Glee featured songs that weren’t just pop or showtune-oriented. We rate covers that a scene kid would love, including MCR and Paramore.
Glee was a show caught in a weird purgatory between High School Musical and Pitch Perfect. It followed the trials and tribulations of an All-American high school, and its cast have faced tragedy outside of the show, including the recent passing of Naya Rivera.
Many singers and bands were honoured with whole episode tributes, including Madonna, Britney Spears and Fleetwood Mac. But don’t for a second be mistaken into believing that there weren’t songs where you could just shut your bedroom door and feel the angst of being a teenager.
Paramore – ‘The Only Exception’
Remember the episode in Season 2 where they dedicated their whole set to Britney Spears? It almost did, except at the end when Rachel Berry felt bad about doubting love interest Finn Hudson’s loyalty to her. Love or loathe Lea Michele, she definitely channels Hayley Williams in this poignant cover about believing in love despite having every reason not to. You can also tell she really had a thing with the late Cory Monteith too, which makes it that much more gut-wrenching.
Gym Class Heroes – ‘Stereo Hearts’
Samuel Larsen, who won The Glee Project that got him a spot on the show in later seasons opens the Travie McCoy tune. Fellow singers Chord Overstreet (who played Sam Evans) jumps in for the rapping verse and is joined by vocal powerhouse Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones). A schoolyard Valentines Day dedication is just so sweet. Why didn’t that happen when I was in year 10?
Hey Monday – ‘Candles’
Fan favourites Kurt and Blaine sing this at a regional showchoir competition, but it’s really a public profession of their love at the prestigious Dalton Academy where they both attend. It’s a stripped back, acapella cover compared to the original Cassadee Pope vocals.
“I’m surprised,” Kurt says to Blaine. “You’re usually so Top 4o!” Considering Blaine (Darren Criss) often sang covers in the show that were more centred around pop, it was a nice change.
My Chemical Romance – ‘Sing’
I see red, red, red. And that has to be a nod to Gerard Way’s hair style when he made the music video for this song. In this episode, the Glee club join forces with their nemesis Sue Sylvester as she battles depression. This is definitely a song for coming together and belting it out in an auditorium, but can we ease off with the flannel and beanies?
The All-American Rejects -‘Gives You Hell’
Lea Michele is being as direct as she can be here. The assignment for the club that week is to find songs that feature the word ‘Hello,’ and while everyone else is focusing on happy tunes, Rachel Berry gets into her Tyson Ritter spirit. The facial expressions here are hilarious, as well as the iconic line “I’m sorry Mr Shue I’m just focusing on the first syllable.” Hell-o?
To avoid favouritism, I’ve avoided ranking them but My Chemical Romance gets a special shoutout for ‘Sing.’ They lended their song to Glee purely to “do some damage” to the world of pop music and isn’t that just the band being themselves?