Monday, February 7, 2011

The Curse of the Oversinger

I just had the misfortune of watching a clip of Christina Aguilera singing the USA national anthem at the Superbowl. I didn’t watch it because I am a fan, I merely took a look because it is in the news that she sung the wrong words.

First of all yes she should have got the words right. This isn’t the first time she has sung the anthem at a sporting event but this is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. There is really no excuse to get that wrong.

The thing that really annoys me is her singing. I can acknowledge that this girl can wail. She is a belter and prefers to take that approach when singing. She also is a fan of vocal “runs”. For those uninitiated vocal “runs” is where you sing notes outside of the actual melody line. This style has become particularly prevalent in the last decade or so due to singers like Mariah Carey who litter most of their vocals with “runs”.

Well vocal “runs” are giving me the runs quite frankly. It has simply become a measure of a vocalists worth if they can fit in as many notes possible between the actual melody.

Watching the clip of Christina Aguilera singing the anthem made me quite mad. It was purely an exercise in self-indulgence. “Let’s show everyone on the highest rated program of the year that I can sing.” She failed. Big time.

What I would like to know is what has happened to the vocalists who can sing the actual melody line and sing it well? I am talking about a pure voice that doesn’t feel the need for over embellishment.

I have done some searching and I found someone. I really wanted to find someone who was edgy and kooky that you have never heard of just so I could get cool points but really who am I kidding? Edgy and kooky doesn’t naturally lend itself to a pure vocal performance.

So here I am introducing someone I never thought I would admit to liking (her voice anyway) or putting on my blog. Though no longer a contempary artist she is the embodiment of someone who sings pure notes and sings them well.

Yes Barbra Streisand cops a lot of shit and you either love her or hate her. Southpark went to town on her as Mecha Streisand who was a giant Godzilla style robot who could only be defeated by Robert Smith of The Cure.

She has the reputation for being a diva which I don’t know if it is true or not. To me it doesn’t matter. Most artists are divas and have attitudes. That is just the nature of celebrity.

I watched her singing about 5 different live versions of the same song (Evergreen) and can honestly say that she nails it every time. No vocal boosting. No autotune. No over singing the notes. As a person who has studied singing I can honestly say that the notes are pitch perfect. The lyrics are a bit syrupy but I would prefer to hear a syrupy song sung well than some tarted up half assed growler anytime. Sorry Christina, but it is true.

1 comment:

  1. Just looked up the video of Christina on Youtube. I think she is a good singer actually, but only when she sings straight.
    She makes herself look like a rubbish wannabe singer by all the trills and nonsense that she butchers songs with!
    I just can't listen to rubbish like that.

    And as for not bothering to learn the words to her own national anthem, that just shows contempt.


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