It’s become a tradition over the past couple of years for the Glee cast to release a Christmas album. Usually it ties in with a festive episode of the show and this year’s Christmas Album Vol 3 is a companion to the recently aired Glee, Actually. Unfortunately for UK fans of the show the fourth season hasn’t aired here yet so they can be forgiven for not understanding the context for this album or knowing half of the characters. Regardless though most people will be familiar with the 10 covers included here.
Glee has really had a return to form during its fourth season as many of the original characters have left McKinley High and new blood has taken over. Rachel and Kurt are enjoying life in New York whilst Finn is now leading the Glee Club with new recruits Marley, Ryder, Jake and Kitty. Whilst the cast may have changed and expanded, thankfully the quality of the music remains the same. The Christmas Album Vol 3 features performances from characters old and new, with several of the songs exclusively available on the CD as they didn’t feature in Glee, Actually.
Opening the album is Chord Overstreet’s Sam with Jingle Bell Rock which he performed in the episode to impress new girlfriend Brittany when he thought the world would end as the Mayans predicted. How did these two not end up together earlier? Elsewhere on the album Lea Michele gets her chops around the fantastic I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Kevin McHale jumps out of his chair in a dream sequence for Feliz Navidad and new recruit Marley aka Melissa Benoist puts in a fantastic performance of The First Noel.
The finest moment on the album comes from Alex Newell as cross-dressing Unique on Joy To The World. It’s a real shame that this song wasn’t written into the episode as we would have loved to see him perform this on the show. Another great moment comes from Darren Criss and Chris Colfer (Blaine and Kurt) performing a duet of White Christmas.
The album comes to a close with Cory Monteith’s (Finn) rendition of the classic Happy Xmas (War Is Over) and demands you stick your CD player or iPod on loop so you can work your way through the album once again.
You know what you’re getting with Glee and good solid performances of classic tracks is exactly what it servers up. It’s a shame that the UK isn’t watching the show at the same time as the US but Sky One are showing it early January to minimise the disruptive transmission the show had during its last season. Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Vol 3 is another set of festive classics that will help you get in the holiday mood.