Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Your Voice Sucks

I’m certain I am not the only person ever to have felt this way, but in case I am, I thought I would explain my condition. Sometimes, when I am listening to the beginning of a good rock ‘n’ roll song, or a little bit of Scandinavian death metal, or perhaps even something with synthesizers and a theremin, I think to myself (as opposed to thinking to somebody else, using my awesome powers of telepathy, or thinking out loud, which is known as shooting your mouth off): “Yeah, this is pretty cool. I’m totally into it.” I might even start nodding my head in approval, and, if it’s really good, I fancy myself as having orchestrated it, which leads me into imaginings of playing it before a crowd of the thousands of people who used to pick on me in school, and those who thought me useless, and they are in thrall as I violently manipulate their emotions using chord progressions and maybe some creative tuning.

And then, just at the precipice of sheer enjoyment, some asshole starts in with the singing. Their stupid, whiny, toneless, vacant gibberings completely obliterate my appreciation of the song, no matter how excellent the actual music may remain, and I feel a little part of me die as another fuckwit and his invented problems are introduced to the world via the medium of not being able to sing. I’m thinking this right now as I listen to bootleg MP3s of Tool, just as I think the same thing whenever I am listening to sturdy rock of any description. Pixies. Quite a bit of heavy metal would be great if only it wasn’t ruined by some disabled guy shouting through a throat full of curdled milk. There are probably other, better examples I could think of, but my heart’s not really in it.

Anyway, I hope I’m not alone. What are some songs (or albums, or bands) you think could be vastly improved by the simple excision of the singing?

N.B. I know this isn't technically about literature, but it's all just words, innit?


At 5:52 PM, Blogger Tim said...

There are not limits here. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, Intersecting Lines is concerned with all the meats of our cultural stew. (Although obviously you would replace "meats" with some vegetarian alternative.)

I like "bad" singing, in the sense that I don't think being able to sing properly is necessary to good rock music. One of your examples, the Pixie's Black Francis, is a case in point. All that yelling, screaming, yelping, and putting on of Latin American accents is an integral part of the band's music. Likewise countless other examples, although of course this is a very subjective thing. Then again, there are some bad singers, like the guy from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, whose voice completely ruins the music.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger JPW said...

I'm trying to think of a vegetarian alternative to "meats" and all I can come up with is...vegetables.

At 9:47 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Well there are plenty of vegetables in our cultural stew. See, for example, the subject of TimT's previous post.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Allie said...

all too often what is being sung is even worse than the voice, though.

try listening to some solitude aeturnus. as with much metal, the lyrics leave a bit to be desired, but the voice is one of the best i've ever heard. definitely one of the best metal singers around. tryyyy it :)


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