The Audacity of Rock: Part 18

I'll sing your song, but I'm not going to work too hard at it.

This edition is the antithesis of last week's edition. Today we feature the more preferable low end of the vocal range, with specific focus on male voices. Anyone who was ever in high school choir knows that the cool people are the altos and basses. So it would only seem to make sense that low singers are the best in rock and roll. That's debatable, because low singing men make things really hard to sing along to, not to mention their rarity. I'd probably hang with them, though.

"I'm Your Man" by Leonard Cohen (1988)

Leonard Cohen is one of those mythical guys that's lauded as great but still manages to be underground. There's probably a reason he's still underground, and that's because most of his songs are underwhelmingly tuneless and boring, set to a permanently slow tempo with a heavy streak of dated synthesizer. Let's just say I like the idea of Leonard Cohen more than I actually like him. The one great thing about him, however, is his lovely low voice (which I think comes out more in the later years of his career along with the synth). Really, the voice is the only thing that can make me listen to more than a minute of one of his songs. Here's one of his more charming songs. Enjoy the glacial pace of the lyrics:

"Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" by Crash Test Dummies (1993)

This song got unbelievable airplay for how quirky it was, although it's a pretty well written song. I think the big reason this song really caught on because of the novelty of ridiculously low vocals in a radio friendly song. Can you really resist that?

"Take These Thoughts" by Chris and Thomas (2007)

There are so many things about Chris and Thomas to love: the bluegrass/folk inspiration, slide guitars and mandolins, a discernable melody, male vocal harmonies. The cherry on top: one of the harmonies is awesomely low. Maybe not Leonard Cohen low, but nice and relaxed. Proof that a low range doesn't have to be weird, here's "Take These Thoughts":

Questions to ponder:

1. Why aren't low vocals more prevelant in pop/rock music?
2. Was I only 6 when "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" came out? I remember this song distinctly, but it's not like you ever hear it today. Um, I guess that's a question for me to ponder.

No comments:

Post a Comment