It's graduation time in Glee

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - June 29, 2012 - 12:00am

The third season of Glee has come to an end. And, while the popular TV series will definitely be back for Season 4, this last one was also in a way, an ending. This is because the lead characters, those seniors in Mr. Will’s glee group, have now graduated from high school. You know how it goes in most successful TV shows, the characters stay the same throughout the run. Remember John Travolta as a high school senior during all four seasons of Welcome Back, Kotter? That is not going to happen in Glee.

And this graduation happened with the appropriate songs that have now been compiled in an album. Now I do not know which show, Glee or American Idol, has released more soundtrack CDs, but I have a feeling that Glee is the more successful one in this regard. Not only because of great sales, 43 million songs and 12 million albums sold and still counting, but also because of its consistently well-produced CDs and excellent song choices.

Prime examples of these are the Showstoppers, The Warblers and Journey To The Nationals albums, where motley collections of songs gained new lives as Glee music. So I have come to expect the same with each Glee CD that comes along, plus, of course the sparkling performances from the talented cast. And that was why, Glee’s latest CD caught me off-guard. This is The Music Glee Season Three, The Graduation Album. Everything got even better with this one and the CD must be the best to come out of the series.

It must be because of the graduation theme. Instead of using just the best songs of the season, the producers chose songs of triumph, We Are The Champions by Queen and Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) by Green Day; of inspiration, Edge Of Glory by Lady Gaga and Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen; of encouragement, I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz and Roots Before Branches by Room For Two; and of even wistful goodbyes, I Was Here by Beyoncé and Forever Young by Rod Stewart.

The CD must be the best to come out of the series

The result is thoroughly upbeat and I am sure that next year’s graduation events will take note of those songs. It has to be next year because the Glee album missed this year’s ceremonies by two months because kids here graduate in March, while those in the US including those who go to the fictitious William McKinley High School graduate in June. So they will have to wait till next year to try out those songs in school, most particularly, the cuts I like best in the collection.

We Are Young by Fun featuring Janelle Monae is performed by the New Directions. This is one of the songs by which we will remember the year 2012. It talks about disturbing nonsense but is so uplifting and lots of fun. School’s Out by Alice Cooper is done by Mark Salling as Puck. I have not heard this one in so long but it still rocks. I’ll Remember by Madonna from the movie With Honors: One of Madonna’s great ballads done beautifully by Chris Colfer as Kurt. And You Get What You Give by the New Radicals and Not The End by So Manys — these are good but lesser known songs. I am happy they made it to the album and I discovered their positive messages.

In a way, it is sad that the Glee characters have graduated. Things will now surely change in the show. But on the other hand, that is also better than watching aging high school students. Matthew Morrison as Will is definitely coming back next season but I do not know who among the graduates will remain in the show. If they do, will the series now follow their individual stories or will there be a new batch of seniors for Will’s glee club? And most important of all, will these kids be as good and appealing as the original cast? No matter. As of now, Glee fans are happy over what a great send-off and rousing conclusion the album turned out to be.

And how fitting is this quote from the French poet Alphonse de Lamartine in the way music served to enhance and further the story of Glee: “Music is the literature of the heart: It commences where speech ends.”

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