You all know how much I LOVE Lea Michele…
This is kind of a lengthy article, but it basically “reviews” the best of Lea’s performances on Glee. The writer of this article is a managing director for Prologue Theatre Company in Chicago. She basically kind of sums up exactly WHY Lea is SO GREAT…singing-wise anyway. Oh, and I added the pictures myself to help support the article.
This Girl’s Voice is Unstoppable!
Glee could have been a little cult hit without much viewers, but they made sure they cast the kind of talent that would make the world sit up and listen. Sure, there are fresh faces and raw talent, but they made sure that the lead female character was something special. Lea Michele doesn’t just have an incredible voice, she is one of the most talented Broadway vocalists of her generation. Her range is a dream, her tone is exceptional, her control is to die for, and she can really sing anything! It was hard to watch this season of American Idol, while listening to a talent like Lea Michele sing the stuffing out of songs each week. Just when you think you’ve heard all she has to offer, she hits a note higher and a run better then you ever expected. Let’s take a look at her finest vocal moments on Glee.
(1) Don’t Stop Believing: This is the song that started the whole phenomenon. If you weren’t sure who Lea Michele was before, this performance put her on your radar. Her voice absolutely soars through this Journey classic, and they sing it in a key that makes it intensely high for her. In usual form, she belts out a “D” like it is scratching her arm. Her voice made all of this happen!
(2) Borderline/Open Your Heart: I love Rachel/Finn duets, and this is no different. During Madonna week there was a lot going on, but this sweet mash up of two of Madonna’s early hits was just perfect. It shows off a softer, sweeter side of Lea Michele’s vocals and is also a really pretty duet.
(3) Poker Face: Lady Gaga week was amazing and it all came down to this incredible duet between Lea Michele and Idina Menzel. This is the stuff Broadway dreams are made of! It just doesn’t get any better then getting to hear Broadways young star with a living Broadway legend. This duet is fun, flirty, moving, and the harmony is awesome.
(4) Take a Bow: Rihanna isn’t known for her amazing technical skills, so it took everyone by surprise when Lea Michele turned this simple melody into a huge ballad. If anyone knows how to turn every song into a vocal masterpiece, it’s Lea. She builds it to a big held note during the bridge and effortlessly goes into the final chorus. It’s so beautiful.
(5) Taking Chances: This lesser known Celine Dion song, written by Kara DioGuardi, is literally one of the most stunning vocals you will ever hear. It blows Celine Dion’s version away, and shows us that Lea Michele is full of surprises. Her vocals show such respect for the integrity of a song, and when she decides to change it up and make it her own, it’s not over done, it’s amazing.
(6) Total Eclipse of the Heart: This is an easy song for someone with Lea Michele’s range, but her voice is great in every part of her range. This is one of the numbers that Jonathan Groff, her Broadway co-star, is around for and it is so fun to see them in a completely different light then their dark story line in the Tony Award winning Spring Awakening.
(7) Maybe This Time: Not only did we get to see Lea Michele sing with Idina Menzel on Glee, we also got to hear her sing with Kristin Chenoweth. Basically, this show causes Broadway fans to die and go to Broadway heaven. We get to see our favorite stars right on our television set singing duets we’d all love to hear. They sound amazing together, and Lea really turns up the heat for all these older, Broadway divas.
(8) Endless Love: I couldn’t figure out how we were going to be able to get a duet between Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison, as he plays her teacher. I knew they would have to figure out something, because you can’t have two Broadway stars on a show never sing together. Luckily, Lea Michele developed a short crush on Morrison’s character and the rest is history.
(9) Somebody to Love: This might be primarily a group number, but every soloist is a stand out here, and of course Lea Michele is one of them. She takes this Queen classic by storm, without stealing the thunder from her fellow castmates. It’s such an amazing ensemble number with everyone turning in such great performances.
(10) I Dreamed a Dream: That’s right, we get not one, but two duets with Lea and Idina Menzel! This one is so powerful and moving! It serves to not only showcase how great this song can be with amazing harmony as a duet, but it also pushes the story line forward in a really meaningful way. This one might even make you tear up.
(11) No Air: I’m a sucker for a Rachel/Finn duet, and this might just be my favorite. Especially, since it’s hard to listen to the original since Chris Brown ruined my ability to listen to any of his music. Lea Michele shows that she can match Jordin Sparks’s range no problem and has us all daydreaming about how she could have won every season of American Idol. UMM…TOTALLY!
(12) Smile: This is so fun and playful! I never thought I would get to hear Lea Michele sing a Lilly Allen song. It did not disappoint. We are so used to her singing the big ballads and dramatic numbers, that it is nice when she gets a fun song like this to be flirty and sassy.
(13) Like a Prayer: She opens up this Madonna number and it is so stunning that you might hold your breath and gape at your television in awe. I know I did. She just nails it. It’s haunting, beautiful, dramatic, and as usual she immediately captures your attention. She isn’t only an amazing singer, but a fabulous performer.
(14) Don’t Rain on My Parade: This was so good it won the Glee Club regionals and it got Lea Michele invited to the Tony Awards to reprise it. Her performance on the show was stunning, and her performance at the Tony Awards was straight up the best vocal audition any one’s going to have for the next revival of Funny Girl.
(15) Faithfully: I don’t know how the Glee club didn’t win sectionals! Lea Michele literally takes this song to new heights and fantastic notes. She belts and sustaining an “F” in this song and again does it like it’s the easiest note anyone could ever hit. Journey is definitely the band that got Glee club started, and it’s thanks to them and Lea Michele that this show is such a success.
As far as Lea Michele goes…I could listen to her sing ANYTHING. It’s hard to believe that a year ago, I didn’t even know who she was. Now, she’s like one of my favorite singers alongside Carrie Underwood and Celine Dion. Her voice is RIDICULOUS, especially for her age, she can sing ALL styles of music, not to mention her acting chops are quite awesome as well. Guess you could say she’s pretty perfect…at least IMO.
Such a hard choice to decide which performance of hers was my favorite on the show because I love ALL of them. Ever week I would WAIT to hear what song she’ll be singing next on the show…and I HATED IT when she wasn’t featured in an episode. Hated it. I think if I HAD to choose a favorite, I probably would pick Total Eclipse of the Heart or Poker Face. I think Lea’s voice is so haunting in TEOTH, plus I love that song to begin with. In Poker Face, talk about a DREAM COME TRUE to hear Lea sing with Idina Menzel! The harmonies in that one are amazing, and the stylistic arrangement was awesome to hear coming from Lea.
What’s your favorite?