Today is the birthday of one of our favourite people, Darren Criss and there is no doubt he has had quite the year. One of the highlights of everything Criss did in the last 12 months has to be the release of his second solo EP Homework which featured a mixture of new songs and a beautiful recording of “I Dreamed a Dream.”
In honour of Criss’ birthday and my hope that 2018 will feature more music offerings from Darren, I have put together a list of songs that I would love to hear Criss cover. Some of them are newer songs, some of these have been on my wish-list for years (and I wish that had featured on Glee), and some are somewhere in between.
“Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen)
I have wanted to hear Darren cover this song for YEARS now, and every year he was in Glee I hoped that we would get Blaine singing this truly beautiful song.
I know the song has been covered by so many people, some with huge success such as Jeff Buckley, and for me, most versions miss the mark in comparison to Buckley’s version. Given how Darren is the master of making his covers interesting and individual; I for one would love to hear him sing the song with a piano accompaniment rather than the more usual guitar treatment this song receives.
“The Reason” (Hoobastank)
This is another song that I have wanted to hear Darren sing for ages as well. I have always called this 2003 hit one of the ultimate “forgive me” songs and hearing this song sung by Darren would make me very happy (or rather sad).
“Soul of a Man” (Cyndi Lauper)
Now I find myself in the realm of songs that are already some of my most listened to and hearing Darren sing one of the big numbers of the Tony and Olivier award-winning show which is still playing to sold out houses in London and Broadway would create a collision between two of my favourite things. I would love to hear a studio or live version of this but, not going to lie, should Darren decide he wants to do another musical, Kinky Boots would be right at the top of my wishlist and we already know he can rock a pair of heels.
“Stars” (Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg)
Darren’s stripped back version of “I Dreamed a Dream” which featured on Homework last year is an aural sensation. I would love to hear Darren sing “Stars” either as per the musical or it would be even more exciting if Darren put his own unique spin on this powerhouse number.
Memphis Lives In Me (David Bryan)
For my final choice I was torn between this and the other Huey song “Music of my Soul” but this won by a nose, as this is a more emotionally charged song and we all know Darren does emotion well, and I have to say hearing this song pared back and with an acoustic guitar would be a rather beautiful thing.
So there we go, in honour of his 31st birthday, there are a few songs I would love to see receive the Darren Criss treatment. I mean a couple of those would be amazingly performed somewhere like ElsieFest, for example Darren!