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Soundtrack reviews: 'Glee' and 'New Moon'

Reviews of two eagerly awaited soundtracks: The first is from the Fox TV show, "Glee," and the other is from the second "Twilight" film, "New Moon."

Various, "Glee: The Music, Volume 1" (Columbia)

Fans of Fox's irreverent musical comedy "Glee" will love this soundtrack, which includes 17 songs from the show about a high school glee club performed by its talented cast.

They'll remember cute teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) pop-locking as he raps on Kanye West's "Gold Digger," feel self-centered star Rachel Berry's (Lea Michele) heartache as she sings into a hairbrush on Rihanna's "Take a Bow" and picture the fast-paced routine led by cheer captain Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) to the Supremes' "Keep Me Hanging On."

They'll relish the harmonies and recall the group's triumph on Queen's "Somebody to Love" and smile again at Will's bowling-alley duet with Kristin Chenoweth on Heart's "Alone."

Though the vocal performances are top-notch, those unfamiliar with "Glee" may prefer the originals to the cover versions on the soundtrack. But the album's eclectic mix of songs has its own appeal: Where else would you find a mix tape that includes tracks from Neil Diamond, Young MC, REO Speedwagon and "Cabaret"? Non-Gleeks can also appreciate the innovative choral arrangements on Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and the girls' background harmonies on the 1989 rap hit "Bust A Move."

Missing from the soundtrack, though, are the memorable mash-ups of Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" with Usher's "Confessions" and Beyonce's "Halo" with Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine." A second volume of "Glee" music is set to hit stores next month.

- The Associated Press

Various, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (Atlantic)

At this point, you can hardly go wrong buying into a vampire franchise. Tweens dig cute fang boys. Moms dream of toothy, near-fatal seductions. Dads dig vamp vixens. Everyone wins.

With a soundtrack overseen by music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas ("Gossip Girl," "The O.C."), "New Moon" oozes top-notch alt-all-star spookiness, recent cuts by Bon Iver and Grizzly Bear and a Muse remix, among others.

The original tracks on "New Moon" are surprisingly sedate - in fact, the whole affair is quieter and softer than its "Twilight" predecessor. While one doesn't require, say, the heavy hand of a Bauhaus to get the blood flowing, bringing Death Cab for Cutie (a tensely emotive yet melodically weak "Meet Me on the Equinox") to a teen soap opera is like playing Susan Boyle as background for "Saw VI." It's discordant, but not in the interesting way.

Thankfully, Radiohead's Thom Yorke keeps his electro-ballad "Hearing Damage" jittery, pensive yet unnerving. Yorke's crepuscular tone belongs to vampire cinema. And God bless the Killers for playing up their camp side. "A White Demon Love Song" gives goth-glam a great name and lets Brandon Flowers ham it up splashily. It's no "Monster Mash," but it's close.

- A.D. Amorosi, Philadelphia Inquirer

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