When she first announced she'd be coming out with her own solo album back in 2012, no one had expected Lea Michele's album to debut at number 4 on the Billboard 200. People were almost immediately skeptical. Sure, Michele has an out of this world voice, but often times voices that spectacular, Broadway voices to be more exact, tend not to translate to the pop charts. It's a strange and often frustrating phenomenon, but the kids prefer the monotonous moans of Ke$ha (or is it dollar sign-less these days?) over emotionally gripping power ballads. Kids these days.
If one thing was certain though, the 5'3" songstress had long proved to critics that she could at least master other people's pop songs. Glee being perhaps her best and most crucial teacher in transforming the Broadway raised girl from a performer to a recording artist, she asserted that she did in fact have range and malleability. Throughout her nearly five years on the show, Michele has belted out tunes from everyone from Journey, Salt-N-Pepa, Paramore and Britney Spears to the likes of Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keyes, and even the Beatles.
Michele wasn't a stranger to the Billboard charts, either. Her covered songs had chart topped numerous times and with her fellow cast mates, she had brought three of their soundtracks to number 1. Alas, covering a song and bringing your own personal brand into the mix are two entirely different animals. Those bonafide hit covers had already been validated as golden songs long before Glee ever got their hands on them but, trying to differentiate Michele from all things Broadway, Barbra Streisand, and Rachel Berry was a feat that she'd have to overcome all by herself.
Initially, she received lukewarm reviews from critics who seemed to be trying too hard to prove their original point that Michele had entered a world that was too specific for her kind of potent vocals and that she was out of her element. Billboard gave the album a 72 on the ratings aspect, where others had deemed her debut album "so-so" and "forced." In an effort to explain their less than stellar reviews, multiples sources had sighted the same, weaker song of the album "Don't Let Go," as their point of contention.
Frankly, one weaker song out of another solid eleven doesn't seem to be good enough reason to roast a new artist who is just beginning to delve into what it is to create their own sound, especially when she had gotten so many other songs just right. Namely, sure to be hits On My Way, Thousand Needles, You're Mine, and Burn With You, which enabled Michele to show off her voice but still keep the feel contemporary.
To each their own, but Michele's fans wholeheartedly disagreed with the powers that be considering Louder debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. The album sold a whopping 60,000 copies in it's first week. Impressive for even a seasoned and trained pop artist. Getting a solo career going may be a little shaky at the start, but we're not too worried about the ambitious Broadway veteran. Between her solo album, Glee, and her book release, the brunette has her plate full and we know her career is just getting into gear.