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Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,731Member
Have I told you that I'm sick of this new trend for female singers to squeak a lot ? Almost as irritating as someone rubbing their palms over a balloon. Try .48s (maybe .38s) on this record.



Aaaargh !!! That's the worst example I've ever heard but it's her general singing I was complaining about too.

The blokes are just as bad. All new singing seems to be of the tragedy kind. The breaking voice, as though the singer is about to crumble into tears. Isn't it odd - that we are at the height of human comfort and safety and yet we are getting the most tragic music. Contrast with the jauntiness of the WW1 WW2 music. No wonder they call this lot the snowflake generation.

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  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    edited January 28
    I have to say it's not to my taste - it's a modern pop singing style that I do hear quite a lot, and the production tends to use quite heavy auto-tune which gives a sound I usually find unattractive. So yes, I guess I do know what you mean Kevin - having said this, I still reserve the right to hypocritically like something in this vein if I hear something that grabs me despite all this - that hasn't happened yet though.

    And one can argue about the quality of modern songwriting - to be honest, the above song strikes me as reasonable writing, although one thing I like about the classic American Songbook and "Tin Pan Alley" stuff (which I guess would include a lot of the WW1 WW2 stuff) is the sophisticated use of harmony - the way the chords take you on a journey, often modulating in the middle 8, and beautifully reflecting the lyrics, and returning satisfyingly to the home tonality at the end - I like that.

    Although of course there is no actual rule that says this formula is superior, and there is music I really like that doesn't have this aspect. But I do note that much modern pop music tends to not move around a lot harmonically, and the song above is like that - the same few basic minor tonality chords over and over again really.

    I will post one of my favourite popular songs of yesteryear - actually not the most complex chord sequence, but still I think the way the chords move is lovely, and I also note that there is a poignant quality that reflects the lyrics beautifully despite the major key - songs with a sad aspect don't have to be all obvious "heart-on-sleeve" minor harmony to work, and can sometimes be more subtle for not doing that.



    Nice job Rod Stewart on this version, not that I'm a huge fan of his, but still, fair play. :)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Found myself comparing versions of September In The Rain on Youtube. Lovely (though too short) version by Julie London - no squeaky nonsense or auto-tune here:



    And what were you thinking James Last, with this insensitive disco monstrosity:



    ...no way to treat a great song. :D

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Changed my mind about that song you posted Kevin, I said it was "reasonable" writing but now I don't like it at all, having tried to listen to it a second time. I think September In The Rain wipes the floor with it really. Ah well, just a moaning old "music was better in the old days" type me... :D
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,198Member
    Not just squeaking, but with warbling thrown in as well.
    Ghastly autotune.
    Add that horrible squawking synth sound too, and it's painful.
    Might as well just put one of those artificial sounding voices on it that computer software generates and have done with it.

    All with the need to try to be so intense on every word. I've just stopped the playback and the sound of next doors mower sounds positively musical by comparison.

    I agree with the Megi post re that James Last version of September in the Rain. It's an example that shows that torture by music is nothing new and 4 1/2 minutes is really prolonging the agony!

    The Julie London version IS too short, but that 'In the Name of Love' song version that started the thread couldn't be too short however much it could be edited down - even a few seconds would be too long.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Mark P said:

    All with the need to try to be so intense on every word.

    This is the thing - too often now, there is this thing with singers where they feel they have to demonstrate their vocal prowess (supposed) by putting in the most sleeve-ringing emotive performance possible, and also maximising the warbling pyrotechnics to boot. Rather than impressive, I find it all rather vulgar and lacking taste - a great song doesn't need this, and is far better without. A bit of restraint and space can be far more telling - truly great singers know this.




  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,731Member
    Not for the first time I come to this blog in a state of middle-aged irritation and come away soothed and edified. THANK YOU for all of those links !
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member


    Sorry for thread hijack, I'll stop now...
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    ...except to post this one I just found, how great is this?


  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,731Member
    That was really interesting. All of them equally as good. It's the tune ! It provides a good basis for expression. Love to see Maisel getting into it there.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Thanks for listening to them all KP - I was admittedly being a bit daft there, but it is interesting I agree. And all equally good I would also agree (possibly with the exception of James Last's disco version). Surprised to find myself saying it, but personally I have a soft spot for Rod's version that I posted - that seems to capture a certain je ne sais quoi for me. :)
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,731Member
    Mange tout ! Mange tout !
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Que sera sera, as the French say.
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    In defence of the modern state of the art, there are a lot of brilliant singer songwriters out there. If you look at the spread of all these versions of the song they span from 1937 up to the present day - so that makes one good singer every ten years or so! I'd say we can still average that!

    Seriously, though, it does seem that whiny, nasally voices are very much in vogue at the moment. And I agree, auto-tune is HORRIBLE. If a singer can't make the notes, don't record them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love the Sarah Maisel version. Lovely stuff
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member

    In defence of the modern state of the art, there are a lot of brilliant singer songwriters out there. If you look at the spread of all these versions of the song they span from 1937 up to the present day - so that makes one good singer every ten years or so! I'd say we can still average that!

    Seriously, though, it does seem that whiny, nasally voices are very much in vogue at the moment. And I agree, auto-tune is HORRIBLE. If a singer can't make the notes, don't record them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love the Sarah Maisel version. Lovely stuff

    Could not agree more about all the brilliant modern-day artists out there, and I would hate to be without the vitality, originality and innovation they provide. No good just living in the musical past. :)
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