Monday, November 19, 2007

I Loathe A Bad Rendition of a Good Song

When I listen to a song I love, I don't want to hear ten thousand extra notes as the singer hits ten surrounding notes for each one perfect note.

I don't want to hear jazz renditions that make me mine for the melody. As in, try to tunnel through the mess of excess notes and dig out the real tune. Unless, of course, it was meant to be jazzy all along. Even then, stick to the notes the writer intended. It's not yours to mess with.

I hate it when a singer/arranger changes a song like that. If someone decides to sing "Silent Night," then sing "Silent Night," not "Most of the Lyrics and a Little Bit of the Original Melody of the Old Silent Night but IMPROVED VASTLY by MY OWN PERSONAL SLANT and the Fact That I Can't Hit A Note Straight-On but Must Slide All Around The Barn Until I Finally Hit It, At Which Point I Pause Before I Start Gliding Around The Scales Again For The Next Note." I hate those people. They're not musicians, they're murderers. The first line of "Silent Night" has 8 syllables, not 18, not 28, and especially not 68. No additional syllables necessary. Sing the song as it was intended to be sung, or write your own. And stop making fourteen additional lines out of the middle vowels of every word. (Yes, I know they're not actually 'syllables' but I'm trying to make this easy.)

If I want to hear bad improv, I'll go to YouTube. If I hear it on the radio or on a cd or in public, I want the melody. The real melody, not somebody's opinion of what the melody should have been. These people should go out and write their own songs, and keep their hands off pretty songs with pretty melodies.

I tried to listen to some woman sing "Oh Holy Night" a few minutes ago and honest to God, she was halfway through before I realized what she was trying to sing. The melody was lost in her personal interpretation, and her personal interpretation, by the way, sucked some big ones. I will have to admit, though, that I don't think there was a single note on any standard keyboard that she missed; she included almost every one with every breath. According to her, "holy" has approximately 8 syllables, and sometimes twelve. And "night," which should have been a no-brainer one or PERHAPS two, became a nightmare of a six, too. And each syllable wandered up and down the scales. In other words, all the grace and beauty of this song was gone, replaced by ostentatious vocal acrobats.

And if I'm confronted with acrobatics, I demand a good show. Cirque du Soleil quality.

To misquote Jack Handy, if someone is singing a lovely gentle song and you can see it in their genitals, it's too much. Not that I would be looking.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:37 PM | |


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