It’s Michael Jackson week on Glee this upcoming Tuesday, and we are actually pretty excited. We love that there are a LOT of songs. We may stop complaining about the lack of Rachel songs, because she’s had the most solos, by far. http://www.gleeforum.com/Characterand39s-solos-t25513.html. Naw, we’re still going to complain. We want at least one Rachel solo per episode, haha.
"Bad" - Artie, Santana, Blaine and Sebastian with New Directions and Dalton Academy Warblers. We didn't like Sebastian’s voice the first time we heard it, but maybe that song was just too high for him. You already know how we feel about Artie (ugh) but we like the Warblers and Blaine. Everyone loves Santana’s voice. Without Artie, it would have been perfect. One of us doesn’t really care for this song, but it’s a decent, energetic version. We like the Warblers on background. It really works for this song. B+
"Ben" - Kurt, Rachel, and Finn. Lovely, but just ok. It’s a down-tempo song. One of us has always hated Kurt’s voice. The other of us really thinks this song fits him. It’s not bad. B-
"Black or White" - Mercedes Jones, Santana Lopez, Rachel Berry, Artie Abrams and Kurt Hummel with New Directions. Jeez, enough with the Artie already. This song is fun and this version is just what you would expect from a Glee version of this song. B
"Human Nature/Nature Boy" - Mercedes and Sam. We like these two voices (and characters) together and enjoyed listening to this song. It didn’t blow us away, but it was pleasant and not at all annoying. Mercedes really is the unsung singing hero of this show. She can sing anything and make it good. B+
"I Just Can’t Stop Loving You" - Finn and Rachel. We love Finchel duets. It calls back season one. Finn sounds less autotuned than usual in this song. We like it. Overall, this song was a little dull though. Rachel sounded like every girl in the song at the end of a Disney movie, when the credits roll. A 90s diva. Definitely an older, dated sound here. C+
"I Want You Back" - The Warblers. We love the a cappella sound and their background noises. They probably spit so much though. We think Sebastian’s voice is too high and thin to really compete with Blaine’s, but this song was pretty good. Short though. B-
"Never Can Say Goodbye" - Quinn. Finally! We actually love Quinn’s voice. It’s not a powerhouse, but it’s pleasant. She rarely gets to sing. Her voice reminds us a little of Natasha Bedingfield’s in this song. B+
"Scream" - Artie and Mike Chang. Artieeeeeee. Just stop. We had trouble listening to this whole song. C-
"Smooth Criminal" - Santana and Sebastian. Pairing these two is an interesting idea and this is a great song. We had high hopes for this number and it delivered. Santana even sounded a little different than she usually does. She sounded kind of sweet and even dipped into her higher register more. We liked the variation. We’re sure to download this one. It’s one of those songs that as soon as we heard it the first time, we immediately wanted to hear it again. One of us saw the clip on hulu and the context makes it even better. A
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" - Blaine and New Directions. We love us some Blaine. B
Overall, the songs should satisfy people who have been waiting to hear Glee cover lots of Michael Jackson. One of us doesn’t really GET Michael Jackson but still enjoyed most of these songs. Music-wise, this should be a great episode. You just know there is so much opportunity for good dancing here. The performances should be amazing. Overall grade for sound only: B. We anticipate that will go up to an A or A- once the performances are paired with it. We're gonna go listen to "Smooth Criminal" again.
You can listen to the songs for yourselves here: http://www.gleethemusic.com/us/episode/michael