Glee: The Music, Vol. 3 - Showstoppers

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Showstoppers is Glee’s fourth record in six months, arriving two weeks after the Madonna EP and one month before the season one finale. That may seem like Glee overload -- and maybe it is -- but for those who love the show, this soundtrack delivers the musical equivalent of what we’ve come to expect from every episode: some cheesy moments (most of them purposely hokey), some slip-ups, and a handful of surprisingly poignant performances. Granted, Showstoppers is a bit heavy on the slip-ups; there’s a rather unnecessary version of “Safety Dance,” for example, and “I Dreamed a Dream” sounds too close to the Les Miserables original to be anything less than Broadway karaoke. For every lapse in judgment, though, there’s a song like “Lady Is a Tramp” (sung with jazzy swagger by Mark Salling), “Hello” (an expert duet between former Spring Awakening co-stars Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff), and “One” (another duet, this one featuring Cory Monteith’s ever-improving vocal chops). And speaking of duets, the Matthew Morrison/Neil Patrick Harris tag-team of “Dream On” is nothing short of ludicrously awesome, assuming your idea of “awesome” involves Dr. Doogie Howser howling high notes with almost medical accuracy. None of this negates the fact that Showstoppers is essentially a cash tie-in, but it’s still entertaining, assuming you’re willing to have as much fun as the cast. Glee: striking while the iron’s hot since 2009.

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