As a fan of nearly all musical styles and talent as well as good writing, I, too, was pulled into the Glee world and have been impressed with many great performances both musically and theatrically.
Tonight, Glee honors Michael Jackson. Despite any feelings you may have for the person, you have to find respect for the musician and have probably hummed a tune of his at one point or another and sure know a few lines to at least one song. Now his influence joins the Glee ranks of Madonna, Gaga, Journey, Bruno Mars, Adele, and many others as they perform hits such as Bad, Black or White, Scream, and Smooth Criminal.
In this since, Glee has once again mixed the uber-popular hits of an artist with some of the lesser known gems that true fans may also enjoy. Again all songs are picked to forward the plot of the episode as opposed to only cash in on any popularity of a particular number. One performance that does both, however, was Bad as it was sung by both New Directions and the Warblers. With the Warblers handling the beat and music A Capella as is their style, both groups went back and forth in a West Side Story type show down culminating in what is now a common occurrence, a slushee to the face… though this slushee may have been packing more than just cherry Ice tasty humiliation.
As usual, Mercedes can take just about any song and make it sound great and in this instance she sings along with another scene-thief, Sam (Chord Overstreet), in a duet of Human Nature. The two try to strike up some chemistry and whether or not it actually happens, two amazing vocal performances make for one heck of a good song.
A quartet of Jackson’s song ‘Ben’ is almost easily forgotten once a duet of ‘Smooth Criminal’ comes on featuring Warblers new leader Sebastian and New Directions bad girl Santana. Backed by two cellists doing a stripped down, string driven version this stands out as possibly one of the best Glee remakes that I have had the pleasure to hear. A must-hear… find it, listen, enjoy.
Next comes a Fox Gaffe… I am sure this was an issue with my local station and hopefully not everyone experienced an undesirable commercial break cutting into the middle of the scene… not just one commercial, but 3 in a row, coming back into the middle of a song. Thumbs down to people working the Fox Broadcast Booth at this time.
The show concludes with New Directions singing Jacksons iconic Black or White and is quite good however I can’t help but feel bad that they did not do my personal favorite Jackson song, ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ which is a song that would have fit in this episode very well.
All in all, a good episode, some great performances and, of course, some plot developments. Now go get your Gleek on with this list of all the songs in tonight’s episode.
Wanna Be Startin Something
Never Can Say Goodbye
Just Can’t Stop Loving You
Black or White