Various Artists, "Glee: The Music Volume 1"

The great thing about "Glee"-Fox's new glammy musical comedy series-is that when you see the cast has covered "Somebody to Love" on the show's first soundtrack, you know straightaway that they're doing the hit by Queen instead of Jefferson Airplane. Co-created by Ryan Murphy, who put together the high-camp cult fave "Popular," "Glee" speaks to the same constituency that recoiled in horror when Kris Allen beat Adam Lambert on this year's season of "American Idol." And as on "Idol," that aesthetic is most appealingly expressed here in the material that seems the least suited for it-i.e., mushy heartland rock ballads like Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " and REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling," both of which these kids transform into stylish jazz-hands anthems. Spirited glee-club versions of Rihanna's "Take a Bow" and Jazmine Sullivan's "Bust Your Windows" are nice, too, but they lack a certain revenge-of-the-nerds triumph.-Mikael Wood

- Album Review


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