Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Unpretty/I Feel Pretty" from Glee

With a few exceptions, I've been underwhelmed by Glee this season. Maybe it's the sophomore slump or perhaps it's because the show has been uneven (even by Glee standards), but I haven't had much to say about the show. However, last night's episode was better than most, and might even be up there with the first half of the first season.

The best number of the night (and one of the best, if not best, of the season), was Rachel and Quinn's rendition of "Unpretty/I Feel Pretty." Although the two actresses' voices don't seem like they would mesh together well, they were able to make the most of Quinn's voice, which is pretty but not particularly strong, while toning down Rachel's powerhouse voice. In addition to the beautifully balanced vocals, the direction and editing was excellent and added to the song's poignancy. Even though I had no love for "Unpretty" or "I Feel Pretty" as separate songs, I've listened to this song on repeat for the past hour.

I particularly appreciate that the understated arrangement really highlights the lyrics of the songs. Back when I worked in speech and drama at the high school level, I remember someone telling me that a student used "Unpretty" as part of her poetry piece. While I was skeptical back then, I totally see how the lyrics can stand on their own without the music.