Gwyneth Paltrow, who seems to garner more publicity these days for her music than she does for her movie roles, has teamed up with Glee star Matthew Morrison to cover the classic "Over The Rainbow." (Listen to the audio at Entertainment Weekly.) Morrison, who has rocketed to stardom playing Will Schuester on Fox's hit musical comedy, has sung with Paltrow before on Glee â€” the two once even shared an onscreen kiss (though rumors of a real-life romance have been shot down). Does their new duet generate any electricity?
There is nothing original about it: "I suppose you can't really judge" the song on such a short clip, says Lainey Gossip. "But there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference" between this cover and "the version that the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole was so well known for." Covers are supposed to break new ground, and when a "sound is SO associated with a particular artist," it strikes me as "lazy" to "front like you're somehow making it fresh."
"Preview listen of Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow 'Over the Rainbow'"
And it is just dull: This song is "about as unoffensive as you can get without crossing over into nursery rhyme territory," says Becky Bain at Idolator. If anything, this version is "even more easy listening" than the Kamakawiwo'ole version. This wouldn't be such a negative if Morrison's other recent single, "Summer Rain," weren't also so "sappy."
"Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow get cheesy on 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'"
This is so, so awful... but it could be worse: Paltrow "is like a PG-rated funhouse mirror of pop culture," says Drew Grant at Salon. "Hold her up to anything," and you get an "antiseptic, safe-for-work result that is at best entirely unsatisfying, and at worst, a slap in the face to the source material." But Garland's original version of "Over the Rainbow" is already "pretty saccharine," so there's only so much damage Paltrow can do.
"When terrible is fine: Gwyneth sings 'Over the Rainbow' on Glee"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
- A trick for better lunch sandwiches
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- Russia's new air force is a mystery
- The government is getting into the fact-checking business. Be very, very afraid.
Subscribe to the Week