Virtually all of my students want to sing pop/rock/etc. music when they first come in. My usual approach is to agree to work primarily in the genre of their choice, but to have some "classical" training as well. I largely due this in order to promote healthy singing, whatever the genre, so that no matter what kind of music they want to sing, they are at least not harming their voices.
Notice that almost all of Friedlander's comments focus on the relaxation of the vocal mechanism ("Like the first singer, he performs with perfect legato, clear diction, and a consistent, organic vibrancy. He arranges his resonance space to create a shallow snarl without setting up any resistance for his breath", etc). I've found that, above all, some classical training seems to reinforce this, allowing students to create resonance rather than merely screaming, to avoid straining at the edge of their ranges, and to approach all genres with a strong grasp of basic music skills. Of course, all of this also improves their basic technique immensely-- pitch, diction, and aural skills are usually highly improved as well.
Initial reaction: “Fourth guy is just bad throaty singing… Made my throat tight to listen to him. How long did his career last?”
This was interesting. I wonder how much she was reaching to find something positive to say, because I would have though that, but for Dickinson, they all are rough. But then, I don't have any formal training or expertise myself.
I'd like to hear a real expert's comments on modern metal virtuosos, like Warrell Dane or Roy Khan. Anybody with real knowledge care to venture an opinion?
I was surprised at the high marks Dickenson got. Not that I don't hold him in high esteem personally, but he's the only one where I know of a direct connection to opera singing. It must've been a Freddy Mercury tribute, where he sang Bohemian Rhapsody with Montserrat Cabbalé. And as opposed to her previous duet with Freddy ("Barcelona"), those voices didn't mesh at all.
Really nice article, I always thought that trained opera singers tend to look down upon those doing less "serious" work. Just shows you that there's more than one way to skin a cat, which is why this actually fits nicely into HN.
She didn't rate them as "top 5". She got sent 5 unlabeled samples by the OP and was asked to assess their quality.
Lately I've seen a lot of what appears to be mindless pile-on downvoting of perfectly on-topic, polite, informative comments. It is making me wonder if there's some bot behaviour going on, or if something in the site's comment system is broken.
It was a way of saying:RTFA
I must have read it in a different light then; to me it looked like a complaint about a misleading submission headline.
And I actually inserted the "Well" to make it sound less harsh, but apparently that made it look a bit arrogant to a few people. The nuances of written language…
There are always 'rules' to any real discipline. If you aren't skilled in something then of course we say 'he is a natural'. But if you go up to talk to a 'natural' you always find that they worked at it an incredible amount.
Fun read either way though. Her comments on Ozzie were the most surprising to me.
From an artistic perspective, in some areas an operatic-style voice is just inappropriate. Operatic vocals on a punk band might be an interesting novelty, for example, but it's not usually what you want; you usually want something more like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGjk1Y_j8QE
(From that perspective, metal was a fairly good choice for this interview, because operatic vocals are often appropriate in metal.)
There's clearly a safety margin in what vocal coaches teach, and I think it's safe to say that Ozzy must be over the margin, but the right side of critical.
I haven't heard him in a recent live performance, but reportedly Robert Plant has also ruined his voice. One person said that he "sounds like Winnie-the-Pooh".
The people at the top of any field you will find combine hard work with genetic predisposition. They can be an inspiration sure, but imitating them is unlikely to yield the same results.
Specifically, we're talking not just about "music" here - which has an absurdly broad definition - but "metal," which falls under the category of western vocal-led performance. There are rules to this, and while breaking them might leave you with something that is ostensibly "music," it may well not leave you with "metal," "singing," a "song," or a "performance."
"True ease of writing comes through art, not chance,
As he moves best who learns the steps of dance,
'Tis not enough no harshness cause offence,
The sound must seem an echo of the sense"
Learn the rules, then maybe break them.
Did I just equate my work to Picasso? . . . I think I did!
"Picasso didn't start with painting women with three eyes and square breasts. He knew how to paint a cow."
Creativity always happens when I'm editing what filled the structure. The basic rules I lay down in advance make sure I get to that point.
And to bring this back to visual arts, it's rare to find a good artist who doesn't study references and do thumbnails.
One of my favorite bands is Maiden, mainly for the fact that their songs have the ability to capture the energy of their lyrics. Which is exactly what Ozzy has when singing Iron Man, Crazy Train, Bark at the Moon and even with his modern stuff.
Of modern bands I'm hard pressed to find bands that adequately capture the energy of their lyrics just right. I really only have Coheed and Cambria who can nail so many different musical styles with the right energy for their lyrics.
As for breaking the "rules", the theory goes you have to master the rules to break them. Expressed in a more technical way, once you know the rules, you know when and were it's ok to break them, and you can also adhere to most of the rules while only breaking one or two.
(the choice of vocalists was a bit pedestrian, though :-)
As a be-mulletted youth I owned every Iron Maiden, Dio, Judas Priest and Black Sabath album, and would happily play them for you at 140 watts per channel through the obnoxiously distorted subwoofer in the back of my Trans Am. (Seriously. T-tops, screaming eagle and all. It was bitchin').
Today, you'll find a nice black hole in my music collection from that decade. You'll find that same mysterious gap in the collection of the kid who had the Pet Shop Boys haircut back in '85. It was just a bad time for music and there were no easy choices. We did what we could, but now we need to move on.
You kids today don't know how easy you have it.
Of course great metal was made in the 1990's as well, it just went mostly unnoticed by most people, as metal retreated back to an underground status (where it probably belongs). "Extreme" metal in particular had a great run during the 90's. From the Florida Death Metal scene of the early 90's through some of the great power metal bands of the era, to the Norwegian Black Metal stuff... lots of great music came out. But gawd, the pop music of the 90's... how utterly rubbish.
Your time can be better spent than learning about these things. They might be interesting but they're no more worthwhile than Cougar Town or How I Met Your Mother
Hell it's even perfectly OK as such to be completely ignorant of a field. Just leave when a conversation on that topic strikes up or sit quietly in the corner and try to learn something. I'm just perplexed by people who feel the need proudly proclaim "I know nothing about TV/books/computers/sports/music etc." as if it was some sort of achievement to be proud of.
I personally would be proud of the fact that I completely ignored anything related to "How I Met Your Mother" to delve deeper into the field of mathemetics, for example. I don't know why ignorance on a subject is so unforgiveable in your opinion.
That said, I quite enjoy HIMYM, but I certainly wouldn't fault anyone else for not having seen it.
Because Dio and Iron Maiden were top of the pop charts?