‘Glee’ Shines Spotlight On New Songs, Matthew Morrison

The 'New York' season finale was packed with original tunes, including Morrison's first single, 'Still Got Tonight.'

If there were any one word to best define Tuesday night’s season finale of “Glee,” it would be “new.”

New Directions, New York City and, perhaps most notably, new songs were all part of the season-two closer. While there were a fair share of covers during the episode, including an impressive all-girl a cappella rendition of Usher’s “Yeah!” and a Broadway-ready duet of “For Good” from “Wicked” by stars Lea Michele and Chris Colfer, it was a slew of original tunes that gave hard-core Gleeks something to sing about.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the show has creating its own music. Back in March, “Glee” debuted its first crop of original tracks, including the self-esteem rally cry “Loser Like Me,” Michele’s soulful ballad “Get It Right” (which was penned by “Glee” music producer Adam Anders and hitmaker Max Martin), Amber Riley’s attitude anthem “Hell to the No,” as well as the comedic tunes “Trouty Mouth” and “Big Ass Love.” But, now there’s more to be added to the original “Glee” catalog.

During the finale, titled “New York,” the New Directions opted to try out their own numbers to wow the judges at Nationals. While the tactic didn’t exactly work for them (the gang came in 12th place overall) they did give “Glee” fans something to savor over the summer while they wait for the third season to begin.

Their Nationals performance kicked off with a lovelorn duet called “Pretending” between on-again, off-again couple Rachel (Michele) and Finn (Cory Monteith). The duo sang to one another from across the stage, “Face to face and heart to heart/ We’re so close, yet so far apart.” Finchel echoed their romantic woes with lyrics like, “Will we ever say the words we’re feeling?” during their sweeping ballad. The song was so powerful, in fact, the two kissed onstage.

After “Pretending,” the rest of the club joined Rachel and Finn for another new song called “Light Up the World.” But, whereas “Pretending” went for sullen about confusing love, “Light Up the World” was unapologetic pop bliss.

Lead by a giddy guitar intro, Santana (Naya Rivera) started off the tune with her sultry voice, singing, “You and me keep on dancing in the dark/ It’s been tearing me apart/ Never knowing what we are/ You and me keep on tryin’ to play it cool/ Now it’s time to make a move/ And that’s what I’m going to do.” The song, which had an all-around vibe not dissimilar to “Loser Like Me” (easy on the ears, though not terribly memorable), also featured solos by Artie (Kevin McHale) and Brittany (Heather Morris.)

The kids weren’t the only ones to test out new material to the “Glee” audience. Matthew Morrison, who plays New Directions coach Will Schuester, released his self-titled debut album on the same day as the finale and got the chance to perform the first single from the record in the episode. During a scene in which Mr. Schuester tinkers with his own Broadway-bound dreams, Morrison crooned a portion of the track “Still Got Tonight,” which was co-written by former “American Idol” champ Kris Allen . In the pop ballad, Morrison cries in the chorus, “Time’s running out/ But we’ll hold back the sun somehow/ See the sky, we’ve still got tonight/ We’ve still got tonight.”

Recurring guest-star Charice (who plays rival glee club member Sunshine Corazon) also used “Glee” as an outlet for her own work. During her group Vocal Adrenaline’s moment at Nationals, the 19-year-old Internet sensation performed “As Long as You’re There,” a sweeping solo that highlighted the young star’s powerful voice.

Of course, if the songs are a hit (they are currently available for download on iTunes) fans could very well expect a whole lot more new next season too.

What did you think of the new, original songs featured during the second season finale of “Glee”? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!