Thursday, December 14, 2006

I blame the English

Wherein I never understood the ruckus over the tearing of a photo. She didn't like the guy, seemed like a pretty nonthreatening way to demonstrate it

XWL has a post I'm going to mostly ignore ( though it did occassion a reappreciation of Huey Lewis and the News) and highlight one sentence as a jumping off point: He's good at just singing the song, that sounds simple, yet so many artists nowadays can't do that simple task.

Simply singing the song is a lost art. For some reason this mostly affects female singers trying to emulate Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Both are too busy trying to impress with their ability, the song is buried under a mountain of verbal pyrotechnics. Plus, I've always thought that while--Houston especially--is technically proficient, her voice is totally soulless. I'm tired of listening to singers sing entire songs with techniques meant to be used for emphasis or to cause a thrill. Overuse causes everything to be lost. It's like writing a letter in bold and ALL CAPS. I don't watch American Idol, that's The Wife's problem. But I'll hear snippets of people who with a lot of work might be good if they'd just shut the hell up and sing the goddamn song.

Which brings me to Sinead O'Connor. I've always loved her voice. Very powerful when she needs it to be and also does restrained well. Here's a few to enjoy. I can't find the one I really want--The Last Days of Our Acquaintance from her infamous SNL appearance. Honestly, it's the most mesmerizing musical performance I've ever watched on television. Helps that I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got is one of my favorite albums, probably desert island list worthy. Best way to listen to it is to crack open a bottle of wine, crank the volume as loud as it will go, then just sit there listening and building a slight buzz.

You Do Something To Me. Never knew there were videos made for Red Hot + Blue. great album, by the way, and this is one of the highlights.

No Man's Woman from Faith and Courage. An album that took me awhile to warm up to, but now has a handful of songs I really enjoy. This being one of them. Can't tell if it's the recording or her voice, but this does sound a bit rough.

Thank You For Hearing Me. Also from Faith and Courage. Always thought she was an attractive baldy, but she's downright cute with hair. I don't think it is, though it sure sounds like Jah Wobble on bass.

And just for fun, French And Saunders mock The Cranberries and Sinead. This one explains the title of the post.


Blogger Ahistoricality said...

Maybe because I'm more familiar with the folk and stage traditions than rock and pop, "just singing the song" is something that I assume professional singers can do. O'Connor comes out of that singer/songwriter tradition, and it's one of the reasons I did like her, even when a lot of my folkie friends considered her anathema.

And I thought the SNL thing was a nicely done bit of performance art, and the beginning of the end for same....

12/15/2006 03:37:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home