Tonight, “Glee” is gearing up for another Lady Gaga-themed episode, one extended from its normal 60-minute run time to 90 minutes, presumably to ensure the show can pack in enough Gaga for the next three years. More exciting is Kurt’s impending break from the Dalton Academy Warblers and his return to McKinley High.
However, the most exciting thing about “Glee” of late isn’t happening tonight, because it happened last Tuesday: the release of the new Warblers studio album, “Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers.”
Ever since the Warblers took Kurt away from New Directions, I’ve harbored a strong dislike for the group and their apparent need to sing nothing but reinvented female empowerment songs.
But listening to the album all at once is starting to make me question my earlier reaction. The album includes mostly songs already included on earlier episodes, such as “Teenage Dream,” “Hey Soul Sister” and “Misery,” but it also includes tracks that won’t appear on your TV screen at all, like Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb’s “What Kind of Fool.”
The best song on the album, though, is set to be the Warblers’ last on the show: tonight’s power ballad “Somewhere Only We Know.” Already a powerful and emotional song in its original form by British piano rockers Keane, the Warblers’ version injects a boost of sweetness in its vocals, performed by lead Warbler Blaine in a heartfelt serenade to the departing Kurt.
The singing abilities of Darren Criss and Chris Colfer (who play Blaine and Kurt, respectively) give the album much of its strength. The rest comes from the album’s almost-all a capella style, supplemented occasionally by accompaniment or drum machines.
It’s too bad the album looks like the last we might see from the group, unless they make a return in future seasons. However, with Kurt leaving Dalton Academy for his beloved McKinley, it looks like this might be the Warblers’ wonderful a capella swan song.