Glee Review/Recap Season 5 Episode 4 ‘A Katy Or A Gaga’: Do I Have to Choose?

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Scheduling prevents a full review/recap of this week’s Glee Episode 4, A Katy or a Gaga, the first new Season 5 show in four weeks. But it hasn’t stopped me from sampling some scenes online and glomming what’s most important: the four new songs in its face-off, those being Katy Perry’s Wide Awake and Roar, and Lady Gaga’s Marry the Night and Applause.

All four are great songs, and Glee does them justice — especially Wide Awake, performed by the New Directions newbies in a soulful, multi-part vocal done almost a capella, with only subdued piano accompaniment until the end for a fervent, melancholy reinterpretation. You know — sort of like Katy’s lovely acoustic spin for The One That Got Away.

In a more faithful rendition, infectious pop hit Roar, melding Lima and NY casts, also seems tailor-made for Glee — as have previous Perry songs such as Teenage Dream and Last Friday Night. I mean, Glee almost can’t go wrong with the raven-haired gal from Santa Barbara.

But what of the blond-haired gal from New York? I mean, New Directions’ Applause is fierce enough for a fierce song, and newcomer Adam Lambert’s Marry the Night — to quote Demi Lovato’s Dani — “rocked it so hard” when he auditioned for Kurt and Santana’s new Gotham band.

Thus, Gaga, too, is well represented, as she has been previously with Glee’s Telephone and Bad Romance.

Since I don’t have to choose, I won’t — except to say this: I yearn more to hear more from Perry than from Gaga right now, because I am totally, completely, 100 per cent enthralled by her new Prism album (deluxe edition, with 16 tracks).

You want to talk about rocking “so hard”? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Legendary Lovers, Unconditionally, Love Me, This Is How We Do and It Takes Two. I give you what, for me, is the best album of the year.

Yes, Katy’s all grown up now, and even with bouncy revisits to her carefree girlish ways on tracks such as Birthday and International Smile, she has boldly gone where she hasn’t gone before: into the realm of more mature and meaningful material, with incredible arrangements and sensational lead vocals in which she sings the compositions’ notes (so refreshing!) and pours her heart out.

A Katy or a Gaga? Love ’em both. But for now, my heart is with Katy.

I don’t care what anyone else thinks: Prism does it for me. And while it’s good to hear one song from it — Roar — on Glee, so much more new Katy music is rocking my world.

So hard.

— Bruce Westbrook

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