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Thread: Vocalists overly impressed by their own voice

  1. #1

    Vocalists overly impressed by their own voice

    I'm listening to Jane Monheit at the moment, someone I'd seen favorably compared to Diana Krall.

    She has a nice voice, and some touching songs, but she seems incredibly self indulgent at times, letting herself try and touch all bases in a single song in a way that sounds to me like it harms, rather than helps her effort to create an effective song.

    Clay Aiken American Idol type singers are well deserving of the parody pieces they inspire, IMO. Just because you can make your voice do certain things doesn't mean you ought to.

    Celine Dion and Whitney Houston are a seemingly two more singers who won't ever find a bigger fan of their 'talent' than they themselves are.

  2. #2
    Don't forget about Mariah Carey or Christina Aguilera.

  3. #3
    On My Way Here Grisabella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fit_chick5
    Don't forget about Mariah Carey or Christina Aguilera.

    Unfortunately, the Mariah-Whitney-Christina 'vocal histrionics' style seems to be pretty much the norm in so-called "r & b/soul" singing these days. I hear it in Alicia Keys and other females, too.

    As a Clay fan, I have to say that I have to agree with your assessment, Leftcoaster - on certain songs. Clay's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner comes to mind (even though it's tame and straightforward compared to a lot of renditions I've heard in the last decade). I'm not a great fan of the hyperextended "glory note," and I think most songs would be better off without one. Having heard Clay in concert several times, though, and having about 50 songs that he has recorded, I know that as often as not, he
    doesn't do all that 'show-off' stuff.

    Male singers usually don't do as much show-off-your-vocal-range stuff as the women - except for Daniel Bedingfield, Enrique Iglesias and John Ondrasik - but nearly all the male r&b singers way overdo the melismatic runs. I think it detracts a lot from enjoyment of the melody and interpretation of the lyrics.
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  4. #4
    The new me! Feifer's Avatar
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    When people do too much in a song it just seems like they do not know what they are doing. I would rather hear a few touches of their special talents sprinkled throughout many songs than packing it all into one song. I really detest when singers run up and down the range instead of sticking the note. Again, it just seems like they do not know what they are doing. Find the note. Stick to it. Have a clean performance.

  5. #5
    Yup. I read the thread title and thought to myself, "Oh lookie. A post dedicated to Mariah Carrey"


  6. #6
    I also feel that whenever a singer resorts to "warbling" and vocal gymnastics it seems more like vocal mastur***tion than singing the song.

    Sadly, if you take a look at most young singers, the ones trying out for "American Idol" etc. they also seem to emulate this, thinkings its the way to best show off their range. When all it really shows off is their self indulgence.

    I would personally much rather hear a Bruce Springsteen / Melissa Etheridge type performer - singing with passion, and a certain road-weariness that brings a gritty, emotional, realism to their songs (emphasis on the word "their" as they are song writers and not song purchasers), than hear some big haired diva riding up and down the harmonic scale through three octaves.

    And I know that some people will take exception with my comment about songwriting and point that the Britneys, Lindseys and Ashlees of the world often get songwriting credits on their records.

    Well, whenever a person is listed as the one any only songwriter on a song I believe it. When you see that they are one of 15 co-writers on a song, one begins to wonder how much input they actually had and how much was $ymbolic writing credit.
    Last edited by Daddio; 03-10-2005 at 04:16 PM.

  7. #7
    Leave No Trace ADKLove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarzan
    I also feel that whenever a singer resorts to "warbling" and vocal gymnastics it seems more like vocal mastur***tion than singing the song.


    I agree with your post. Love listening to (for example) James Taylor - just a pure, simple voice, on songs simply sung.
    Love many, trust a few, and always paddle your own canoe

  8. #8
    Kanai Nemeses's Avatar
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    Total agreement here. Whoever said it above is soooo right. Just because you can do something with your voice doesn't mean you should.

    This especially irks me when I hear artists like Christina Aguilerra and Mariah Carey do covers of older songs or holiday songs around Christmas. Last Christmas I went to a music store to buy some new holiday CD's for work and home, and I listened to song samples through the headphones at the store, and some of the best holiday songs were so butchered by Carey and Aguilerra especially, and Madonna also, that they became disgusting. They weren't holiday songs, they were "hey listen to me, see what I can do" songs. :rolleyes

    By contrast, singers who truly are talented and have hugely talented vocal skills, like Martina McBride, can take a song and sing it simply, yet the power and tone of their voices make it amazing to listen to. Even the great Aretha Franklin, who could do some astounding things with her voice, knew to keep it simple, only throwing in a few soulful vocal riffs now and then, but in places where it made sense.

    Singers, word to you here. I want to hear the song, not your vocal lessons.
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  9. #9
    FORT Fogey did_it_again's Avatar
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LATAS
    Yup. I read the thread title and thought to myself, "Oh lookie. A post dedicated to Mariah Carey" :phhht
    AHA! Where were all you guys when I started saying this back in the early 1990's??? On second thought, don't answer that. You probably all were in diapers.

    I hope it's the far end of the arc. Are all you music producers listening? We're getting sick of singers who rely on technique over talent. How about some pure melodies and meaningful lyrics? And hey, how about having them sung by singers who dare to let the music (instead of their overblown vocal chords) shine through?

    You guys want to hear some real music? Go pick up anything written before 1950, sung by someone born before 1950. Start here: www.weslawhitfield.com

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