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U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!

Grab 27 Mar 06 - 06:22 AM
alanabit 28 Mar 06 - 02:23 AM
John O'L 28 Mar 06 - 03:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Mar 06 - 04:04 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Mar 06 - 04:12 AM
Grab 28 Mar 06 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,Van 28 Mar 06 - 10:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Mar 06 - 10:35 AM
Clinton Hammond 28 Mar 06 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 28 Mar 06 - 11:54 AM
Maryrrf 28 Mar 06 - 12:00 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Mar 06 - 12:09 PM
Maryrrf 28 Mar 06 - 12:09 PM
PoohBear 28 Mar 06 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,GUEST, RB 29 Mar 06 - 02:40 AM
GUEST,Wordy 29 Mar 06 - 03:31 AM
Snuffy 29 Mar 06 - 07:59 AM
GUEST 29 Mar 06 - 05:18 PM
Strollin' Johnny 30 Mar 06 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,GUEST, RB 30 Mar 06 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,RB 30 Mar 06 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,Grab 30 Mar 06 - 05:08 AM
manitas_at_work 30 Mar 06 - 05:39 AM
Strollin' Johnny 30 Mar 06 - 05:53 AM
shepherdlass 30 Mar 06 - 06:17 AM
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Subject: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Grab
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 06:22 AM

Just heard the most godawful thing on the radio this morning. Mary J Blige has felt the need to cover U2's "One", which sadly for me is one of my favourite songs. Blige has a decent voice, so I was prepared to cut her some slack. Then she started warbling, and my heart sank. Then she warbled some more. By the end of the song, there was nothing left of any sort of vocal line.

Terry Wogan summed it up perfectly: "Why do they have to do that gargling?" Which really for me is why I hate modern R&B music (and the pop styling offshoots thereof) - not the sexist crap that it puts out, but the few singers who can actually sing don't have any concept of a song beyond it being a vehicle for them to show off. The rot set in with Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, and it's only got worse since.

I could have faced that if it had been a complete cover with some anonymous session musicians paid for providing her with some backing. Doing it for the money I can understand. But no, U2 themselves did the backing. Bono did a bit of harmony, which was probably the only bit that did work since it forced Blige to sing a fixed note, and the Edge did a bad imitation of past glories.

It's wierd. Covers is fine, and even if you want to mutilate a good song then go ahead - it's your decision. But why a good group should go out and shit on their own material, I just don't understand. It can't be like they need the money, surely? Or have they just lost track of what good music is?

There are some things you *really* don't want to have to face on a Monday morning...

Graham.


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: alanabit
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:23 AM

Thanks for the warning Graham. You have nailed in one line what puts me off many singers too:
"...the few singers who can actually sing don't have any concept of a song beyond it being a vehicle for them to show off..."
I'll give this one a miss, for sure. I am with you one hundred per cent on being of the,"Let the song do the work," school.


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: John O'L
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 03:45 AM

Mariah Carey has a lot to answer for. She has caused a lot of people a lot of angst


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:04 AM

I think the rot set in a lot earlier. As much as I admire some of the soul work done by Aretha Franklin one of the worst renditions of 'Amazing Grace' was performed by her. No inclination towards tune, timing or beat she just used it, as has been said of others, to show off her voice. Sad realy. If I had a voice as good as that I am not sure if I would want to abuse it in such a way!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:12 AM

Oh - and having said that some old stuff was just as bad I must add that some of the new is good. Heard Beverly Knight's 'Take another piece of my heart'? As good if not better than the earlier covers - in my opionon anyway:-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Grab
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 07:16 AM

I saw Beverly Knight at Cambridge, based on hearing "Come as you are". Apart from the sound system being cranked up to painful levels, it was wonderful. It was amazing seeing her and realising that this was the same feeling that people must have had when they saw Aretha Franklin or Tina Turner for the first time - she's *that* good. But the reason it was so good was that she was so tight with the band, and what they were playing was far more akin to early disco or old-style R&B - not the more recent rubbish. And of course that she was actually *singing*, not just styling. Some of her recordings aren't nearly as good as the live show though - her performance on Radio 2's Drivetime recently was hopeless, for the simple reason that she wasn't letting loose, and just resorted to styling.

The incredible thing for me though is that U2 participated in this. I mean, why do that to your own music? I just don't get it.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:03 AM

Could it have something to do with Bono's ego.


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:35 AM

Bonos ego?

Sounds like a Latin motto

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:47 AM

Who's Mary J Blige


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 11:54 AM

can't comment on what this sounds like
as i've only seen the video
on the tv monitors at the
gym..

..with the sound turned off !

i wondered why u2's female backing session-singer was shown hogging so much of the lime light !!!???


...thought it must have been some serious artistic statement about the nature of celebrity
and the cult of personality.. or something !??



its one of those tastefully shot black and white 'live' performance videos;


[ooohhh black & white ?.. must be a solemn & significant mature work of high-class culture music art !!!
(hmmm.. deep levels of meaning ????)]

probably knocked off quickly and as cheaply as possible on a spare afternoon someplace sometime..


if it sounds as described here..

then i loath this modern commercial trend
of self-indulgent superficial over-emoting vocal virtoso pyrotechnical stylistic egowank..etc.. etc..etc..

it annoys me to hear so many young wannabes on college performance arts couses
emulating this vacuous nonsense
as though its the new authodoxy set down for aspiring singers..

the young deluded show offs impose this uninspiring bollox on any song,
irrespective of melody and genre..


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Maryrrf
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:00 PM

The over emoting vocal showing off of many of the pop divas is extremely annoying to me. That's why I never listen to it unless I can't avoid it (in shops, etc.) where it's piped in. And I have been known to leave a store because the music got on my nerves. To each his own, I guess. I'd happiliy sit and listen to good old unacompanied traditional singing for hours at a time but I realize that in the United States I'm in a very small minority.


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:09 PM

I think we are getting old....


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Maryrrf
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:09 PM

Too true, Richard!


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: PoohBear
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:25 PM

Modern society values 'style' (if it can be called that) over 'substance' or actual talent. It's my primary reason for not listening to a lot of current 'music'.
Guess I'm getting old too!
PB


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: GUEST,GUEST, RB
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:40 AM

As a trad kind of guy, I don't care much for the "melismatic" style of singing. Form over content, etc.

Interesting, though, that the subtext of this discussion is melisma in Black singing styles, pop, gospel, whatever. Of course, a lot of white and other singers around the world are imitating this. American pop-country is full of it.   Melisma, I mean. Better, older country has a master of melisma in George Jones, who reins it in and lets it loose. But it's all over the place in pop.

It seems to me that Bono (for whose generally hysterical vocalising and Christian agenda I personally have little interest) is attempting a well-intentioned crossover bit. We are the Melismatic Freakin' World, you might say.

Wonder if Black music forums bemoan straight-ahead white folkie approaches to Amazing Grace...


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: GUEST,Wordy
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:31 AM

self-indulgent superficial over-emoting vocal virtoso pyrotechnical stylistic egowank

Beautifully put! This damned gargling is everywhere. Worst of all in supermarkets. Sainsbury's get my money now because they don't play music. The other stores bombard you with bloody warbling divas even on a midweek afternoon when everyone pushing a trolley is over 50. Why should they have to listen to vacuous, fake orgasmic crap meant for pre-pubescents?
Bah!


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 07:59 AM

Melisma at Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 05:18 PM

Well it sounds like a disease and as far as I'm concerned it has the same affects.


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 03:07 AM

For heaven's sake, why not?
Just because a bunch of sad old hippies such as us don't like it, there's no reason to denounce it. There are a lot of people who think British and American Folk Music is shite, but we continue to listen to it and enjoy it.
Tolerance and creativity make good partners.
And by the way, it's U2's song to which, presumably, they own the rights. They can do as they fuckin' well like with it!


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: GUEST,GUEST, RB
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 03:30 AM

Coincidentally, I just received the current New Yorker (April 3rd '06) and on pg. 76 there's an article on Mariah Carey and the devastation she and her ilk hath foist upon our ears, thus making them sorely bleed... well, I made that part up.

It does say, though, "Mariah Carey established R&B as the sound of pop and made melisma a requirement on "American Idol", and goes on to describe the, um, position she occupies in that pantheon. Record sales and numbers play a big part in that estimation: "...she will likely break the world record for the most No.1 songs before she turns forty [in four years]. The Beatles had twenty, and Carey is currently tied with Elvis Presley for second place, at seventeen". So apparently she's like the Evil Genius Mastermind of Melismatism.

And while we grumble away on Mudcat, young folks are being shown a path toward a most dubious vocal ideal. Of course, there are also arguments closer to my own musical home, in which Alison Krauss is tarred with a similar brush, though in her vast popularity, she'll never know it. But I know it, when I hear a young woman try to sing bluegrass, and warble away like Alison.

Hardly news to traditional singers and players. But it's a shame.


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: GUEST,RB
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 03:37 AM

And I'm not a guest, guest. Just a guest. I haven't posted before.


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: GUEST,Grab
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 05:08 AM

They have the *rights* to do what they like with it, sure. But why would they want to?

"Creativity" - that's the problem. Creativity requires not just continuous spontaneous creation, but also the knowledge of where to use it and where not to. Creativity is nothing without control. FWIW, I also can't find that control in some jazz (the circular-breathing widdle-o-rama style) or guitar solos (widdle-o-rama style again), which are styles that I generally like. If the widdle (on whatever instrument) doesn't contribute to the song, then you're crapping on the song - and I'm sure we can all think of songs (especially rock and blues) where talented musicians have screwed up songs with ridiculously extended solos that don't add anything.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 05:39 AM

Isn't melisma something we admire in sean nos singers?


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 05:53 AM

Maybe they feel that they HAVE added something! A song's never, ever a finished item, it has the wonderful property of being 'evolvable' and if the person(s) who wrote it want to add/change/remove things why should they not do so?

I don't like MJB's version either, for what my opinion's worth. But I won't belly-ache about it like some Sad Old Bastard on here, I'll just ignore it and carry on listening to the U2 original instead.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

IMNSHO!    :-) :-)

S:0)


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Subject: RE: U2/MJ Blige - for heaven's sake, why?!
From: shepherdlass
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 06:17 AM

Isn't Paul Brady's version of Arthur McBride a fantastic example of melismatic singing that absolutely fits the song? We can't write off a whole vocal style just because of the odd bit of tasteless grandstanding.


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