Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh no no no I'm a rocket man (T&S Series #9)

To even out the gendered mix playing field, these are some of my favourite male vocalists...

Matt Berninger is a vocal god. Listen to that control, that deep quiet power. To me, he raises the bar for all other male vocalists to meet today.

Leonard Cohen isn't a great singer in terms of his technical application of vocals. His voice is gravelly, and can be harsh at times, BUT, what he lacks in technicality is more than made up for in sincerity. I think that more than anything thats what counts. You can tell as a singer/songwriter he means every word he says in those songs, and Cohen is dedicated to his art. (As opposed to generated, auto-tuned, studio written pop songs)

The Beach Boys are revolutionaries. They made it ok for guys to sing loud, proud, and high. So very, very, high. Without them we wouldnt have such a positive reception to Mika, or Bon Iver. And lets face it, what world the do without any of those guys?

Elton John has another fairly feminine voice. But his voice is so smooth, and has such an amazingly controlled range. He's a classic.

Tom Waits is just the opposite. The man has abused his vocal chords to no end. In his case, drinking and smoking have an awesome side effect - a completely unique voice. (I mean have you listened to his album Closing Time?!)

Elvis Costello is another unique character. His eccentric presentation, and swinging/crooning (can you have both at the same time?) voice makes him a category of his own.

John Legend is all cool, smooth, jazzy vocals. He is pure R&B manliness.

Then theres Ewan McGregor. Not just a one dimensional actor. He's actually classically trained vocally, and the Moulin Rouge version of "Your Song" is the perfect platform to show it off. I'm not sure of what other musical work hes done... but he is phenomenal on the soundtrack for the movie, but phenomenal because he can actually sing. (Unlike a certain ex-James Bond when making his musical debut...)

Listen up.

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