Saturday, September 09, 2006

The singer sucks, the audience sucks for buying tickets, and my editor sucks for sending me to review this crap

Wherein oh to read the impolite first draft

Bernard Holland did not enjoy Andrea Bocelli. Quote:
The critic’s duty is to report that Mr. Bocelli is not a very good singer. The tone is rasping, thin and, in general, poorly supported. Even the most modest upward movement thins it even more, signaling what appears to be the onset of strangulation.

To his credit, Mr. Bocelli sings mostly in tune. But his phrasing tends toward carelessness and rhythmic jumble, and the little barks and husky vocal expletives that are the mother’s milk of Italian tenordom sound faded and unconvincing. The diction is not clear.

But this is a music critic speaking, and music critics had no business at Avery Fisher Hall on Wednesday. Mr. Bocelli’s every gesture invited warm, resounding approval. Accusing audiences of being gullible won’t wash. The music public can be conned for only a short time, and Mr. Bocelli’s success is of reasonably long standing.

It also won’t do to complain that good singers languish, while deeply fallible ones like this one get rich. There is something physical or metaphysical — something beyond music — that must draw people to Andrea Bocelli. That is a talent in itself.


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