The Library: "Rumour Has It/Someone Like You" from the Cast of Glee

In The Library, I recommend songs that I think would be a great addition to anyone's music collection. This time, we're talking about one of the most skilled mash-ups I've ever heard. Glee gets a lot of flack for its music arrangements. I was beating that drum all throughout the first season for various sites (ghostwriting, though an occasional feature would pop up). It's not that the arrangements are bad. They just, early on, had a bad habit of taking the edge out of some great songs--theater and music industry alike--to essentially push as pop factory hits.

Season 3 has seen a lot more depth, grit, and narrative purpose to the song choices. This is a huge step in the right direction for the show. I've actually been trying to convince people who would tell me I was stupid for skipping weeks of the show in the first season to give the show a try again. It's actually functioning as musical TV like the pilot at this point.

On the mash-up week, new glee club The Troubletones did a phenomenal mash-up of Adele songs. It is as good as Adele's remix album (from DJ Mick Boogie, who turned strong blues/pop into club-ready dance anthems), which is just another testament to the strength of her songwriting. Current hit single "Someone Like You" is blended seamlessly with "Rumour Has It"--a song that's getting club and airplay without officially being an official single.

This mash-up has a lot of things going for it. Two of the stronger singers on the show take the lead. Amber Riley--so rarely allowed to showcase her pop soprano--is a perfect fit for "Rumour Has It," bringing a great edge and smooth pop belting to the driving track. Naya Rivera--my favorite singer on the show--takes over "Someone Like You." This is an odd choice for the self-proclaimed alto. However, when the music director du juor pushes her into her upper register, she sounds incredible. This is a case of someone being given wrong information early in her career (I'm guessing high school). She's a mezzo-soprano with a strong belt. The two voices have a perfect blend. They highlight each other's strengths and add a lot more depth to what could have been a very bland and repetitive song.

The backbone of the song is the drum and vocal loop of "Rumour Has It." The verses are punctuated by (I think) a floor tom in an atypical 4/4 rhythm (emphasis is placed on the 2 and 4-and in each measure) that only lets up for a moment of silence in the first verse. This is paired low drone of a choral "ooo," resting every fourth beat. Whether placed beneath a higher version of "Rumour Has It" or a lower version of "Someone Like You," it adds this great sense of energy and excitement to the mash-up.

I bought the track as soon as it was available to download. I have a feeling you might feel the same way when you finish listening to it.

Thoughts? Love to hear them.

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