As the first "Glee" cast member to release a solo album under a major label, you'd think Matthew Morrison -- who plays glee club teacher Will Schuester on the hit show -- would be feeling some pressure right about now. But the Broadway vet-turned-TV star and solo artist doesn't show any nerves on his self-titled debut, which follows through on his goal to merge classing crooning with "eclectic" pop.
For his first effort, Morrison recruited the iconic Elton John and Sting for standout duets, and his sometime-"Glee" love interest Gwyneth Paltrow for a reprise of "Over the Rainbow." In other words, if, like Emma Pillsbury on "Glee," you're wild about Will Schuester's romancing and impeccably placed locks, this album was made for you.
How does "Matthew Morrison" measure up? Here's our Twitter-length track-by-track review of each song.
You be the judge: Want to see your take on "Matthew Morrison" published on Billboard.com? Tweet us your own review at @billboarddotcom (using hashtag #bbmrschue). The best tweets will be posted on Billboard.com in the coming days.
1. "Summer Rain" -- Who needs lover's lane when there's a rainy rooftop to make love on? Most people, actually, but go ahead w/your bad self, Mr. Sch- er, Matt.
2. "Still Got Tonight" -- Guitars rev up for this seductive rock ballad boasting raspy vocals. When he sings this to Emma next week, hearts everywhere will melt.
3. "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot" feat. Sting -- Sting and Matthew go together like Santana and Britt on this easygoing, piano-based duet that crescendoes nicely w/ a choir and full band.
4. "My Name" -- Sluggish, semi-cliched take on the pitfalls of fame. "All this love surrounds me, but I'm still alone...that part is only part of me." Next!
5. "Hey" -- Setting aside the fact that Matthew needs no introduction, Bruno Mars fans will dig this track's sweet reggae rhythm & flirtatious ooh oohs.
6. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" feat. Gwyneth Paltrow -- Welcome back, Gwyneth! Can't go wrong with this cover, especially the ukulele version. Lovely when he did it on "Glee," & still is.
7. "Dancing in the Rain" -- Hello, throbbing bassline - fancy meeting you here! I'll take the welcome dose of adrenaline, but what's with all this shilling for rain?
8. "It Don't Matter to the Sun" -- Matthew dials it down - way down - for this last-ditch effort to save a relationship. If he sang this to us, we'd reconsider - just saying.
9. "Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters"/"Rocket Man" feat. Elton John -- You know you're hot when you score Elton -- & two of his classics, to boot -- for your album. Only problem: how to match his epic vocals?
10. "It's Over" -- And so it is. We close out with somber piano, strings and classic crooning about love lost. Schue says: Class dismissed!