As the crew of New Directions gets in an Empire State of mind for Nationals, we’re bracing ourselves for another ten billion soundtracks filled with Gleeked-out versions of Top 40 hits and Broadway numbers. On Glee‘s Season 2 premiere alone, the cast goes Gaga once again, and—despite all our begging and pleading—there’s not one, but two rap songs thrown in the trough of musical delirium. Listen to the songs featured on tomorrow night’s show by jumping below.[wpaudio url="http://idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Telephone-Glee-Cast-Version.mp3" text="Glee Cast - Telephone" dl="0"]
[wpaudio url="http://idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/What-I-Did-For-Love-Glee-Cast-Version.mp3" text="Glee Cast - What I Did For Love" dl="0"]
[wpaudio url="http://idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Empire-State-of-Mind-Glee-Cast-Version.mp3" text="Glee Cast - Empire State Of Mind" dl="0"]
[wpaudio url="http://idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Listen-Glee-Cast-Version.mp3" text="Glee Cast - Listen" dl="0"]
[wpaudio url="http://idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Billionaire-Glee-Cast-Version.mp3" text="Glee Cast - Billionaire" dl="0"]
Lea Michele absolutely kills the A Chorus Line ballad “What I Did For Love”, and newbie Charice shows why she nabbed a part on the show with her emotional belting on “Listen”, as sung by Beyoncé in the Dreamgirls film.
On our list of what we most want to see happen during Glee‘s second season, though, we really should have included the request to stop mimicking a pop song exactly as is from start to finish. As delightful as it is to hear the Glee cast sing Lady Gaga and Jay-Z songs on primetime TV, none of these tracks are reinterpreted or have their arrangements changed in any major way, so each recording just comes off as an inferior copycat to the original Top 40 track.
The reason college a capella troupes are so popular is because they take a popular song and tweak it in a fresh and interesting way. (Take a look at this troupe pull off Cee-Lo’s FU ode or this group bring new manly depths to “Bad Romance.”) For a group called New Directions, they very rarely take a song in any new direction at all. It’s too bad, because this cast is full of talented singers capable of doing just that.
As the sole surviving original judge on American Idol might say, make it your own, dawg!