I have been watching Glee since it was recommended to me by my girlfriend’s friend Shabana (who over the past year and a bit has actually become my BBF, even if she is not great at answering her phone!) back in late October last year. I watched the first series religiously but was rather disappointed with the ending of season one (so much so that it took me several weeks to get around to watching the final episode). Do not get me wrong, the mid season finale was fantastic and I absolutely died at Rachel’s performance of Don’t Rain On My Parade! The start of season two was pedestrian, even with the influx of new characters. In my humble opinion, the show had lost some of it’s magic, that special glow that had made it such compelling viewing in the past. My favourite song, or rather I should re-phrase, ‘performance’ to date was Safety Dance in the episode Dream On (which was named with a nod to one of my favourite all time songs – Dream A Little Dream Of Me!). That all changed this Monday evening, I had mentioned to Shabana on Saturday night in Reading that I was a few weeks behind the US airings. She recommended I watch the latest version featuring a famous Musician’s wife – a “great performance from a rather boring actress”. I sat down to watch Never Been Kissed straight after Eastenders around 8pm. I was hoping my sister Natalie or even Julie would join me but they quickly departed the lounge. I was on my own for this guilty pleasure. There would no validation from my siblings.
Generally speaking televisions shows go in peaks and troughs. Few are consistently on the money but they tend to have a very short shelf life as being so hot on the money is difficult to span out over several seasons let alone years. I had a feeling Glee was back on track. The fast paced action, the short sharp comedy cutbacks, indulging in adolescent make believe. This should have been enough for me and I was more than satisfied, then after the eleventh minute mark, something happened.
There is something pure about songs sung in acapella, without any instruments that has always intrigued me. Although originally Christmas number one when I was only two years old, it was played all the time, as it was not necessarily a festive song. Only You by The Flying Pickets was my first appreciation of an acapella song. Having the original version by Yazoo in the charts around the same time, made it easy to distinguish between the two. Even being a child of the electronic 1980s, I preferred the cover! Since then there have been always been acapella songs in the car or on my computer. Three years ago, my sister Natalie introduced me to Penn Masala and even more recent incarnations such as Reality TV star Anoop Desai. He performed in a college accapella group don’t you know! (Although this may be more up your street!)
That brings us back to Glee, as Kurt is whisked through the corridors of Dalton Academy, I had no idea that the song to be performed was a recent favourite. However, their performance added something to the original, which I never thought possible with male vocals. The deconstruction of the song to the bare essentials and the pitch perfect harmonies combine to give the care free first love feeling. I was never a big fan of the original, apart from perhaps the bridge in the middle when Perry actually pushes her singing out of her comfort zone.
Disagree with me? Take a look and let me know what you think. Now can anyone spot a guy trying to rip off my trademark dance moves? Trust me, you cannot miss him!