Glee: The Music, Volume 2 is the second soundtrack album by the cast of the American musical television series Glee, featuring songs from episodes nine to thirteen of the show's first season. It was first released on December 4, 2009 in Australia by Columbia Records. It has been certified platinum in Canada and Australia, and gold in the United Kingdom and the United States. Volume 2 received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the vocals of cast members Lea Michele, Amber Riley, and Kevin McHale, but felt the album was weak in arrangements and similar to a collection of karaoke tracks. All tracks were released as singles and performed on the series, with the exception of "Don't Make Me Over"—only an instrumental version was used.
Each of songs included on the album were released as singles, available for download. "True Colors" charted highest in all regions except America, reaching number 15 in Ireland, number 35 in the United Kingdom, number 38 in Canada, and number 47 in Australia. In America, the best-performing single was "Lean on Me", which charted at number 50. The only songs which failed to chart in any region were "(You're) Having My Baby" and "Don't Make Me Over". Karaoke versions of "Lean on Me", "My Life Would Suck Without You" and "True Colors" were also released, based on fan–demand and the popularity of karaoke tribute videos to the series.
Yoko Ono was hesitant about allowing Glee the rights to "Imagine". Series music supervisor P.J. Bloom explained: "It was very difficult to convince Yoko Ono that it was the right thing to do. She needed to truly understand how the music was going to be used. The added component of us wanting to have a deaf choir signing the song made for this incredibly poignant moment. ...It really took a lot of convincing to get her on board and realize that it was a great, great moment, and a tribute to John and his song." While a full version of "Don't Make Me Over" is included on the album, only an instrumental version was used in the show.
The album has received mixed reviews from critics. Whitney Pastorek of Entertainment Weekly felt that there was much about the album that should not work, including "sickly-sweet vocals", "theme-park-level arrangements" and "cheesy song choices". Despite this, she commented: "When the Glee kids nail something—like a version of Van Halen's "Jump" that made my cheeks sore from smiling—the title of this joyful franchise could not be more apt." Allmusic's Andrew Leahey observed that the soundtrack felt "a bit rushed" due to its release four weeks after Volume 1 and the fact it features songs from half as many episodes as the first album. He criticized: "As before, this album sometimes strays away from choral arrangements and sounds more like a collection of karaoke recordings." Overall, however, Leahey believed that returning fans would find the album enjoyable.
Christopher John Farley of The Wall Street Journal commented that Michele, Riley and McHale have "the most distinctive voices" of all the Glee cast members, suggesting that Michele's rendition of "Don't Rain on My Parade" would "have some listeners hoping she'll be sharing her talents with Broadway again soon."IGN's Brian Linder recommended the album to Glee fans only, opining that "only two or three tracks will be of interest to the non-hardcore fan. Unlike the first installment in the show's soundtrack series, Glee – The Music, Vol. 2 isn't going to win over any skeptics."