It's hard work keeping a juggernaut alive. "Glee" has enjoyed a stunning run, both on TV and on the pop charts. However, the strain is showing. While the songs on "Glee: The Music -- Season 4, Vol. 1" (Columbia) are as well sung as ever by the talented cast, the creative spark is dimming. Nearly all the songs here are simply faithful versions of the originals -- from Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" to Demi Lovato's "Give Your Heart a Break" -- that pale in comparison. And the season's best reworking, Darren Criss' emotional, piano-driven version of "Teenage Dream," isn't even included.


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"Glee: The Music -- Season 4, Vol.1"


BOTTOM LINE The show's struggles are spreading.