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Glee Star Solo Album Face-off: Which Is the Best?

With Season 2 sadly over, we’re now forced to grapple with the horror of three interminable months without new episodes. Thankfully, there are now several cast members with their own music careers — including Matthew Morrison (Schue), who just released his debut solo album — to tide you over. (We know it’s not the same, but we’re trying to help here, okay?)

But which one is the best? We’ve rated the newest albums from Matthew, Mark Salling (Puck), and Darren Criss (Blaine) in three categories to determine which is most worth your time. Then again, this is sorta like choosing your favorite candy bar — there’s really no wrong answer.

Credit: Cover art via    

Which album has sold the most copies?
So far, this first category is practically no contest! Matthew has way oversold the other guys, debuting at No. 24 on the charts. Mark’s album, meanwhile, just barely squeezed onto the chart at No. 189 back in November 2010 (ouch!), and Darren’s pre-Glee debut came in at No. 30 back in 2010 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers Albums (which is for albums by up-and-coming artists).

Keep in mind that Matthew is signed to a subsidiary of Universal, while the other two albums were independently produced, which has something to do with the sales. However, Darren just announced last month that he’s signed with Sony. Enjoy the victory for now, Matty, because you’re bound to have some serious competition soon!

ADVANTAGE: Matthew... for now

Which album has received the best reviews?
Reviews of the albums have been mixed. Matthew’s album got a B- from Entertainment Weekly — they call it too “goody-goody” — and two-and-a-half stars (out of 5) from Rolling Stone. Meanwhile, Darren’s album proves he’s the “real deal” with impressive vocal range, according to

As for Mark... well, the less said about his reviews, the better! Entertainment Weekly knocked his single, “Illusions,” for not being catchy and lacking his usual charm. Something called Honolulu Pulse (we realize it’s not the first publication you think of for music reviews) called his album a “failure” with “weak” vocals. Can’t win ‘em all, Mark!


Which album has the best cover art?
This category involves staring at pics of the three guys, so needless to say it’s our favorite category ever! And the funny thing is, Matthew and Mark’s covers have the exact same concept: a close-up pic with a serious-but-sexy look and only one shoulder in the shot. (Did they hire the same art designer?) At least Darren tries something different, even if that hairdo sorta makes him resemble Elaine from Seinfeld.

ADVANTAGE: Uh, it’s sexy pics of the guys. Everyone wins!

AND THE WINNER IS: Darren Criss!
Matthew Morrison is a close second (and we’re sure Mark’s is fun, too), but Darren — with his well-liked album, new record deal, and unconventional cover shot — takes the prize. But let’s face it: If you’re a true Gleek, you’ll get all three anyway!

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05.27.2011 / 12:31 PM EDT by Ryan Gajewski
Related: Glee, Darren Criss, Music, Matthew Morrison, Mark Salling

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