Friday, August 22, 2008
Dude, that sounds like shit
There are a lot of people out there that shouldn't sing. You know them. You're related to them. Some of them refuse to listen to reason. Some are nicer than that. But what's really wrong is the guy who doesn't listen to reason and somehow gets into a band and becomes famous. That's the universe messing with you.
However, I'll tell you what bothers me more: Folks who can sing, but still shouldn't be. Let me explain. Professional musicians like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Lou Reed ... none of them are good singers. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about guys who can sing. Guys who, technically, do everything right, but they still don't sound good. It's usually the tone of their voice. The best example I can think of is pictured here, James LaBrie, the lead singer of Dream Theater. Man, I love this band so much, but I don't understand why they chose him as a singer. I realize they wanted someone similar to Geoff Tate, but if Tate's a Ford F-250, LaBrie is a Chevy Avalanche -- can do all the stuff, but is just awkward.
I tried to think of a good analogy for this problem and the best I can come up with is this: An artist who paints with shit. LaBrie's singin is like that. Imagine the best artist in the world, someone who can create the most lifelike or best interpretive images but does so with shit. Yes, technically it's brilliant. But it still stinks.
There are plenty of singers out there than can hit all of the notes. Hold them forever. Have a monster range. But they still shouldn't sing because the tone of their voice makes children cry. Stop it, y'all.
I named LaBrie, anyone have any other suggestions?