We are still in the celebration week of glee’s 500th musical number!
As a fan of the show, I am super excited and proud that we can celebrate this achievement. I think glee can claim a world record or something here. Or are they saving this for the 1,000th number?
Now THAT one needs to be insanely epic.
So since I already did a season one list.
It is time to continue my week long journey into insanity with the TOP TEN SONGS OF SEASON TWO!!!
Let’s do this!
10) “Time Warp” (Season Two Episode Five “The Rocky Horror Glee Show”)
Oh “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” tribute episode, it’s so awful that it’s amazing. And yes I will cover it in the “Bad Glee Theatre” series in detail at a later date. However, let’s focus on the final number of the episode the classic “Time Warp” with the kids dancing around in their costumes to an empty auditorium. It makes me sooo happy. And I know a good number of people who have the same fondness for the song despite not liking the episode. It embraces the silliness of the concept. You have everyone dressed up in weird and wonderful costumes mugging for the camera and acting like utter dorks on stage. How can you not love this number in all of its splendor?
9) Make ‘Em Laugh (Season Two Episode Seven “The Substitute”)/”Sing!” (Season Two Episode Four “Duets”)
I honestly did not mean to have number nine be a tie on my lists so far. But I have a reason for this. When looking at a song performance on glee I look at more than just the song. I look at all aspects of the performance.
“Make ‘Em Laugh” may not outshine the memorability factor of “Forget You” or the “Singing in the Rain/Umbrella” mash-up of “The Substitute”. But…see here’s the thing I think it should. And my factor for being a fan of Matthew Morrison/Will Schuester is not that big of a factor in it. Rewatching the number, it is really well put together. Matthew’s vocals are strong and provide a nod to another era. However, the real star in this number is the back and forth between Matthew Morrison and Harry Shum Jr. Both of them are vastly underused because their dancing is some of the best on the show. Put them together? OH. MY. GOD. It’s absolutely gorgeous to witness! They pay homage to the number while putting their own spin on it and play off of each other in some just beautiful movement. You need to give credit where credit is due. So I urge you to check this out again and see the hidden greatness.
“Sing!” also deserves a nod here. I’m sad we never got a lot of Tike duets when Tina and Mike were together. However, the first one is by far my favorite. Jenna Ushkowitz and Harry Shum Jr. have great chemistry together and play off of each other extremely well. The comedic timing of the number is just spot on I still crack up when I see it. It also has some absolutely great dancing from Mike that will we come to further except from him. While Tina’s sweet voice punctuates the clear nerves that Mike’s singing voice gives him. It’s just a great number.
8) Valerie (Season Two Episode Nine “Special Education”)
This would have been higher on list because well it’s Santana singing and killing it. It has fun dancing. It’s a great competition number. However, she does another solo that blows this one out of the water. Still, “Valerie” is an amazingly fun number. It harkens back to a sort jazzy big band infusion that is very pleasing to the ear. Naya Rivera’s smokey voice shines here and showcases a true range that Santana hadn’t had in season one. Plus the dance duet between Mike and Brittany just add a whole other layer of amazing to this number that truly shows the range of the cast and how they function together.
7) “Stop In the Name of Love/Free Your Mind” (Season Two Episode Six “Never Been Kissed”)/”Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy” (Season Two Episode Four “Duets”)
These are two of the best mash-ups of season two in my opinion for two totally different reasons. “Stop! In the Name of Love/Free Your Mind” works because there is a balance between the two songs. You can tell that Kurt came up with this mash-up because everything is very slick and yet heartfelt. They perform it to Coach Bieste as a very fun apology number. Plus the part of me that loves boy bands loves the guys dressed up in their same outfits like they’re straight from the sixties. The vocal are good. The dancing is fun. It’s flashy and very sweet at the same time showing the thin glee walks between being too much flash and not enough heart. This is the balance that we all expect the show to have.
“Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy” is just gorgeous. Chris Colfer and Lea Michele have amazing vocal chemistry together that truthfully I prefer over Finchel. Maybe it’s because they don’t get a chance to duet much. Anyway this slow moving duet between the two best friends is a little bit bittersweet and yet hopeful. It sort of captures the mood of the episode. There are some extremely sad moments involving Brittany, Santana, Kurt, Finn, Sam and Artie. On the other hand there are some very hopeful moments in “Duets” as well. This mash-up captures a very somber mood but a knowledge that one day something good will come out of it.
6) “Teenage Dream” (Season Two Episode Six “Never Been Kissed”)
…I’m gonna get a lot of flack for this.
“Teenage Dream” is possibly the most iconic number of the second season. It introduces fan favorite character Blaine Anderson and the Dalton Academy Warblers who immediately become evil when Blaine leaves and Wes runs off to Canada with his life partner his gavel. It’s the song that effectively launched the ever popular Klaine relationship. It is well put together and takes a rare heartfelt Katy Perry song and changes it into something very sweet and hopeful that celebrates being young and in love. So why do I have it at number six? There’s another Warbler number that I believes tops “Teenage Dream” and well…season four’s version of “Teenage Dream”. I think season four did it better and prefer that version over this one. Season two changed it. Season four transformed it into something new and beautiful all of its own. But I’ll get to that. Still though, I still smile whenever I hear this version of “Teenage Dream” on my iPod and I may be the most ardent Klaine fan but it does take me back to when they were young and just met and were so adorable together. It’s a sweet song and a great introduction to Blaine’s character because he in effect became a lot of girls and boys very own teenage dream.
5) “Fat Bottomed Girls” (Season Two Episode Twelve “Silly Love Songs”)
This is probably just sheer total and utter indulgence on my part. But I love “Fat Bottomed Girls” in fact I think it’s the best Queen cover glee has ever done. I love the opening harmonies with the guys of New Directions. I love the instrumentation here. I love how utterly rock it is. But most of all, Mark fucking Salling proceeds to kill it. See if you’re going to do Queen and do it well then you need to put your heart and soul into that song. You need to believe what you’re singing and need to put forth as much utter passion as possible. Puck sells the hell out of this. He has buckets of rock star charisma of the days when panties were flung at stages. His rough gritty voice marries well with the rock and roll sensibilities. Everytime I hear this song I feel sexy as all fuck for being a woman with curves. Any song that can make a woman feel sexy and strut is a great song in my book. Sometimes you just need to feel like the really hot bad boy wants to take you out and show you a great time.
4) “Loser Like Me” (Season Two Episode Sixteen “Original Song”)
It was between this and “Born This Way” both songs are about personal empowerment and telling the haters to go fuck themselves. However, I had to give the edge to “Loser Like Me” because this is the best original song glee has produced ever. Seriously, it outshines all the rest of them by a mile. The two original songs in Nationals were just paled in the awesomeness of “Loser Like Me”. Truth be told, I think they should have sang this at Nationals because this is a song to close a season out on. It’s fun. It’s engaging. It’s a production. They throw confetti slushies for God’s sakes! It’s glee in a nutshell. If you met a person who has never seen glee and played them this song they would get the basic idea of characters and tone of the show. I have tried this. It works. On top of that, it’s a pretty fun sweet pop anthem to the underdog. It’s basically New Directions giving a metaphorical middle finger to McKinley High. If you are a glee fan then you get utterly wrapped up in the sentimentality of it all. Because you are nodding along with the song and going “this is exactly how I felt during high school”. It is just amazing.
3) “Back to Black” (Season Two Episode Twenty One “Funeral”)/”I Feel Pretty/Unpretty” (Season Two Episode Eighteen “Born This Way”)
“Back to Black” is probably the best female solo and second best solo of glee Season Two. I am not lying about this. “Back to Black” blows all other female solos out of the water. Naya Rivera’s voice is so suited for this song that it breaks my heart. It describes Santana’s inner conflict with herself and her feelings for Brittany. She sounds like she is in pain, like her heart is just so utterly shattered. It is gorgeously melancholic. This is the song you listen to if you need a good cry because of how well her voice connects with you. It’s such a shame that this is just pushed to the side. But yeah listening to season two again from a musical standpoint no other female vocalist really captures in a solo what Santana captures here. Honestly I had a hard time choosing between this and “Songbird” which is just as gorgeous and heartbreaking. However, “Back to Black” wins because of how she tops herself. I tear up during “Songbird” but I bawl like a baby after “Back to Black”. It connects with you in the most unexpected way. You truly feel her pain in that song except if your Jesse St. James in which case you are too busy trying to get into Rachel’s miniskirts to care otherwise.
“I Feel Pretty/Unpretty” is the best duet of season two by a long shot. It’s also the only Quinn/Rachel duet ever done on the show. I would also say that it’s probably in the top three of best duets ever done on glee. Everything in this was clearly planned and planned well. The shots, who sings what, the tempo of the song. This is not a happy song. It’s not a sad song either. Again it falls into this bittersweet category and it captures that type of conflicting emotions all teenage girls go through. You see a million things you want to change about yourself while trying to simultaneously convince yourself that you are pretty. It’s a rough thing to capture honestly and this song does it almost effortlessly. It takes my breath away everytime I see it.
2) “Somewhere Only We Know” (Season Two Episode Eighteen “Born This Way”)
Yep. “Somewhere Only We Know” is the one that beats “Teenage Dream” for me on this list. And with good reason, it’s better. I mean this just captures those first feelings of new love that both Blaine and Kurt are experiencing in their extremely new relationship. How you don’t want someone you love to go but at the same time how you need to let them go in order for them to be happy. Plus it’s just a beautiful acknowledgement of how much the Warblers here do love and care about Kurt and are sad to see him go as well as Blaine. Plus Darren Criss just puts his heart and soul into this song. He sings it with passion and he performs it with such a clear conflict and yet resolution on his face. He doesn’t want Kurt to leave but he needs to let him leave in order for him to be happy. He wants the person he’s with to be happy. It also captures the feeling of new love, of being with that person in a secret place away from the rest of the world having something that only the two of you really understand. It’s a beautiful sentiment expressed here and expressed in one of the sweetest courtyard scenes ever done on glee.
1) “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” (Season Two Episode Three “Grilled Cheesus”)
This is not just the best song and solo of season two. This is probably one of the best solos of the show. I mean if you did not at least tear up/felt close to crying during this number than you have no heart. You don’t. This is Chris Colfer’s breakout moment when we could stop seeing Kurt as the little baby gay who needed to be cuddled and protected from the world and as a young man. Nothing invokes such emotion or such sympathy for a character then when they move us and others to tears. Colfer just so utterly inhabited Kurt in this song that we got lost with him. We weren’t watching a television show. We were watching someone dealing with maybe losing the one person in the world who he is closest too. And a lot of people understand that feeling. A lot of people lived through that. This number was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Because in the deepest parts of ourselves we understand wanting to have another chance to hold our loved one’s hand again. Plus the Kurt and Burt father son dynamic is just one of the best parts of the show and we see how it was built up. We want to tell Kurt that it will be okay while simultaneously being unknowing ourselves. Chris Colfer captures these emotions so perfectly that I think this a number that needs to be studied in order for us to become better people just by listening to it. What else can I say? It’s the best of song of season two for good reason.
NEXT ON THE GLEE REWATCH PROJECT: Tomorrow the top ten songs of season three!!!
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Notes: What are some of your favorite songs of two?!
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