We’re talking about music this week!
Okay so we’re talking about music since I came back from being away on a vacation for a week. So what we’re going to be talking about is the songs of season four. Yaaaay!
So this is going to different from the list I made right after the 500th song of glee. Why? Well feelings toward songs changed, the season finished out so this list is a definitive one for me. Plus I have listened to my season four Glee playlist on two six hour flights so I say twelve solid hours would make me form very clear opinions of what I like and what I don’t.
I should start stating that this is my opinion. I only know what I like. So if you guys agree that’s great but if not then that’s fine as well. This is also song spoilers for all of season 4.
10) “You’re All The World To Me” (season four episode fifteen “Girls (and Boys) On Film”)
I’m such a sucker for stuff like this. I love the classics. I love homages. What better homage then something fun in black and white and on the ceiling? I love how Matthew Morrison and Jayma Mays sound here together. Their voices are playful and mesh well together. What really makes this whole number though is the dancing. Matthew Morrison gets his Fred Astaire moment to go with his Gene Kelley moment from season two (“Make Em Laugh season two episode seven “The Substitute”). Watching him dance on screen in that room was just a ball for someone who has a deep respect for the classics. It was fun and it was cool. I also just loved how this was shot. Yeah it doesn’t really have a huge narrative fit except to serve as inspiration. But it was beautiful to watch and listen to. I keep going back to this song more than any other from “Girls (and Boys) On Film”. It gets the number ten spot from me.
9) “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” (season four episode twelve “Naked”)
Yeah I know people say Jarley is boring. And I can see where they are coming from. Still Jacob Artist and Melissa Benoist have amazing vocal chemistry. Plus in a show like Glee outside of Mike and Tina’s run I would venture to say that they’re one of the more stable, normal couples on that show. This is something that I am for. I like seeing stable couples on TV. It’s such a rarity in the shows I watch that I enjoy it where I can. So I really really enjoy this song. I know it’s not a duet between Jake and Marley (which I love for chemistry reasons). I just think this solo performance is just the best example of the relationship they are building together. I admit I am a sentimental person. Just seeing Jake sing to Marley and have such passion in his voice. He knows this relationship will be hard work. Marley still has some issues (they were still being mentioned at this point in time) and he wants to be there for her. He already thinks she’s amazing. He, at heart, wants her to see how amazing she can be. Maybe I’m reading too much into the song. That is just because of Jacob Artist’s passion in his performance and the reactions of Melissa Benoist during it. It was the highlight of the episode for me. It also was the moment where I knew Jacob Artist could have more than just amazing chemistry with Melissa Benoist. I loved the song.
8) “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (season four episode seventeen “Guilty Pleasure”)
“Guilty Pleasure” is an amazing episode of Glee. It was just so much fun from start to finish. You need a great song to get you hooked in. Sam and Blaine singing eighties cheese while everyone dances around like it’s the eighties? YES PLEASE! This is just fantastic. It has a lot of callbacks to the original Wham! video. I just think that’s more of a loving tribute than anything else. I didn’t care when I was watching the number. In fact, I was enjoying every minute of it. Darren Criss revels in this number, which makes me think they should let him do more silly and fun numbers like this. Chord Overstreet also channels his inner dork here too. Embrace the glorious cheese and loooove it! You know you want too.
7) “The Bitch Is Back/Dress You Up” and “All That Jazz” (season four episode sixteen “Feud” and episode nine “Swan Song”)
I love good rivalry songs or songs where two characters are pissed at each other. It just makes for a strong performance because of how music is tied in with emotion. “Bitch is Back/Dress You Up” is a great example of it. I was a little bit leery at first when I saw the mash-up. Then I heard it. Blake Jenner and Alex Newell make this whole thing sound cohesive. Their vocal chemistry is just insane to hear. Then there is the performance. The feud of the matter is that Ryder is a heterosexual jock living in Ohio and doesn’t really understand why Wade, a guy, wears dresses and calls himself Unique. Ryder doesn’t understand what it means to be transgendered and just thinks that “Unique” is someone “Wade” made up when it’s more of the other way around. He doesn’t understand that Unique is trapped in a boys body and hates being a boy. That her true self is the person in the dresses. Blake Jenner plays this flawlessly in the song. He’s beating the drums. He doesn’t get what is going on here. He’s a little pissed about this situation. There is this moment where Unique touches Ryder and he flinches away from her touch in the song. It is just perfect. Someone who doesn’t understand Unique would do that! It’s conceivable! I just can’t say enough good things here about the whole storyline in this episode so I’ll be good and let you off the hook. This song was just the epitome of a great meaty storyline in an overall excellent episode.
Another good sign of an angry duet is when you want both of the people involved to just start hate making out the chemistry is so high. “All That Jazz” is such a perfect example of that moment. Kate Hudson is the better dancer. Lea Michele is the better singer. Cassandra and Rachel are just circling each other like birds of pray. There are leotards and it’s kind of sexy. I just start screaming: “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE OUT!” because yes I got caught up in the moment. It was a great “see you later” for Kate. It should have been a goodbye because “Uptight (Everything’s Alright) (season four episode twenty-one “Wonder-ful”) while good never quite topped this moment for me. This was just flawless, angry and charged in a great way.
6) “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” (season four episode six “Glease”)
I had this on my previous list. I actually think this is one of like three that stayed on my list of favorite songs of the season. So I’ll keep this brief. It’s a beautifully shot number. It’s produced amazing well transitioning from singer to singer. Each actor has a part that is relevant to their character whether it was in the past or the present. It’s just a gorgeous number. It still strikes me when I listen to it of how amazingly well put together this is. Watch below and enjoy.
5) “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Say” (season four episode nine “Swan Song” and episode eighteen “Shooting Star”)
This is such a good group number. Since New Directions was (temporarily) knocked out of the running for competition in season four after Sectionals. They had no real reason to stay together. New Directions, for them, was over and, to the seniors, it was for good. So the fact that Finn is able to convince to come together not for competition but for fun is a great moment. As the song starts with just Finn and Marley and builds to the other members joining, it was just such a great moment of them coming together as a club (“family” whichever word you want to use). It even got me teared up.
I needed this song after everything “Shooting Star” (season four episode eighteen) threw at me. I was just so emotionally drained and shaking that I needed something quiet and mellow and about bonding. Yeah they should probably be at whatever assembly they were supposed to be at. Still…this whole song was just a good balm after so much intensity. It was just so utterly…good to hear something normal at the end of the episode. It was nice to hear a song and it was nice to have that song reflect what everyone is thinking. Life is short so you need to “say what you need to say”. Then it cuts to Artie’s little videos of everyone saying things to his camera while in the choir room and I sob all over again. It was just a great ending song for the episode.
4) “Outcast” (season four episode nineteen “Sweet Dreams”)
I had to put up one of the original songs. “Outcast” was the best out of the bunch of season four. I just liked how airy it was. It was also different. Listen to “Loser Like Me” (season two episode sixteen), “Light Up The World” (season two episode twenty two) and “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” (season three episode nine) back to back. They all start off the same with that guitar rift. I was developing a twitch in my eye because of that guitar rift. This was a totally different direction in sound for it. It had the pretty strings and sounded just pretty. It had those long calling notes in there which I do prefer. It sounded like a sixteen year girl wrote them, which in the show is true. Marley is a sixteen year old girl and she wrote the songs. I liked how all the newbies sang it together. It was a song that I would keep coming back to on the plane. It was a song that I was humming to myself before I went on vacation. It’s an earworm. It’s a good earworm. I just enjoyed it and how fun and light it is.
3) “Cold Hearted”, “Bring Him Home” [Kurt Version] and “Teenage Dream” (season four episode thirteen “Diva”, episode sixteen “Feud” and episode four “The Break-Up”)
Yeah I couldn’t choose between these three songs. So you know what? It’s a three way tie for third place! Why? Well these are all solos. I have group numbers in my top two. Sooo all the solos that I liked best get to congregate here. First up is “Cold-Hearted” which just makes me worship at the altar of Santana Lopez all the more. “Girl on Fire” (season four episode thirteen) was Santana finally coming into her own by moving to New York. “Cold-Hearted” was Santana Lopez standing up and saying, “I’M HERE!!!!” Can you hear the fans cheering? I can so hear the fans cheering right now. Naya Rivera just utterly owns this song. She dances on tables and structures the proper way. She slinks through them with grace. Her voice her is smokey perfection as she sings in that slightly raspy tone she can get. It was just perfection.
Now this is a little bit cheating as this was filmed as a Kurt-Rachel duet kind of. It had them switching between shots. This was sold individually. I bought both Lea Michele’s and Chris Colfer’s versions. I just like Chris Colfer’s better. It’s my favorite solo for Kurt this season. This is him claiming his place at NYADA. “Being Alive” (season four episode nine) was more of him getting there. “Bring Him Home” is more of Kurt showing that he BELONGS at NYADA. He may have joined the Apples and may not be an uber bitch but he does deserve to be here. Plus it’s satisfying for those of us who hated the fact that he threw the Diva Off in season one. (Even though it was for noble reasons which made us adore him more.) It’s nice seeing Kurt get his due in a season where Rachel wins again and again and again. Even his triumph at the Winter Showcase was overshadowed by Rachel winning the thing. This was Kurt getting his own moment to shine and confirming to himself that he deserves to be there. It was nice to see. It was nice that he accepted it and didn’t changed. It shows growth in his character, maturity.
Look I may be annoyed with Blaine right now. His whole “MARRIAGE” thing. Never mind that he and Kurt haven’t shared a lot of screentime. Kurt still considers them broken up (and is probably still dating Adam). Forget those people who remind me that I’m eighteen! They don’t know what REAL LOVE IS FOREVER! Ugh. Just no. No. It’s not romantic. Reconcile first then think about marriage okay? You know what? I’m not getting into that right now because that whole mess is another blog post unto itself. Keep an eye out.
Now I put this version of “Teenage Dream” on my other season four list, so I’ll keep this brief. It’s very emotional. It’s very raw because it’s performed live. Darren Criss nails it. His voice breaks and it’s just an amazing moment. The actor utterly inhabits the character and the emotions. It’s a good moment of just perfect synergy is what I want to say? It’s my favorite cover of “Teenage Dream” ever.
2) “The Scientist” (season four episode four “The Break-Up”)
Again this was on my previous list. So I’ll try to keep this brief. This is just so wonderfully emotional and heart wrenching. It was beautiful and moving. It was also full of nostalgic feels. I can’t get enough of this beautiful piece. It made me cry the first time I heard it. I sobbed the first time I saw. I loved this song. It’s just a great, well put together group number.
1) “At the Ballet” and “Homeward Bound/Home” (season four episode twenty “Lights Out” and season four episode eight “Thanksgiving”)
I couldn’t choose. I loved both of these so much and kept on going back to them many, many times.
“At the Ballet” is probably the most controversial. The fandom was very very split when it came to this number. Clearly I was on the side that adored it. While I admit it was a little long (the whole music sequence was for a full five minutes) I feel like not a second was wasted. “Lights Out” (season four episode twenty) only serve to piss me off in other ways. This was like a five minute sequence where I could turn off my brain and just get swept up into something beautiful. It also allowed for character development with Santana and Isabelle. It was slow and quiet but beautiful. Everyone standing there in lovely dresses and tuxes were just radiating. The dancers around them were just so lovely. I was enchanted by it in a way that I normally get enchanted when I see a musical. It was a production and I adore productions. I keep going back to it. I kept humming it under my breath. It’s on my relaxation playlist. This number relaxes me and gives me familiar comfort. It gives character development. It’s just pretty to watch. I can’t help but put it at number one.
The majority of the old members of New Directions are together again. Now I hope in the future we can get a number with just the old guard (the full old guard). It’s wistful and bittersweet. These members have gone out into the world. They are learning how much the world can suck. Yet they are glad to be home on the stage. It’s just very warming to see and hear. It’s a tender moment. It’s also a moment that has the fans of the old guard who misses them to bask in the awesome and get nostalgic feels in the best way.
NEXT ON THE GLEE REWATCH PROJECT: A discussion of the revelation of Kitty and Ryder in “Lights Out”.
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Credits: Glee Wikia