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In pop culture, YADA-YADA usually means "blah, blah, blah" or "more of the same." For this blog, YADA-YADA is an acronym meaning "Young Adult Discussions About Young Adult-Designed Art." Check out my summaries and reviews of teen media. Chime in and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blog No. 50 - The Music Glee: The Power of Madonna [CD]

GENRE: CD Popular Music
Title: The Music Glee: The Power of Madonna
Artist: The Cast of Glee

Bibliographic Information:
Audio CD (April 20, 2010)
Original Release Date: 2010
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Columbia


If you like Glee and enjoy Madonna songs, you will probably LOVE this CD collection!

Tracks Summary:
1. Express Yourself (Glee Cast Version Featuring Jonathan Groff) 3:59
2. Borderline / Open Your Heart (Glee Cast Version) 2:15
3. Vogue (Glee Cast Version) 5:13
4. Like A Virgin (Glee Cast Version Featuring Jonathan Groff) 3:15
5. 4 Minutes (Glee Cast Version) 3:09
6. What It Feels Like For A Girl (Glee Cast Version) 4:31
7. Like A Prayer (Glee Cast Version Featuring Jonathan Groff) 5:15

Critical Evaluation
In April, the cast of Glee incorporated a tribute to Madonna into one of their episodes. The episode’s premise centered around Mr. Schuester and Ms. Sylvester trying to empower the cheerleaders and the glee girls by using Madonna songs. There were some great moments, especially the choral arrangement of “Like a Prayer” which was unique and very different than the other tracks, which seemed to sound very close to the original Madonna cuts in terms of arrangements. For some, that’s a plus, but for me, I like things a bit changed up. However, the most memorable of all of the songs was “Vogue” sung by nemesis Sue Sylvester (played by actress Jane Lynch). In the TV episode, they shot the piece in black and white, and Lynch was amazing in her spot-on imitation of Madonna, bringing a new variable to her mean and nasty character.

Another interesting piece was “What It Feels Like for a Girl.” It is one of those Madonna songs that Madonna fans know, but most people don’t, so it is nice to be able to hear it in this tribute CD.

I watched the Glee episode and loved it, and bought the CD. I wonder, though, if non-chorus kids or non-Glee fans would find this as interesting. Frankly, I doubt it. For those, they might be better off with the Madonna originals; however, in my humble opinion, the Glee kids sing much better than she ever could!

Information about the Producer/Creator:
Ryan Murphy is the creator of the hit TV series, Glee. He was born in 1966 in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was active in high school theatre, especially musicals. He also served as editor for the Warren Central High School newspaper, The Warren Owl.

After graduation in 1983, he attended Indiana University, and majored in journalism. While attending college, he took an internship at a local newspaper, and eventually got work at the Washington Post and the Miami Herald. Eventually he came to Los Angeles to work in the LA office of the Miami Herald and began also freelancing for the Los Angeles Times. He sold his first screenplay to Steven Spielberg, but it ended up in turnaround. Eventually Ryan was signed to direct it for another company. He got into television, and eventually wrote the hit series, Nip and Tuck. Glee is his biggest hit so far, and it is very loosely based on his own high school singing experiences.

Interest Age:
This is recommended for older high school students, and fans of Glee. Some of the Madonna tunes were racy for their time, but they come off clean and polished here. Age 13 and up.

Curriculum Ties:

Challenge Issues:

Why I Included This CD:
Glee is all the rage, and the Madonna episode was one of the season’s most successful. I figured the CD, which was just released, would be a bit hit as well!

Cover image courtesy of: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003AO3CR6/?tag=mall02-20

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