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Songs and singers of Glee


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#541
ohhark

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Since you seem to be able to spot singers in the chorus so well, I was wondering if you/anyone can hear Cory in WFL too?

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.c...ed/dBGg8n5v6z0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

At 1:45, I swear you can hear him say 'Just Can't Deny' after Lea. You can also hear him in the chorus after that line. Then, from 2:30 to the end of the song, I'm sure he's singing with the background singers.

#542
Glorfindel

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QUOTE (DETtor09 @ Jan 21 2012, 12:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just a quick correction.

The lyric is paralyzed. It's "if you're not here, I'm paralyzed."

Oops, thanks for the correction. I thought that line was odd, now I know why. laugh.gif

QUOTE (golden-cornucopia @ Jan 22 2012, 10:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Since you seem to be able to spot singers in the chorus so well, I was wondering if you/anyone can hear Cory in WFL too?



At 1:45, I swear you can hear him say 'Just Can't Deny' after Lea. You can also hear him in the chorus after that line. Then, from 2:30 to the end of the song, I'm sure he's singing with the background singers.

I can hear what you mean. It sounds like Cory is one of the background singers. But there's no way to be sure. There is so much processing done in the studio of Glee, especially on a song as WFL.
It could be Cory, but it also could be someone who sounds a lot like him. I have noticed that some background singers have similar voices as some cast members, which is only logical and smart.
I think they used the real cast members voices for background more in season 1 than in seasons 2 and 3, simply because of the heavy working schedule nowadays. But it still does happen occasionally.

I wish I could be more clear in this answer, sorry. unsure.gif

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

If nothing interferes my writing today I will post the review of 'Marry You' in a few hours.
So let's hope the in-laws don't come to visit unexpectedly. wink.gif

#543
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I have another question - why do you think Jenna sings the last chorus in YCSTB, Marie? I just ask because she's not credited on the CD liner notes, and I can't really hear her in the acapella. What are your thoughts?

#544
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QUOTE (jamaisview @ Jan 23 2012, 01:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have another question - why do you think Jenna sings the last chorus in YCSTB, Marie? I just ask because she's not credited on the CD liner notes, and I can't really hear her in the acapella. What are your thoughts?


I have to say that I still can't hear her. But if it makes the fandom happy, I'll agree. tongue.gif

#545
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^All I can say about this is that I think I can hear her, and she is shown singing in the show.
It doesn't mean I'm right, I've been wrong before.
But even if she doesn't sing herself: Tina's at the front in the performance during the last chorus, so she does get her moment in the spotlight.


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REVIEW: Marry You :

Episode 8 of season 2 brought us the 'brilliant' mash-up name Furt (I still prefer Kinn).
In 'Furt' Finn's mother and Kurt's father are getting married, within a week of getting engaged. Right.
That's Glee for ya. rolleyes.gif
If Kurt really organized that wedding within a week he could make a really good living as a wedding planner. No need to fret over getting into NYADA, baby. Your future looks bright as Lima's hottest and most fashionable weddingplanner. Hey, Will and Emma need one soon, and maybe even your brother and bestie will tie the knot. Will you give family a discount?

The song that Burt and Carole chose to walk down the aisle is not a slow, romantic ballad, but the more upbeat Bruno Mars song 'Marry You'. And their walking turns into quite awkward dancing.
I know it’s cheesy, but I grinned like Alice's Cheshire cat throughout the performance. biggrin.gif
I just hope that no wedding I ever attend will have a similar entrance of bride and groom. I would die from the second hand embarrassment. But on Glee it worked.
Hey, deep down I'm a romantic fool. blush.gif


The songs :

Bruno Mars:


Glee version:



The lyrics :

Finn:
It's a beautiful night, We're looking for something to do.
Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you.

Rachel:
Is it the look in your eyes, Or is it this dancing shoes
Who cares baby, I think I wanna marry you.

Quinn:
Well I know this little chapel on the boulevard we can go, No one will know,
Sam:
Oh come on girl.
Quinn:
Who cares if we're trashed,got a pocket full of cash we can blow, Shots of patron,
Sam:
And it's on girl.

Artie and Brittany:
Don't say no, no, no, no-no; Just say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah;
And we'll go, go, go, go-go.
Artie:
If you're ready, like I'm ready.

Tina:
Cause it's a beautiful night,
Tina and Mike:
We're looking for something dumb to do.
Tina:
Hey baby,
Tina and Mike:
I think I wanna marry you.

Artie and Brittany:
Is it the look in your eyes, Or is it this dancing juice?
Who cares baby, I think I wanna marry you.

Quinn and Sam:
I'll go get a ring let the choir bells sing like oooh,
So whatcha wanna do? Let's just run girl.
Finn and Rachel:
If we wake up and we wanna break up that's cool.
No, I won't blame you; It was fun girl.

All, with Artie and Brittany in lead:
Don't say no, no, no, no-no; Just say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah;
And we'll go, go, go, go-go. If you're ready, like I'm ready.

All, with Finn and Rachel in lead:
Cause it's a beautiful night,
We're looking for something dumb to do.
Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you.

All:
Is it the look in your eyes, Or is it this dancing juice?
Who cares baby, I think I wanna marry you.

Sam: Just say I do,
Finn: Tell me right now baby,
Artie: Tell me right now baby.
Sam: Just say I do,
Artie: Tell me right now baby.
Finn: Tell me right now baby,

All, with Finn and Rachel in lead:
Cause it's a beautiful night, We're looking for something dumb to do.
Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you.
Is it the look in your eyes, Or is it this dancing juice?
Who cares baby, I think I wanna marry you.


Let me get this out of the way first :

Bruno Mars is a high tenor.
Cory is not a tenor. Neither is Chord. They are baritones.
Kevin is not a tenor either, but he, at least, is a high baritone with phenomenal vocal techniques.
Despite of any criticism I might have in this review on this song being too high, let me just say this first: I admire what Cory and Chord are doing with this song. I don't blame them for having to sometimes strain their voices to hit the highest notes in it. These guys do their best with what is given to them.

But the bottom line is: 'Marry You' should have been transposed down with 2-3 semitones. Or they should have let Kevin, Chris and the girls handle the higher singing lines.




The singers :

Finn/Cory and Rachel/Lea :
Cory starts 'Marry You' one octave lower than Bruno Mars. In itself that's a good decission. It shows his warm lower range and I like that. And, oddly enough, it doesn't change the timbre/sound/coloring of the original song very much. I didn't even notice it at first.
But later on Cory sings the same lines in the same range that Bruno Mars does, and although he is doing much, much better than 2 years back: it's a stretch for him.
Fortunately most of 'Marry You' isn't as high as the usual Bruno Mars songs. The higher notes are around G4-A4. And Cory can do that decently, especially if he can put some volume behind it.
At the end of the song (the last "Tell me right now, baby.") Cory sings a high C (C5), the tenor C.
That's impressive, and it's not badly done, but it’s a pity Cory had to sing this high in the first place.
Fortunately when he sang that other Bruno Mars song in 'Furt' (Just The Way You Are) they transposed it 2 semitones lower to accommodate him.

Lea picks up the melody very fluently from Cory, even though she sings one octave higher than he does. That's one of the things Finchel does best.
'Marry You' is quite easy for girls to sing. It isn't that high for them, and with a little effort a (mezzo-)soprano can belt the higher notes. But Lea doesn't do that. She sings the higher notes in head voice, but with some timbre coloring to the chest voice (meaning the notes still sound strong). This way she keeps the timbre a little lighter than her usual Broadway power voice, but not as light as her Janet (Rocky Horror) and Maria (WSS) songs.
Singing like this Lea's voice fits better in the spirit of the song, plus it allows for a smoother transition to Dianna's softer voice.
Lea and Dianna use the same technique in 'Unpretty/I Feel Pretty'. And I must say that even though I admire Lea greatly for the phenomenal power ballads she belts, I absolutely adore Lea when she shows us some of her softer tones.

Later on in the song Lea sings a higher second voice to Cory's lead. This harmony is not in the original song. It’s a simple harmony, of thirds (intervals). I haven't drawn it for you: it's basically the same melody, only a little bit higher, and in a diagram it looks like the 2 rails of a railway track.
And yes: Lea is singing second voice to Cory, a rarity, and I totally missed that in my Cory review. dry.gif


Quinn/Dianna and Sam/Chord :
Dianna's voice is maybe the most different from Bruno Mars than any other singer in 'Marry You', although Bruno Mars also has some haziness in his voice.
I absolutely love Dianna's voice in this song. She does what Quinn does best: flirting, teasing, charming, scheming, seducing. She catches the meaning of the song perfectly. Her weakness among the belting Glee godesses turns into her strength in 'Marry You'. This is flawless. smile.gif
A special mentioning for her fluid go-o-o-o-o and kno-o-o-o-ow notes.

Sam has a higher timbre than Cory, and he seems to be doing a little better than him in the higher notes. He also has this 'sharpness' in his voice, just as Bruno has. But for me the combination of Chord's sharpness in his timbre and singing high notes in 'Marry You' are a bit too much.
Chord sings a lower second voice to Dianna's lead. And in the softer verses of 'Marry You' that works very well. The second voice is a simple harmony of sixths (intervals). Sixths are basically thirds but upside down….. Forget it: let's just say that it's almost the same as a harmony in thirds, but slightly different. tongue.gif
Chord's 'sharpness' in his voice bounces off of Dianna's soft haziness very playfully in the harmonies, and especially in the echos (both singers alternating little lines). They arranged Chord and Dianna very well in 'Marry You'.

Oh, and at the end of 'Marry You' Chord sings a little bit in falsetto ("Just say I do-o-o-o."). Nicely done, Chord.


Artie/Kevin and Brittany/Heather :
Kevin owns this song. He is a baritone, just as Cory and Chord are, but because of his great vocal techniques he has no trouble whatsoever to reach the high notes. And he has 'sharpness' in his voice, like Chord and Bruno Mars.
Heather sounds surprisingly good singing with Kevin. Her voice is also quite sharp, and she has a very good feeling for pitch. It's spot on.

Kevin and Brittany sing the chorus, in unison (both singers singing the same melody).
But later on in the song they sing 2 lines in harmony together ("Is it the look in your eyes…"). Kevin sings lead, and Heather sings a higher second voice, and I like their soundmix.
I honestly didn't expect that Heather and Kevin would sound so good together, but they do. smile.gif


Tina/Jenna and Mike/Harry :
After 'Sing' in 'Duets', which at first glance doesn't really count as singing, this is the first time we can hear Harry sing.
If you compare this snipbit to his 'Cool' you can hear the improvement. His voice in 'Marry You' is still quite flat (as in small and not broad, not off key). But his voice is warm and provides enough 'darkness' to Jenna's lighter soprano voice.
Harry sings a little bit of the same harmony Chord sings with Dianna.

Jenna sings very light, but firm, just like Lea. Her voice is a little 'younger' in timbre, and it works with the playfulness of 'Marry You'.
This is the first time I notice that Jenna doesn't have that much vibrato. I actually listened to a few others of her songs to explore this further and found out that Jenna shows some vibrato in her Broadway songs, but not in her pop songs. I wonder if she is aware of that.
And the Glee writers really lucked out with this romantic pairing: Jenna and Harry are a good match when it comes to harmony singing.




Thoughts (and beware: my Kurtsie status will show) :

Bruno Mars has one of the highest male voices in the modern pop industry. Several times a male student of mine requested to sing a Bruno Mars song and I either had to deny him that pleasure or transpose the song downwards. The good thing about this is that my female students can sing along with a Bruno Mars song just fine. That's why the ND girls are heavily featured in 'Marry You', they can sing in his range. The guys do their best, but…..well, I said it already. No tenors, all baritones.

Fortunately Glee also has a male castmember in ND who is a tenor and can easily sing as high as Bruno Mars. And what do you know: he actually organized this wedding because it’s his dad that is jumping the broomstick. You’d think that weddingplanner Kurt would have given himself a nice solo in this wedding song, but no. Kurt let almost everyone else in ND sing in ‘Marry You’, including Mike who, according to the canon of season 2, still couldn’t sing at the time.
Something tells me that Mr. Schue was the arranger of ‘Marry You', and not Kurt or Finn. huh.gif

But no, Will is a fictional character. Every mistake Mr. Schue makes in show choir can be traced right back to RIB. And, like Will, they are not the best show choir teacher material either.
RIB has their blind spots and illogical preferences.
Their love for letting the romantic couples sing together and noone else is very evident in 'Marry You'. Let's see, who are singing? Finn and Rachel, Quinn and Sam, Artie and Brittany, Tina and Mike. Yup, they are all together at this point in season 2.

Ugh, I hate it when RIB does that. dry.gif

Sorry Kurt, Mercedes, Puck and Santana: better luck next time.
Singing a few lines of a love song to one another when you're not…you know…in love with one another, would be an abomination. Don't forget: on Glee the relevance of the lyrics in a chosen song are very, very important. That's why Finn looked at his girlfriend and mom when he sang "Girl, you're amazing." to Kurt in this same episode. O wait, no, Finn did look at Kurt when he danced with him and sang that line. Oops, Well, I'm sure that was just the exception to the rule. Right? rolleyes.gif
Puck and Santana: you could have thought of hooking up with one another again in 'Furt'. You already had a history together, so that's no big deal. Might even be fun. And then, instead of just running idly along with Artie and Brittany down the aisle, you could have sung a line or two in 'Marry You' as well. You would have sounded wonderfull together. Just listen to 'Don't Stop Believing' 2.0.
Maybe you even could have formed another love triangle with Mercedes, it’s not like she never dated Puck. RIB loves love triangles even more than couples. That would have sealed the deal for sure.

And Kurt: you can get praised at your father's wedding untill all fandom's sympathy for you is shot to oblivion, but you can’t sing to help him shimmy down the aisle (and boy, did Burt need some help with his dance moves laugh.gif ). You're not in a romantic relationship, Kurt, sorry. Not that McKinley High gave you that many options in the love department. Finn's your stepbrother now, and your Sam turned straight right after he saw Quinn (and who can blame him). Your best option would have been if you had seduced Blaine on the spot when he sang 'Teenage Dream' to you at Dalton, before RIB decided to milk the Warblers' success and hit the reset button on Blaine several times. If you had done that you could have sung at your father's wedding and you could have saved us all from 10 episodes of pointless Dalton cuteness and missing you terribly in the ND choir room. sad.gif

And when did this review turn into a lament on RIB's writing? blink.gif
Ah well, it's late, and it was bound to happen sooner or later. They had it coming anyway. tongue.gif




Last remark :

The music arrangers of Glee are very good at their jobs. They turn all these loose parts into a well-oiled running machine every single time.
They did good on 'Marry You', with the limitations they had.
The harmonies they invented were simple and beautiful. They also distributed the lines well among the singers they were given to work with, and showcased their different talents.

To make this a little related to a recent discussion I have been following in several threads on this forum:
Ever since season 3 Sectionals some people have been debating if it's a good thing that the songs on Glee get split up more between several singers, or if only 2 or 3 singers should take the lead on a given song.
Well, I don't want to take sides in that, other than saying that with the quality singers ND has in it's choir, spreading the love in songs a bit is not an awful move.
Regardless: 'Marry You' proves that even a simple song can have multiple soloists and still be a coherent, harmonious song. In this case the multiple singers even enhance the song, imo: it keeps it alive and fresh, despite the many repetitions in the song.

'Marry You' is one of my favourite songs of Glee. Not necessarily because of the song itself, but because of the arrangement, and the memory of the performance in the show. It was not competition worthy, but it was sheer fun, and that's supposed to be a significant part of Glee. wink.gif



#546
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I really enjoyed this review! I feel like 'Marry You' is quintessential Glee, I get so many fluffy feelings listening to it. Diana is at the top of her game here and it's so perfect for her

#547
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QUOTE (Glorfindel @ Jan 23 2012, 12:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have noticed that some background singers have similar voices as some cast members, which is only logical and smart.
I think they used the real cast members voices for background more in season 1 than in seasons 2 and 3, simply because of the heavy working schedule nowadays. But it still does happen occasionally.


I have noticed this in a few songs aswell. Like in Hate On Me, I can either here Naya singing, or a studio singer that sounds identical to her. In this video, around 2:44, the voice that is like "You cannot hate on me", sounds like Naya to me, but I'm probably wrong because wasn't Jenna singing backup for this song?

But IMO Jenna and Naya have similar-ish sounding voices. An example of this (besides Hate On Me) is in ABC. When Jenna sings "T-t-t-teacher's gonna show you" IMO she sounds like Naya. A lot. But that's just my opinion.

BTW, your Marry You review is amazing wub.gif

#548
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I always felt dianna did best on Marry You her voice was perfect on it.

#549
brisallie

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After read your review Marie and say congratulations for your work as always I do smile.gif I've realized that only the couples who were formally dating on Furt are singing this song. I can't believe I never realized this until NOW tongue.gif

#550
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I was really looking forward to this review, as Marry You is one of my favorite group songs. Thanks so much, Marie! I'm normally not a fan of Dianna's voice, but she definitely deserves praise for her work on this song. She did a fabulous job. This is one of her very best, along with Pretty/Unpretty.

#551
Gleek223

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Thanks so much for the review of Marry You, I was waiting for this one and I love it. I agree with everyone above regarding Dianna in this song, she sounds amazing and not only does she harmonize well with Chord, she also did a great job singing this song.

#552
Glorfindel

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QUOTE (deeejay @ Jan 23 2012, 02:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have noticed this in a few songs aswell. Like in Hate On Me, I can either here Naya singing, or a studio singer that sounds identical to her. In this video, around 2:44, the voice that is like "You cannot hate on me", sounds like Naya to me, but I'm probably wrong because wasn't Jenna singing backup for this song?

But IMO Jenna and Naya have similar-ish sounding voices. An example of this (besides Hate On Me) is in ABC. When Jenna sings "T-t-t-teacher's gonna show you" IMO she sounds like Naya. A lot. But that's just my opinion.

I too sometimes have trouble distinguishing Naya and Jenna's voices. They can sound a lot alike in some songs.
On other songs, like 'America' I have no trouble at all keeping them apart.
In 'Hate On Me' I can't tell who's singing the back-up. I don't think it's Naya, but it could be, or even an anomynous back-up singer. Sometimes I hear a ND singer as back-up who isn't in the actual performance on the show (like Naya in Born This Way), so this could be true for 'Hate On Me' as well.

I find trying to distinguish the individual singers in Glee songs very hard to do sometimes, especially in back-up and when there are studio singers singing as well. The best way to identify a voice is trying to find little personal quirks or timbre specifics in the voices. But the more tweaking and editing a song has gone through in the music studio, the harder it is to find these little trademarks.
The acapella versions are helpfull. Whoever makes those has my gratitude. smile.gif

#553
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QUOTE (Glorfindel @ Jan 23 2012, 07:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I too sometimes have trouble distinguishing Naya and Jenna's voices. They can sound a lot alike in some songs.
On other songs, like 'America' I have no trouble at all keeping them apart.
In 'Hate On Me' I can't tell who's singing the back-up. I don't think it's Naya, but it could be, or even an anomynous back-up singer. Sometimes I hear a ND singer as back-up who isn't in the actual performance on the show (like Naya in Born This Way), so this could be true for 'Hate On Me' as well.

I find trying to distinguish the individual singers in Glee songs very hard to do sometimes, especially in back-up and when there are studio singers singing as well. The best way to identify a voice is trying to find little personal quirks or timbre specifics in the voices. But the more tweaking and editing a song has gone through in the music studio, the harder it is to find these little trademarks.
The acapella versions are helpfull. Whoever makes those has my gratitude. smile.gif


Wouldn't it be harder to tell them apart in America because of their accents? And yeah, that's also what I meant in ABC. Like I thought that line was Naya, but obviously it couldn't be, because she wasn't in ND at the time. And I didn't even know Naya was in BTW, I thought it was just Chris/Amber/Jenna.

I have made my own acapella versions of the songs aswell. I uploaded them all to my blog glee-cast-acapellas.tumblr.com, if you wanna check it out smile.gif

#554
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^Hey, thanks. smile.gif
Those acapella versions are very usefull.

Distinguishing Naya and Jenna's voices in 'America' was maybe easy for me because the song wasn't processed and tweaked so much.

I think Naya was the deep, low voice in the second half of 'Born This Way' (after Chris had his second 'rap').

#555
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QUOTE
All, with Artie and Brittany in lead:
Don't say no, no, no, no-no; Just say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah;
And we'll go, go, go, go-go. If you're ready, like I'm ready.


OH THAT'S HEATHER!! I can hear it now! I always wondered who it was singing that part, but it never crossed my mind it would be HeMo! Props to her!

Lovely review! It's great hearing how the voices pair up and what factors into what you hear.

Thanks Marie!

#556
gleefanboy

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QUOTE (Glorfindel @ Sep 26 2011, 08:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi, for those of you who do not know me: I'm a vocal coach.
I have been giving vocal/singing lessons and directed choirs and small singing groups for over 15 years. My specialisms are musicals, oldies/crooner songs, and pop songs (old and new).

So I think you can understand why I would be interested in a show as Glee. I love Glee, I'm a Gleek. smile.gif
And (I better say this right away): I'm a Kurtsie, and a Hummelberry, and I love Furt and Klaine. So, just to make that clear.
But I like (almost) all characters on Glee, and I enjoy most of the singers, ND members and adults.
The choir room is my favorite place in Mc Kinley High. And although I definitely do not agree with mr. Schuester a lot of times: it's fun to watch and the songs are nice.

I've been analyzing and reviewing Kurt's songs in the Kurt Hummel section of this forum, it's called the 'Kurt's Singing Voice' - thread (the KSV). I enjoy doing that a lot, and lately I've been wanting to do the same with songs and singing voices of the other characters.

So I decided to start this 'song and singing voices of Glee analyzing'- thread in the General Glee Discussion section.
You can also ask me questions about singing and vocal techniques in general here.
But I want to concentrate mainly on the cast of Glee and their songs.


If you want to know a little bit of what I've been doing and intent to do here:
TPPP - You Can't Stop the Beat
Kurt Hummel - Kurt's Singing Voice



Things I can do and things I can't do:

- I've analyzed Kurt's songs and his singing progress over the years, but I won't be able to do that for the other characters/cast members. Chris was fairly untrained when he started on Glee, and he had a big variety of songs since then that helped me analyze his voice better.
Most of the other cast members had already fully developed their voices before they were cast on Glee (except Finn/Cory and Brittany/Heather). So I will not be able to get too in depth about their progress over the years.
Also: some of the cast members didn't have many songs on the show yet, and the more songs I can hear, the more I can tell you about a voice. smile.gif
What I can do is give a professional opinion about their singing voices and songs, and whether a certain singer is suitable or capable to sing a certain song, or not.

- I will not be able to tell you the specific voice types (soprano, mezzo, alto, bas, bariton, tenor). Of course I can speculate, but it really takes more than listening to a few songs to decide exactly what vocal range and voice type a singer is.
Example 1): April Rhodes (Kristin Chenoweth) is definitely a soprano, because she can hit a high C (Home) and she has a high timbre/coloring in her voice. I can argue that Rachel is a mezzosoprano, because we haven't heard her sing that high C, and her timbre is quite low for a soprano. But that doesn't mean she can't sing the high C if she wants too, we just haven't heard it (yet).
Example 2): Finn is being described on Glee as a baritenor, but in 'The Time Warp' he sings a high Csharp, that's one semitone higher than the famous tenor C. That would make him a tenor, but it could also mean he just had a lucky day singing that note. rolleyes.gif

- I can't know everything about every musical decission made on Glee. I wasn't there when they recorded the songs. But I can make educated guesses. And I can back a lot of my opinion up with my studies and experiences. I can hear certain vocal techniques, and what that means, in a scientific way, to the songs.
Most of the music decissions made on Glee can be related to simple music mathematics. I can try to solve the same puzzles the music people on Glee faced when creating/editing a song, and retrace their steps a bit. That's not really speculatingÖ..much. tongue.gif
But I do really enjoy speculating about emotions and feelings of a singer or the song analyzed too. rolleyes.gif


Things I will do and things I won't do
:
- I will not compare 2 or more singers with each other. To me singing is not a competition. And comparing singers is like comparing apples and oranges. It's useless and most of the time it's not fair. And, taking this fandom in account: it would probably end in a war. Do not like that.

- I will try to keep neutral/objective in my analysis/reviews. I generally like all singers on Glee, although there are stronger and weaker singers vocal technically. But they manage to entertain me every week, and therefore I like them all. So it's not hard to be objective in the reviews.
But I will not be objective in comments about personal favorite singers: why certain singers appeal to me or not. I have my favorite singers, and not all of those preferences are based on vocal techniques alone. It's also based on emotions and instincts: what I feel when someone sings, and that's purely personal. So as a vocal coach I'm objective, but as a Gleek I'm subjective.
I will try to make it clear in my posts if I'm objective or subjective.


Technical terms:
While reviewing Kurt's songs I struggled with some vocal/music technical terms.
English isn't my native language, and not all music technical terminology can be found in dictionaries (and I have tried). Then there's also the fact that some terms (like falsetto) can mean 2 different things, depending on how you've learned them.
So I've invented/established some of my own terms. To not get confused, here are the most important ones:
- low register = chest voice, the part of the voice when you sing low, below the 'break point' of the voice.
- high register = head voice/upper register, the part of the voice when a voice sings high, above the break point. So it's not singing high in your chest voice: it really means singing higher than the break.
High register is also known as falsetto, but this is a wrong term (although it is used a lot in the amateur music field). The real falsetto is an even higher 'voice', requiring different techniques.

- music scale:

The music scale is indicated different in Europe than it is in the USA apparently. I use these notations:

<font size="2">C-D-E-F-G-A-B-c-d-e-f-g-a-b-<font color="#0000FF">c'</font>-d'-e'-f'-g'-a'-b'-c"-d"-e"-f"-g"-a"-b"-c"'
(C=C2 / c=C3 / c'=C4 / c"=C5 / c"'=C6)</font>

- c = the C below the Middle C (Central C), aka C3
- c' = the Middle C, aka C4
- c"= the high Tenor C, aka C5
- c"' = the soprano C, aka C6

Reviews:
I will start making reviews of a few songs I already picked myself. In the beginning most songs will be songs from season 1 and 2, but if there's an interesting song in season 3 (like 'You Can't Stop The Beat') I will tackle that one too.
The most interesting songs to analyze are group numbers, duets and/or mash-ups. But if you want me to comment on solos I will do that too.
And maybe I can comment on the songs of the newest episodes, but I'd rather do that in other threads.

Don't expect more than 1, maybe 2 reviews every week, and when there's a new Kurt song I will always review that song and put it on the KSV - thread.
I will try to visit this thread every day and answer questions as soon as I can.

If you want you can suggest songs for me to analyze, or ask questions about certain songs or singers. I'd welcome that. I may not be able to analyze everything you ask, but I will certainly think about it.
And I love a good discussion, as long as it's healthy and stays on topic. huh.gif

Please don't think I'm just boasting or flaunting my skills here.
When I was asked to analyze Kurt's songs I noticed how much people liked that, and I liked it too. And they asked me for more, so here I am. wink.gif
It's just a way to appreciate Glee more.
I purely do this for the fun of analyzing Glee songs, and maybe to give some pleasure and insight to other fans on this forum. It's supposed to be fun, and maybe a little educating.
Nothing more, nothing less. happy.gif

Hope you enjoy it.

My first song to review is 'Bad Romance'.

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<font size="2">REVIEW: Bad Romance (BR).</font>

In the episode 'Theatricality' Kurt joins the girls and they sing 'Bad Romance' together.

Here's the Lady Gaga version:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qrO4YZeyl0I?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And here is Glee:
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eVClYieYPow?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The lyrics (the full version):

Kurt:
"Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh Caught in a bad romance.
Girls and Kurt:
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh Caught in a bad romance

Kurt:
Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, Roma-Roma-ma-ah Gaga-ooh-la-la, Want your bad romance
Girls and Kurt:
Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, Roma-Roma-ma-ah Gaga-ooh-la-la, Want your bad romance

Tina:
I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your everything as long as it's free, I want your love
Girls and Kurt:
Love-love-love I want your love

Santana:
I want your drama the touch of your hand (Kurt: Hey!)
I want your leather studded kiss in the sand, I want your love Love-love-love, I want your love
Girls and Kurt:
Love-love-love I want your love

Quinn:
You know that I want you, And you know that I need you, I want it bad, bad romance
Santana with the girls and Kurt:

I want your love and I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance (Kurt: Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
I want your love and all your lover's revenge, You and me could write a bad romance

Kurt:
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh Caught in a bad romance (2x)
Girls and Kurt:
Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, Roma-Roma-ma-ah Gaga-ooh-la-la, Want your bad romance

Mercedes:
I want your horror I want your design, Cause you're a criminal as long as your mine, I want your love
Girls and Kurt:
Love-love-love I want your love

Santana and Mercedes:
I want your psycho your vertigo stick (Kurt: Hey!)
Want you in my rear window baby you're sick, I want your love Love-love-love I want your love
Girls and Kurt:
Love-love-love I want your love

Quinn:
You know that I want you, And you know that I need you (Kurt: 'Cause I'm a freak, baby!)
I want it bad, bad romance

Santana with the girls and Kurt:
I want your love and I want your revenge, You and me could write a bad romance (Kurt: Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
I want your love and all your lover's revenge, You and me could write a bad romance

Kurt and Girls:
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh Caught in a bad romance (2x)

Girls and Kurt:
Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, Roma-Roma-ma-ah Gaga-ooh-la-la, Want your bad romance (2x)

Tina:
Walk, walk fashion baby, work it move that thing crazy
Tina and Mercedes:
Walk, walk fashion baby, work it move that thing crazy
Tina, Mercedes, and Quinn:
Walk, walk fashion baby, work it move that thing crazy
Girls:
Walk, walk passion baby, work it, (+Kurt: I'm a freak, baby)

Santana:
I want your love, And I want your revenge, I want your love, I don't wanna be friends
J'ai ton amour (I want your love), Et je veux ton revanche (And I want your revenge), J'ai ton amour (I want your love), I don't wanna be friends

Kurt:
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Santana: I don't wanna be friends! Kurt: Caught in a bad romance
Santana: I don't wanna be friends! Kurt: Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Santana: Want your bad romance! Kurt: Caught in a bad romance
Santana: Want your bad romance!

Santana with the girls and Kurt:

I want your love and I want your revenge, You and me could write a bad romance (Kurt: Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
I want your love and all your love is revenge, You and me could write a bad romance
Kurt:
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Santana: Want your bad romance! Kurt: Caught in a bad romance
Santana: Want your bad romance! Kurt: Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Santana: Want your bad romance! Kurt: Caught in a bad romance

Kurt and girls:

Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, Roma-Roma-ma-ah Gaga-ooh-la-la Kurt: Want your bad romance."


The singers:

The (solo) singers in 'Bad Romance' are Kurt, Tina, Santana and Mercedes (and a little Quinn talking).
Why these singers?
In the episode Kurt is the only male in ND willing to sing a Lady Gaga song. He is not chosen to sing the song because of his higher voice: the other males of ND could have sung along with the song just as well: 'Bad Romance' is very low. But the other male ND members preferred Kiss over Lady Gaga.
So the choice for Kurt singing in 'Bad Romance' is a purely narrative/storyline decission.

The female singers:
All the girls of ND are singing and dancing 'Bad Romance' on the show, so why not have Rachel, Quinn or Brittany sing a solo?
The answer is that their voices are not really suitable for Lady Gaga's vocal range and timbre. Lady Gaga has a low voice, and more importantly: a low timbre/coloring with an 'edge' in it. Tina, Santana, and (surprisingly to me) Mercedes are more suitable to sing like her.
Especially Santana is very good (meaning in timbre) to nail Lady Gaga's sound. But Tina and Mercedes are good too, and, looking back at their previous songs, I didn't expect that. I never heard Tina sing that 'raw' before, and I though Mercedes voice was too high for this song. You see: we really don't know enough of the actual abilities of the actors/singers when we only rely on what they showed us in Glee.
Naya sounds great, I love her hazy exquisite voice. And remembering Jenna's 'Tonight' and 'True Colors' I was amazed by how 'sharp' (as in a knife, not as in off key) she sounds. There is a vocal term for the firmness or coarseness they both displayed. In Dutch it is called 'metallic', which sounds bad but is actually a very good compliment.
And Mercedes was fierce too. This song is not exactly in her wheelhouse but she nailed it too. And personally I like the lower part of her vocal range a lot.

These 3 girls did a very good job on 'Bad Romance'. smile.gif


Kurt:

Kurt only sings these lines: " Ra ra ah ah ah, Roma roma ma, Gaga ooh la la, Want your bad romance." And "Oh oh oh oh oh, Caught in a bad romance."
And except for "Hey" and "Cause I'm a freak', baby", thatís about all he sings in the entire song, although he repeats these lines a couple of times. He only sings in low register.
I don't think he sings the really low "Roma ma"-backup parts, that's studio back-up singers.
Kurt's voice adds a interesting flavor to the mix of 'Bad Romance'. Having him sing those lines make them more powerful than the original, imo. It gives the song a strong start and when the girls are singing his voice reverberates against the female voices and enhances them. Especially when he sings at the same time as Santana/Naya.

Quinn:
Quinn's voice is not suitable to sing Lady Gaga. Her voice is much softer and has a lighter timbre/coloring.
But she is perfect for the talking lines ("You know that I want you, And you know that I need you. I want it bad, bad romance.").
The 'huskiness' in her voice make those lines sound very 'sexy', if you know what I mean. wink.gif
For me it's one of those things that make me like the Glee version better than the original (along with Kurt's timbre and Santana's and Mercedes' harmony).


The extra harmonies:
In the Glee version of 'Bad Romance' there are 2 additional harmonies that are not in the original Lady Gaga version.

1) Santana and Mercedes:
Santana and Mercedes sing together on these lines:

"I want your psycho your vertigo stick,
Want you in my rear window baby it's sick.
I want your love Love-love-love I want your love."

They sing a harmony of 'thirds' (meaning 2 notes that are set one note apart from each other). The second voice is singing a third above the lead voice. This is one of the strongest harmonies possible.
It certainly adds something to the song, and I like the soundmix Santana and Mercedes create.
That's why I was very happy when they sang 'River Deep, Mountain High' together in 'Duets'. smile.gif

2) Stacking the notes/tones:

"Walk, walk fashion baby, work it move that thing crazy."

When Lady Gaga sings these words she just repeats them, and every time she sings them the same way.
But the Glee version adds something:
With every repeating of the line they add another voice, and that voice sings a different note.
They do this 3 times, adding 3 voices. So in the end there are 4 voices on different notes.

The first added voice sings a 'fourth' (5 semitones) higher. This is, again, a strong harmony, and it fits in the chords of the song.
But the second and third voice sing notes that are only 2 semitones higher than the previous notes.
The closer notes are to each other, the more tension they cause: they are dissonants.
This causes a little 'friction' in these lines and the music, which works really well in this song.
For those of you who can read sheet music: the notes are G-C-D-E.

Soundmix:
'Bad Romance' is one of the few songs where you can actually hear the actors sing most of the back-up parts. There are studio singers involved, but we get a few bits and pieces of harmony of the actors themselves.
I understand why Glee needs to have studio back-up singers. There's simply no time to let the cast do all of that too. But they really sound very good together when they do sing harmony together. happy.gif
And that's quite ironic, because I don't think that, when casting the original cast members, they ever considered the soundmix of the actors together much. And yet, we have these great soundmixes in duets and group numbers.


Final remark:

I've read discussions about whether Glee should try to stick as close as possible to the original songs or, on the contrary, they should give it their own 'spin'.
I like it when they change a little of the songs (like they did with the slow intro of 'You Can't Stop The Beat'), as long as the song is still in spirit and meaning truthful to the original.
And these little, barely noticeable changes, like these harmonies in 'Bad Romance', are just the icing on the cake. biggrin.gif

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On request I've made a list of where to find my reviews in this thread. I will edit it whenever I post a new review.

<font size="4">List of Reviews :</font>
<font color="#0000FF">
- Bad Romance - page 01 - post 001
- # Tina/Jenna - page 03 - post 044
- It's All Over - page 04 - post 066
- %1 - amount of songs of each singer - page 05 - post 096
- # Artie/Kevin - page 06 - post 113
- # Santana/Naya - page 08 - post 147
- Time Warp - page 11 - post 203
- # Puck/Mark - page 13 - post 257
- # Quinn/Dianna - page 15 - post 285
- %2 - amount of songs of each singer - page 17 - post 338
- the definitions of chest voice, head voice, falsetto - page 21 - post 401
- # Finn/Cory-1 - page 23 - post 457
- # Finn/Cory-2 - page 24 - post 466
- %3 - amount of songs of each singer - page 25 - post 486
- My Favorite Things - page 26 - post 514
- Marry You - page 28 - post 545
</color>
</font>

i think that you might be more of a type addict more than a vocalist teacher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY S..T. ohmy.gif

#557
Glorfindel

Glorfindel

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QUOTE (gleefanboy @ Jan 23 2012, 01:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i think that you might be more of a type addict more than a vocalist teacher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY S..T. ohmy.gif

I call it 'therapy'. wink.gif

That sounds so much better, but you're right. laugh.gif

#558
The Big Berry

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Although not being a vocal coach, I also do some brief analysis on what ND does in group numbers. (actually studying singing tongue.gif ). The only part I disagree with you is that I truly believe that background people do not sing as background vocals in group numbers.
Just a request: pleaseeeee analyze about Grant when his sings in the next episode. Or at least say something about him. Just please.

#559
Outcast

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QUOTE (Glorfindel @ Jan 23 2012, 12:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
^All I can say about this is that I think I can hear her, and she is shown singing in the show.
It doesn't mean I'm right, I've been wrong before.
But even if she doesn't sing herself: Tina's at the front in the performance during the last chorus, so she does get her moment in the spotlight.


Yeah. It just would be nice if they gave her some back up singing to do if she's not getting any real solo lines :/

QUOTE (Glorfindel @ Jan 23 2012, 12:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And Kurt: you can get praised at your father's wedding untill all fandom's sympathy for you is shot to oblivion, but you canít sing to help him shimmy down the aisle (and boy, did Burt need some help with his dance moves laugh.gif ). You're not in a romantic relationship, Kurt, sorry. Not that McKinley High gave you that many options in the love department. Finn's your stepbrother now, and your Sam turned straight right after he saw Quinn (and who can blame him). Your best option would have been if you had seduced Blaine on the spot when he sang 'Teenage Dream' to you at Dalton, before RIB decided to milk the Warblers' success and hit the reset button on Blaine several times. If you had done that you could have sung at your father's wedding and you could have saved us all from 10 episodes of pointless Dalton cuteness and missing you terribly in the ND choir room. sad.gif


I think this is one of my favourite things you've ever written tongue.gif Seriously though, these are my thoughts exactly. I wish Season 2 was allowed to play out it's planned course (not because I ship Kum), because I have issues with Dalton and Kurt's storyline.

Loved the review by the way. The group numbers are always my favourites.

#560
ohhark

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What do you have to say on Shelby's group dynamic? I remember when Candyman came out everyone was praising the glee writers on their "music continuity" (in that the song was much like the S1 VA songs, because in the glee world it was arranged by Shelby). I couldn't tell if this was just because there was some interesting harmonies or something. I thought it would be interesting to hear from someone like you...

P.S. Did that make any sense at all?




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