Glee Music: Episode 6 - Never Been Kissed

Jonathan reviews the music from Episode 6 of Glee.On the November 9th episode of Glee, new things shocked us and episode throwbacks awed us.

To generate excitement about the impending sectionals, Mr. Schue initiated the second annual New Directions guys vs. girls competition. Last year, we heard the performance-enhanced mash-ups of "It's My Life/Confessions Pt. 2" from the guys and "Walking On Sunshine/Halo" from the girls. This time around, Will added a challenge for the teams to pick music that was typically reserved for or associated with the opposite gender.

Both teams borrowed heavily from last season's "Vitamin D" performances, to varying levels of success. The girls donned the leather jackets to rocket through a mash-up of The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" and Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" (finally!), while the guys went for a Kurt-inspired retro look to cover The Supreme's "Stop! In The Name Of Love" and En Vogue's "Free Your Mind." While I appreciated the guys' mash-up in the context of the episode, I think the girls' Bon Jovi/Rolling Stones mash-up is more radio-friendly and has the longevity for multiple listens. For those keeping score, I give the girls the win this year, while Bon Jovi remains two for two.

Outside of the New Directions competition, "Never Been Kissed" showcased two other songs. The first one was a duet between Puck and Artie of Bob Marley's "One Love (People Get Ready)", which sounded great and worked on several levels in the episode. However, that's as far as my appreciation of the song goes. Listening to it on its own, it falls flat as a rather uninspired and straightforward cover. Props to William McKinley High School though, for having a steel drum ensemble ready to play!

The highlight of the episode for me was the introduction of Darren Criss as Blaine and the show stopping a cappella cover of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" (kudos to the Tuft University's a cappella group, The Beelzebubs, for their work on the background vocals). This is by far my favorite song of season 2, and was a return to Glee's true musical genius: converting an existing song into a stand-alone version with its own emotional impact.

Buyer Recommendation: Save your money on "Teenage Dream" for when it appears on the upcoming Glee: The Music, Volume 4 on November 30th, and buy the mp3 of "Start Me Up/Livin' On A Prayer."

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