Tributee: The Beatles.
The July 2013 death of Cory Monteith, who played jock-turned-star singer Finn, cast a pall on the beginning of Glee's fifth season. It's not surprising, then, that Glee: Sings the Beatles bookends versions of the Fab Four's cheerier fare with subdued renditions of two of the band's most poignant songs, "Yesterday" and "Let It Be." In between are playful renditions of Beatles favorites like "Drive My Car" and "I Saw Her Standing There," but the collection also offers thoughtful takes on deeper cuts like "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and "Got to Get You Into My Life." Likewise, Glee: Sings the Beatles could have left the cast's women stuck on the sidelines as screaming Beatlemaniacs. However, some of the best moments, like the sweet rendition of "Here Comes the Sun" and the playful take on "A Hard Day's Night" have the ladies front and center. All in all, this is a respectful yet not too-slavish riff on the Beatles' songbook, and a promising start to season five's music. ~ Heather Phares