I enjoy watching the early rounds of X Factor. This is because I am not a nice person. I love to see the hearts get ripped out of the poor young puppies. I love to see them crawling out of the Birmingham NEC, over broken glass, on their hands and knees. I love to see them grizzle. I love to hear them cry, “I will have an international Number One, then you’ll be sorry.”
Often when Simon Cowell says that a singer is good or bad I can’t tell the difference. That R’n’B diva style singing is so easy to mimic that my critical faculties are redundant. I can’t tell if they are in tune or not.
People have been saying, “I can’t stand it when their voices go up and down all the time.” for twenty years now. Love it or loathe it, this vocal technique is here to stay.
If you are going to listen to that many notes being wrenched out of a single syllable may I suggest that you skip the part-timers and instead try the best?
I love Mariah Carey. There’s no note she won’t sing in a single line. From 75 hz to 14000 hz, she has it all. She can sing the universe. She multi-tracks her voice with a mini-Uzi. Is that five Mariahs I can hear? No it’s 256, one for every colour in your computer.
When you listen to ‘Dreamlover’ or ‘Honey’ try to disconnect from everything you know about Mariah or where this music comes from, culturally. Pretend Brian Eno had this idea for vocal styling in 1980 whilst producing a coked-up ESG. This is the weirdest, funkiest avant-garde music, if you want it to be.
The odd thing is that when you come away from the record, you are humming a single tune. Amongst that avalanche of sirens, one of them did something so catchy it lodged in your cranium.
I don’t even care if she’s evil.
I hope she really doesn’t ‘do stairs’.
- Art & Music Magazine Blogger, Darren Hayman