dirty martini

old music for new people

less is more: real divas don’t oversing October 15, 2007

breaking-glass.jpg 

the principal objection to r&b, from those who remain unenamoured, is usually the tendency for certain singers to attempt to fit ten notes into a space where one will suffice.

its often viewed as showing off and the results are often hysterical, and i don’t mean funny. whilst a good range and the ability to scale is impressive, it can detract from the meaning of the lyrics. how many times have you sat there and cringed whilst a singer trills their way through an entire album?

vocal gymnastics aren’t big and they’re not clever.  plus – they’re just so 90s,

top 10 offenders/songs

1. christina aguilera – singing anything. i hate her voice. oh look its a little girl with a big voice. lets see what she can make it do…

2. mariah carey – singing ballads. i actually think the whitney criticisms are off – she controls her voice too well to make this list. on occasion, mariah’s lunacy shines through her vocals. bless her.

3. kelly price – on ‘friend of mine’, she actually sounded the death knell for the melisma that had built into a crescendo up until that point in the 90s. too much.

4. beyonce – especially the dangerously in love ballads and most of destiny fulfilled. she was constantly trying to outsing kelly and michelle. and seems to have gone nuts since letoya crashed onto the scene and jennifer stole her thunder.

5. mary j.blige – now i love mary, and god knows if anyone should be histrionic, she’s had a hard time of it. but i like her better when she reins it in.

download here

aaliyah – the thing i like

too cool to coo. i heard that aaliyah’s laidback style was due to her undivalike tendency to allow the backing track to play centre stage and let her vocals wash over them. so effective.

alicia keys – a woman’s worth

content with showing her all round musical ability with her vocals only one of the instruments at her disposal. which is the mark of a real musician. she remains classier than her contemporaries and will far outlast them.

amerie – crush

maybe the reason amerie isn’t as successful in the US is her apparent refusal to screech and holler. i think she has a nice tone to her voice and knows she doesn’t need to dress it up that much.

angie stone – wish i didn’t miss you

it would be easy for a curvy lady like angie to overcompensate with her impressive range. oh and this is one of the best uses of a classic sample, ever.

beverley knight – queen of starting over

sounding more like aretha as time passes, and one of the only r&b singers who is actually good enough to oversing if the mood requires. i just wish she didn’t feel the need to MOR all her work.

sarah anne webb (d’influence) – there can be

criminally overlooked singer sarah anne webb has since left the group to be replaced by a host of others. and it doesn’t sound like d’influence anymore.

deborah cox – sentimental

ok, now that she’s a gay icon, some of deborah’s vocals are sailing close to the edge. but when she arrived in 1995, she was the queen of understated cool with this 2 step classic.

leona lewis – what you do to me

leona could so easily have alienated last year’s x factor viewers by oversinging but she managed to rein in her musical upbringing and used her range appropriately, rather than unnecessarily.

n’dea davenport (brand new heavies) spend some time

acid jazz was never about excessive vocal gymnastics anyway, but n’dea is a prime example of a powerful voice not trying too hard.

sade – the sweetest taboo

sade just doesn’t look like someone about to holler and whoop. and i can’t think of a single occasion in her lengthy career when she would have needed to stoop to that level.

shola ama – you’re the one i love

honey voiced shola has always been the uk’s understated export and it may have cost her in some ways. which is a sad indictment of the industry.

teedra moses – be my girl

ok so, i have criticised the smokescreen surrounding teedra’s real age lately and been scolded. what i will say is that she’s grown enough to realise that runs are for kids.

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6 Responses to “less is more: real divas don’t oversing”

  1. KL Says:

    LMFAO, so what you are trying to say is you would rather have someone who can NOT sing, than rather someone who can SING like Christina and beyonce, wtf?, aaliyah can’t sing, amerie can’t sing and alicia keys voice isn’t that great but better than the other two, and why the hell do ppl complain about the fact that most of the singers today can’t sing but than decide to say that they hate christina, mariah or beyonce’s voice.

    “i heard that aaliyah’s laidback style was due to her undivalike tendency to allow the backing track to play centre stage and let her vocals wash over them. so effective” – In other words she can’t sing but she is making up excuses, what the hell is so special about her, huh?, she never wrote non of her song and she could not sing, yet ppl have the nerve to shoot down other singers who are exactly like that, like rihanna but aaliyah get’s PRAISED for it?

    and I think you are jealous of christina’s voice, the comment you made about her just screams out hate and jealousy, that’s not a gd look.

  2. dirtymartini Says:

    i don’t think christina ‘sings’. she wails. jealous? no i just don’t like anything about her, she defines desperation and has no genuine emotion.

    you need to look up the definition of singing – it’s not a competition, it’s supposed to be pleasant to listen to. it’s like louis walsh and his obession with ireland. you can be irish without having to be irish all the time. you can be a singer with range without squeezing that range into everything you do.

    oh, and i don’t ‘hate’ any of the others’ voices, i just prefer it when they don’t overdo it.

  3. KL Says:

    its a shame that thousands of other ppl who do like christina’s voice (including some celebreties) don’t agree with you, and you seriously need to listen to some more of christina’s songs because unlike the singers you mentioned she can reach high notes and can tone it down at the same time, plus she’s a vocalist like whitney and mariah, and whitney is consudered a legend. WTF are you on about she has no emotion you need to watch her perform beautiful at the grammys and when she performed man’s world, and do you actually think that her talent should go to waste because you think she is oversinging, what do you want her to soundlike aaliyah? amerie? plz, those two CAN NOT sing, its being stated athousand times before, critics always use to go on about aaliyah’s singing abilities while she was alive calling it uninteresting. And if you think that christina oversings you seriously don’t know anything about music and the the soul and blues singers that paved the way for many of the singers that are out today, look at Aretha Franklin, etta james, patti leballe and James brown, do you think they can’t sing? have you heard alicia keys new song no one? her vocals sound strained by trying to reach higher notes.

    And yes you are a hater just by saying “I don’t like anything about her” and by calling her desperate when you don’t even know her.

  4. sensitiveaboutmyshit Says:

    lol you must not have heard many of Amerie’s songs if you hold her up as a singer who doesn’t over sing… either that or you have failed to notice she screeches like a banshee on some of her songs.

    and i looked at the post where you jumped on teedra for “lying about her age”, since when is an artist responsible for what is written about them on the great beacon of truth (/end sarcasm) wikipedia? teedra has never lied about her age and if you care to look again its clear that someone with more sense has corrected her dob back to 1976 (dunno where you got 1973 from) oh and for the record amerie lied about her age until some of her fans found out the truth, she claimed 1980 but 1978 was the correct yet i dont se you bashing her about that.

  5. […] slaguilera is more likely to have criticism directed at her and has become the poster girl for oversinging precious r&b wannabes the world over. much as i love r&b myself, kelly osbourne had it spot on. i can just about […]

  6. killa Says:

    Aaliyah>> your faves.

    she could fucking sing, She didnt SCREAM to prove a point. ignorant monkey.

    and dead @ critics talking about her voice. Is that the same critic that said “Aaliyah’s voice is stronger, clearer, and more seductive as ever before”?


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