said of some artists who originally performed the soundtrack songs (Chris Brown, Kanye West), they're also not the worst role models among their peers.    


A handful of songs make mild mentions of sex. For example, "A chick walks by, you wish you could sex her" and "You don't know how long I have wanted to touch your lips and hold you tight."


Promotes the TV show.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A couple of references to drinking, such as: "So let's sink another drink, 'cause it'll give me time to think."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while the TV show Glee includes some eyebrow-raising moments, this soundtrack of cover songs from the show is a shade cleaner, offering no foul language or heavy references to adult themes like sex and drugs.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Kid, 12 years old January 2, 2021


The music is more appropriate than the show, most of the time.
Teen, 13 years old Written April 8, 2018

Great Music

When I was five, Glee came out and my parents just let me watch the music portions. Besides Bust a Move and Bust Your Windows, the music is all basically kid ap... Continue reading

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?

Music details

  • Artist: Glee Cast
  • Release date: November 3, 2009
  • Label: Columbia
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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