Many have said that this season of Glee has been the best… wait for it… in terms of the song selection. Now that we’ve finished season 4 (sobs in the corner) I thought I would countdown the best songs of the season (in my own opinion of course) The Glee cast have covered 131 songs this season, so as you can imagine whittling down the list to just 25 was super hard, here goes: (Possible spoilers ahoy!!!)
25. Come See About Me Quinn, Santana & Brittany – Finally the Unholy Trinity made a comeback! After 3 seasons’ fans were eagerly awaiting another number from the popular trio and in 4×08 ‘Thanksgiving’ we finally got to see them reunited, singing The Supremes hit ‘Come See About Me’. With Quinn taking the lead in this one, Brittany and Santana provided perfect harmonies for the memorable performance, memories from episode two, season 1 anyone?
24. New York State of Mind Rachel & Marley – Again, another from the first episode of season 4, cleverly entitled ‘The New Rachel’ we see this has two meanings. ‘New York State of Mind’ is performed by Rachel Berry and new sophomore student Marley Rose. Their duet is shown cutting between the two locations NYADA and McKinley. Although we’re only just introduced to Marley, we already see that this song marks a new beginning for both characters, with Marley being ‘The New Rachel’ of the group and Rachel Berry herself, starting a new chapter in her life, therefore also ‘The New Rachel’.
23. Torn Rachel – Since the beginning of season 4 people could see that Rachel Berry in New York was rather different to the Rachel Berry we seen in Ohio. After moving to the big apple, getting a place at the well-respected performing arts school NYADA and a possessing a new care-free attitude, this Rachel Berry needed a reality check. In 4×12 ‘Naked’ we saw the ‘old’ Rachel duet with the ‘new’ Rachel, singing the Natalie Imbruglia song ‘Torn’. This song was prompted after Rachel was asked to play a role in a student film that required her to be nude. It was a good way to show the inner conflict Rachel was having whilst dueting with herself and of course Lea Michele killed it again!
22. It’s Time Blaine –Blaine covers new breakthrough band Imagine Dragons singing hit song ‘It’s Time’. The whole point of the song is Blaine urging Kurt (who doesn’t know what to do with his life after graduating and being rejected from NYADA) to go to New York and follow his dreams. With an energetic performance from Darren Criss, we see a possible reason behind the ‘cup craze’ also featured in the 2012 film ‘Pitch Perfect’.
21. How To Be A Heartbreaker Brody and Rachel – Long overdue was a Brody led song, Dean Geyer has a brilliant voice which he showcased in this Marina & The Diamonds song. This is the pivotal moment when our suspicions are confirmed, and Brody is indeed a male escort. 4×16 ‘Feud’ was a big episode for Brody and Rachel who were both seen lying to each other about who they were and what they really wanted from the relationship, although Rachel had small part in the song, it was Brody’s song for the steal. A catchy number and a lot of quick moments land the song at number 21.
20. Come What May Blaine and Kurt – This was just so beautiful. In 4×15 ‘Girls (and Boys) On Film we see a sort of dream sequence of the song after Kurt’s memory is triggered when whilst watching Moulin Rouge, Santana says that ‘Come What May’ was the song Kurt and Blaine would have at their wedding. The song was sung beautifully, but the whole scene and performance made it, the lighting and setting of the rooftop was just so romantic, definitely my favourite Klaine duet!
19. Say New Directions – After that episode, 4×18 ‘Shooting Star’ I was already an emotional wreck, but this song just made me bawl even harder, I think it was because you’re put through so much in that episode, so when you see them all uniting after what could’ve potentially been a close call, it was really heart-warming. In my opinion, I prefer this cover to the original by John Mayer. The candlelit scene was just really reassuring to see that they’ll always be there for one another.
18. My Prerogative Jake – I love Jacob Artist’s voice anyway, but just like everyone else, including Mike and Mercedes have said, he’s a triple threat. This performance in 4×17 ‘Guilt Pleasures’ was to drool over. His dance moves are just epic, he reminds me of a younger Justin Timberlake, he’s so slick it’s unreal. It was a toss-up between this song and ‘I Wish’ from 4×21 ‘Wonder-ful’ but I much preferred this performance and song, so I went for this one. I really hope we get to see more Jacob Artist in S5!
17. Outcast New Directions – I’ve always loved the original songs, so I was super happy when they went down the Marley song-writing route, this song is just one reason for that! As much as I love the covers Glee do, I always find it so cool how they can create an original song and make it just as popular as any of the covers they do. People can’t just say that all they have in their repertoire is covers, because they’ve actually created original songs. Once Rachel left, people were left wondering if we would ever get any more original songs, but then we got Rachel 2.0 kinda, and he we are, with 3 original songs this season. 4×19 ‘Sweet Dreams’ Marley followed up from her confession in the school shooting episode when she said she wanted her songs to be heard. Since they seem to have started this new tradition of letting the New Directions do a number at the end of every episode, we get this wonderful pop song that takes us back to what Glee is really about.
16. There Are Worse Things I Could Do Santana, Cassandra July & Unique – They’ve previously tried their hand at the likes of The Rocky Horror Show and West Side Story, Season 4 was all about Grease! Episode 4×06 ‘Glease’ marked the brief return of Glee’s recently graduated seniors Santana, Mike, Kurt and Rachel. All of whom broke up with their over half in 4×04 The Break-Up episode, returning to McKinley wasn’t going to be easy. After Wade/Unique is told he isn’t allowed to play the part of Rizzo, temporary Glee club mentor Finn, decides to call on “the obvious choice” Santana Lopez. Santana takes the lead on this one after a sweet conversation with Brittany, with input from Cassandra July (Rachel’s evil dance teacher at NYADA who steals Miss Berry’s new love interest, Brody) and Wade/Unique. This song fits the circumstances for these three characters perfectly, with Naya Rivera owning it as always!
15. Creep Brody and Rachel – I’m not sure if anyone can ever do it better than Radiohead, but this was sure damn close. Rachel and Brody’s break-up song/performance was so dramatic just like the song itself, the production was well thought out. Being featured in 4×17 ‘Guilty Pleasures’ I was sure if Ryan Murphy intentionally meant for this to count as a guilty pleasure, or if it was just coincidence that they broke up this episode, because personally I wouldn’t count the song as a guilty pleasure. After Rachel finds out about Brody’s extra-curricular activities via the one and only Santana Lopez, the two have a showdown, which marks the good-bye of Dean Geyer’s character with his best performance this season. I mean, it was left open, Brody could still come back and I hope he does, because not only is he a great singer, but he’s a nice bit of eye-candy too!
14. We’ve Got Tonight Finn & Rachel – In the most recent episode of Glee we seen the first duet this season from popular couple Finchel (Finn & Rachel). 4×14 ‘I Do’ shows the former couple reuniting to sing Bob Seger’s ‘We’ve Got Tonight’ at the reception of the Wemma (Will and Emma) wedding which doesn’t actually go ahead. This is an interesting duet, because it proceeds to show a number of some (very surprising) hook-ups between characters on the show. This musical number goes from being an enchanting song between two high-school sweethearts, to jaw-dropping within the space of 3 minutes 55 seconds. The couples who hook-up; Bertie (Artie & Betty), Quinntana (Quinn & Santana), Jarley (Jake & Marley) and Klaine (Kurt & Blaine) all feature, singing a line separately in the song.
13. This Is the New Year New Directions – Some people have referred to this as ‘Don’t Stop Believin 2.0’ and I can agree… to an extent. Obviously nothing can beat the original, but this group number comes fairly close. Another song from 4×12 ‘Naked’, The New Directions take on A Great Big World’s hit, ‘This Is the New Year’. Ryan Murphy leaked the performance a few days before the episode aired, it looked and sounded great then, but seeing it in context with the rest of the episode, this song was the perfect choice and a great way to end one of season 4’s best episodes!
12. Nutbush City Limits Santana – Episode 13 ‘Diva’ marked the return of Lima’s own Diva, Santana Lopez. This lively performance from the cheerio was refreshing to see, as we haven’t had many routines that energetic this season. Many people weren’t too keen on this song choice a few days prior, however once they’d seen the performance, they seemed to change their mind. In a recent interview Alex Newell, who plays Wade/Unique jokes Naya ‘stole his vocal chords’ referring to the number of high notes she reaches in the song. A surprise favourite for me!
11. Home/Homeward Bound Finn, Mercedes, Quinn, Santana, Mike and Puck – What is there not to love about this performance? In the ‘Thanksgiving’ episode 4×08 all the graduates return except Rachel and Kurt who decide to spend the holiday in NY. Finn, Quinn, Puck, Mike, Mercedes and Santana reunite to sing this mash-up of ‘Home’ by Phillip Phillips and ‘Homeward Bound’ by Simon and Garfunkel. It’s almost a tease, because we know we won’t get another song featuring that many of the original cast again for a while. The harmonies between the group are faultless, and this performance, gives those who have fell out of love with the show, a reason to tune in!
10. Some Nights New Directions – Last season they covered hit song of 2012 ‘We Are Young’ by fun. In the seventh episode of the season ‘Dynamic Duets’, the glee club are at it again with a cover of ‘Some Nights’. After almost re-joining the Warblers, Blaine reunites with the ND, stronger than ever and just in time for Sectionals. They perform the song in red t-shirts identical to the ones first worn in the pilot episode, where they sing ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ Finn watches them perform whilst most likely casting his mind back and seeing the resemblance.
9. Don’t Dream It’s Over Finn & New Directions – In the 9th episode of season 4, the New Direction reunite once again, in a snowy setting, after being disqualified at sectionals (due to Marley fainting) and the loss of performance space at the auditorium due to this. The whole episode ‘Swan Song’ focuses on the characters losing belief in what they love. With nowhere to practice, the New Directions see it as time to give up on Glee until the next competition. Whereas in New York, Kurt doesn’t see a future for him at NYADA after being told he isn’t allowed to re-audition, however as the title of the song suggests, they don’t give up hope, Kurt is allowed to audition for NYADA at the winter showcase, and during this performance, he tells Rachel he got accepted;. The New Directions aren’t so lucky; however they show that they have each other!
8. All Or Nothing Marley and Blaine with New Directions – The songs for Regionals are always usually epic, so when Will announced the New Directions would be performing one of Marley’s original songs (much to Brittany’s annoyance, who wanted them to sing the infamous ‘My Cup’) I was delighted. The last episode of the season titled the same as the song, 4×22 ‘All Or Nothing’ left me a bit disappointed with the actual competition itself, all the songs were brilliant, what left me annoyed was how rushed it felt. There was no deliberation over who wins, there was next to none rivalry between the different clubs, I felt the massive build-up to didn’t pay off one bit, however going back to the songs, this was my favourite original song this season. A duet with the strongest Glee club members, Marley and Blaine was a good choice. It’s such a Glee song, yet it feels new, it’s sweet and just wow I just loved it!
7. To Love You More Rachel – Another from 4×22 ‘All Or Nothing’ we see Rachel sing the Celine Dion classic ‘To Love You More’ for her Funny Girl call-back. As you can imagine, she KILLED it, I particularly liked the last part of the song where Lea Michele experiments with her voice by doing little flicks and all sorts of tricks. Quite surprisingly this was the only part Rachel was in for the finale, being the star of the show and all that you’d think she’d have gone back to Lima for Regionals, but with Finn away I suppose it might’ve seemed pointless. If this performance is anything to go by, Rachel deserves that part as Fanny Brice!
6. At The Ballet Isabelle, Santana, Rachel and Kurt – I’m not a fan of many Broadway songs, however, like many other times Glee have managed to turn me. Naya Rivera said she hadn’t heard the song before she was asked to perform it and said it was her favourite performance of season 4. Of course in 4×20 ‘Lights Out’ we had the return of SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) this was apparently her idea to sing and boy I’m glad they did. Santana starts with the first verse, and SJP takes the other two. It was nice to hear Rachel play a back-up singer for once, obviously when she and Kurt sung it sounded as angelic as always, but this song was Santana and Isabelle’s. The note that Naya and Lea hold at the end is just…mind-blowing. The performance looks nice visually, both the lighting and the ballerinas dancing in the background.
5. Never Say Never Jake – In the season 4 premiere we were introduced to a number of new characters, who go on to become the newest New Directions. Jake Puckerman – that’s right there’s another one… sings The Fray’s ‘Never Say Never’. With a voice that heavenly, it had to be included in the list, not only does Jacob Artist who plays the character, have a lovely, unique voice, his bad boy gone good character also resembles that of his older half-brother Noah Puckerman’s earlier days.
4. Hall of Fame Artie, Jake, Joe, Ryder, Sam and Blaine – The last Regionals song on my list – I promise. This was the best song of 4×22 ‘All Or Nothing’ for me, I actually prefer it a lot more than the original by The Script. It’s just so appropriate for their situation and very aspirational, I mean I don’t have to mention how well it sounded, because we know by now that the Glee club can sing. I preferred this performance to the girls, because I liked their song, whereas as this one I LOVED. Definitely one of my favourite songs the New Directions have ever sung at a competition. I may or may not still have this song on repeat since Thursday.
3. Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself) Jake – Jake Puckerman presents a beautifully slowed down version of Ne-Yo’s song ‘Let Me Love You’. Whilst serenading girlfriend Marley, Jake attempts to express his love for her, the only way glee members can, by singing her a song. He manages to subtly hint that he loves her through the song, as they have yet to say ‘those 3 words’. 4X12 ‘Naked’ is a strong episode for the couple as they also sing Christina Perri’s ‘A Thousand Years’ – I would’ve loved to include that song somewhere in the list, but there wasn’t enough room (damn it glee for having such good songs this season!) Anyway, Jacob Artist sings the song in a completely unique way, to make it easy to separate this version from the original.
2. The Scientist Finn, Rachel, Santana, Brittany, Kurt, Blaine, Will & Emma – The runner up is… The Scientist! In 4×04 The Break-Up, after all the relationships are tested and only one comes out alive, The Scientist has the title for the best group number that had me tearing up at the same time. Finn, Rachel, Santana, Brittany, Kurt, Blaine, Will and Emma all come together to sing one of Coldplay’s best songs in my opinion. In a heart breaking performance about how hard it is to let go of the person you love. The audio on its own is very touching, yet the performance itself gives me goose bumps, it’s so raw and emotional, which is why it makes it one of the best songs Glee have done to date!
1. Mine Santana – And the winner is… Mine!!! You guessed it, another song from 4×04 ‘The Break-Up’ episode. Before I wrote this list, I already knew what my Number 1 would be. There was no doubt about it, that ‘Mine’ was the clear front runner. Not only is Naya Rivera’s voice even more incredible and flawless in this song (who knew it was possible?) Santana really seems to sing to Brittany with real passion and emotion in her voice. I’m not ashamed to say that I can’t watch this performance without crying my eyes out (I’m sure I’m not alone). The arrangement of the song is completely different to the original by Taylor Swift. Performed in the choir room, Santana says to Brittany she’ll let the music speak for her because sometimes words aren’t enough – This bit already had me going. She then proceeds to sing ‘Mine’ and you see the pair crying; it really tugs on your heartstrings. Therefore this song is a clear winner, not only is it beautifully sung, but the performance is just really moving. Some sources even say Heather was crying for real during this scene, and no fake tears were used!
Definitely worthy of a mention:
– Love Song Quinn, Rachel and Santana
– Shout Brittany and Blaine with New Directions
– A Thousand Years Marley and Jake
– Everybody Talks Kitty and Jake
– Girl on Fire Santana
– Make No Mistake (She’s Mine) Sam and Santana
NEXT: Top 20 Songs Glee should cover in Season 5!