Odd Voices, Prince Sucks & Other Stuff

voicesI love odd voices.

As a matter of fact I’m an absolute sucker for ‘em, and on the other end of the coin I have a hard time swallowing any voice that doesn’t at least have a hint of uniqueness about it. Slick, professional vocals, for the most part, are boring. Case in point (and it’s a terrible example, I know) is American Idol. Technically the voices belonging to the kids on that show are right up there with other cookie-cutter mega-bazillion selling artists releasing records today. They hit the notes, have great range, but they all suck you-know-what. Because a slick voice that instantly appeals to the masses is a safe voice and a safe voice isn’t an honest voice and doesn’t belong in rock & roll! Think what you will of Mr. Dylan but when he came on the scene he gave thousands of vocalists over many decades the green light to just “go for it”. And we’re all much better off because of it.

Think about Neil Young for just a moment. Would his songs have the emotional impact without that warbly tenor? Don’t think so. Elvis Costello? Ditto. Lou Reed, Ray Davies, John Prine, Bernard Sumner, my God the list is endless. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy technically good singers, they’ve just gotta be unique. Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry and Nick Lowe come to mind, all good singers, but also extremely unique and pure. They sound like no one else, but many try to sound like them.

So let’s celebrate the cracked voice, the weirder the better! And have a drink to Bob Dylan, the man who made it “ok”.

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I’m psyched that Spinal Tap are putting out a new album. From the wire: “Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls contends that “Back From the Dead,” which is due out June 16 — and whose title track is streaming at Billboard.com — has more to do with technological advancements than the commemoration of a film that “made us out to be a laughing stock.”

“Basically,” says Smalls (Shearer’s Tap alter ego), “it was possible to put out a record that was louder than any we’ve ever had before, and that was a selling point right there. We could have the loudest Spinal Tap record there’s ever been, and we thought, ‘Well, yeah, why not?'”

Loud or proud, “Back From the Dead” is the first Tap album since 1992’s “Break Like the Wind.” The 19-song set includes studio recordings of songs such as “Hell Hole” and “Big Bottom” (which were played live in “This Is Spinal Tap”), a three-part version of “Jazz Odyssey,” a “reggae-style” rendition of “(Listen to the) Flower People” and more recent songs such as “Warmer Than Hell,” “Celtic Blues” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare.” Guests include Def Leppard’s Phil Collen, John Mayer, Steve Vai on the guitar opus “Short and Sweet” (which, in true Tap fashion, is not), and keyboardist Keith Emerson.

A deluxe version of the package includes a one-hour DVD and a pop-up diorama with three 12-inch action figures of Smalls, David St. Hubbins (McKean) and Nigel Tufnel (Guest).”

I’m gettin’ me the Deluxe Edition!!

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I hear Prince’s new album sucks. And he showed such promise….

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Hey, I understand that Echo & The Bunnymen are going to launch a copy of their 1984 album Ocean Rain into space. What they should launch into space is their arrogant Jim Morroson wannabe ponce frontman Ian McWhatever…His antics can’t take away that Ocean Rain was a pretty terrific album, however.

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I’ve once again bought the hype of the British Music Press and purchased The Horrors new disc, Primary Colours. I’ll let you know if it lives up to it or not. Also finally downloaded HATS by The Blue Nile. Been wanting this one for a while, it still holds up after all these years as one fantastic listen.

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And The Stone Roses debut is getting the “Legacy Edition” treatment for the 20th anniversary, remastered with bonus tracks, a live disc, videos and extended booklet. What you get depends on which “edition” you purchase, though…I like the album a lot, and need the remastered original, but I don’t need it bad enough to purchase the MEGA_MONDO version for $357, or whatever it’s going for.

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