"Glee" went in a lot of directions this season, but at the end of the day, the show is really about the music, so much so that the show branched out into original songs this year and dominated the iTunes charts like no "artist" before (though I still thing that counting "Glee Cast" as a single artist for chart tracking purposes is a bit of a cheat).
So looking back at this past season, which songs stood out to me as my favorites? Well, going through my week-by-week reviews, re-listening to the music and re-watching some key episodes, I've narrowed my list down to the top 11. Apologies to "Me Against the Music" (from "Britney/Brittany") and "Valerie" (from "Special Eduction"), which I really wanted to get in there, but in the end I had to admit that they just fell short. But damn if I don't listen to them ALL THE TIME.
11. "Get it Right" - Rachel (from "Original Song")
This was the first of Glee's five original songs this season, and I'm still really impressed with how well it holds up.
10. "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" - Rachel/Kurt (from "Special Education")
It sucks that the actual performance from the show isn't available on YouTube, but the performance isn't the important part here, the vocals are.
9. "Born This Way" - New Directions (from "Born This Way")
I still don't think this is a great song overall (talking about the original here), but this performance is just so much fun.
8. "When I Get You Alone" - Blaine and the Warblers (from "Silly Love Songs")
Blaine dominated most of the performances by The Warblers this season, but this time it was both excusable and awesome.
7. "Thriller/Heads Will Roll" - New Directions (from "Sue Sylvester Shuffle")
I only gave this a B+ in my original review of the episode. That was a mistake, possibly because I was still wondering why you'd bother mashing up "Thriller" with anything. But this was by far the best mash-up of the season.
6. "Pretending" - Finn and Rachel (from "New York")
Now in this case it REALLY sucks that the performance isn't on YouTube, because the kiss at the end is what sells this one. I'm also wondering if given more separation from the episode if I won't drop this down the list.
5. "Telephone" - Rachel and Sunshine (from "Audition")
I don't think this song is better than the original Lady Gaga/Beyonce duet (not even close, to be honest), but I might actually listen to it more often on my iPhone.
4. "Blackbird" - Kurt (from "Original Song")
Man, Chris Colfer's singing voice is crazy good. I might have disliked some of the focus on him this season, but I'm fine with him singing as much as possible on the show.
3. "Rolling in the Deep" - Jesse and Rachel (from "Prom Queen")
Speaking of voices, going with instrumental on this song means that the voices have to be absolutely perfect, and they are.
2. "Landslide" - Holly, Brittany and Santana (from "Sexy")
Here's how good this performance was: I don't particularly like this song and I REALLY don't like Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly Holliday, but I adored this performance. The raw emotion between Santana and Brittany was phenomenal.
1. "Pure Imagination" - New Directions (from "Funeral")
There isn't a better quality version of this performance on YouTube, which is a shame, because it's both amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. And it probably clinched Jane Lynch an Emmy.